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Co-sourcing benefits explained for readers of Modern Law Magazine | << Back


Co-sourcing benefits explained for readers of Modern Law Magazine 



Co-founder of DictateNow, Maxine Park explains the benefits of co-sourcing to the readers of Modern Law Magazine. Her article demonstrates how law firms can integrate external and internal resources to cut costs and deliver services more efficiently, whilst maintaining security and confidentiality.

Modern Law Magazine was launched in response to the liberalisation of Legal Services in the UK, with the publication covering all the aspects of law firms as businesses. All the issues that matter to those that run law firms are debated and discussed in each issue by the editorial board of industry specialists.

The magazine also runs a number of high-profile interviews and features in each edition, relying on leading industry commentators like our own Maxine Park to share best practice and offer valuable insight into relevant issues. Maxine’s article explains the benefits of transparency and greater control offered by co-sourcing, over the more traditional business process outsourcing.

Maxine’s article was published in the February 2016 issue and you can read it online here, or scroll down to see what our co-founder had to say about co-sourcing with DictateNow:

Law firms drive efficiency and profitability through co-sourcing

The Chancellor’s warning of further economic struggles for the UK in 2016 will be bad news for many sectors, but will once again strengthen the argument for outsourcing, which remains a popular option for law firms seeking greater efficiency and profitability. But is co-sourcing now the better choice?

Maxine Park, solicitor and co-founder of leading digital dictation and transcription service provider DictateNow, explains why law firms are turning to co-sourcing, which offers the same benefits as outsourcing, but with greater control and guaranteed service levels.

“Outsourcing non-core business processes has allowed firms to concentrate their resources on increasing fee-earning activities. This has allowed many to significantly increase efficiency and profitability, typically with far fewer individuals delivering in-house support.

“The outsourcing concept is well understood by the legal sector, but many firms remain reluctant to transfer sensitive services to external providers. The profile of some service providers does not help, with hundreds of anonymous individuals, often located overseas, undertaking the work – something that can cause real problems for UK-based law firms.

“This lack of control over the process has ensured a growing market for co-sourcing. Firms are now pursuing innovative processes and technologies that allow them to adapt their business quickly to the changing work levels and constantly evolving business environment they are faced with.

Driving efficiency

“To deliver a co-sourced service, the provider will create a dedicated team within their own business to undertake specific activities for a client. This team work as an extension of the law firm’s remaining office function with regular contact, rather than as an outsourced substitute.

“In April 2015 The Law Society issued a Practice Note focussed on outsourcing and amongst its many valid points, was one that encouraged law firms to consider whether outsourced work was completed to a standard that could be achieved if it was undertaken in-house.

“Co-sourcing legal support services, particularly with providers employing individuals with previous experience of delivering the same services in-house at law firms, will easily address this issue and help drive greater efficiency.

A myriad of opportunities

“By co-sourcing secretarial services, firms have the necessary resources to cope with peaks in demand, without recruiting additional overheads to the pay roll. This delivers a guaranteed minimum service level, and avoids paying for underused secretaries when the firm experiences a quieter period. Some firms have also benefitted from switching in-house secretarial resources to fee-earning activities.

“The traditional outsourcing model is the mainstay of most service providers’ offerings, but law firms in particular require a level of confidentiality, work tracking and control that has helped shape this new co-sourced solution. Experienced UK-based legal secretaries are granted access to the law firm’s system to undertake remote typing on the client’s case or document management system.

“Implementing a co-sourcing solution typically involves the service provider sending its secretaries to the law firm’s offices so each member of the team is familiar with the firm’s system and is trained in their unique working methods and business ethos. This level of understanding and integration ensures work is completed as quickly and efficiently as if they were sat in the office.

“Firms can now access range of services beyond simple transcription and copy typing, to include Land Registry searches, file opening, data input, document production along with work in the usual Microsoft Office programmes. And given the global 24-hour nature of modern law, more and more firms are outsourcing call-answering for evenings and weekends, with the answer-machine consigned to history.  

All the necessary resources

“The advantages for the firm are numerous and obvious, with paying only for the working time of the team members a major consideration; no holiday, sick days, office chats and coffee breaks to pay for. The steady rise in office rental costs will also lead to many adopting the co-sourcing approach, helping either cut the space required or delaying the inevitable re-location for growing firms.

“Co-sourcing secretarial support ensures fee-earners have quick and easy access to the services they need in the evening and at weekends, with all the necessary security and confidentiality compliance measures already in place.

“Choosing ISO 27001 accredited service providers, registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), ensures there are no compliance issues, unlike meet a deadline means a member of the office team is tempted to take work home on a memory stick!

“The use of dedicated co-sourcing teams, allows law firms to concentrate on growth and prosperity, safe in the knowledge they have the necessary resources available to help deliver the high quality service demanded by their clients, while driving the efficiencies that help them remain competitive.”

  T V Edwards LLP have used DictateNow for a significant period and have become reliant on the service. DictateNow provides an efficient and organised typing service which has become vital to T V Edwards LLP as we expand and increase our work load.

The advantage is that the typing is saved directly into T V Edwards LLP’s case management system which reduces the administrative time once the typing has been completed. Also, DictateNow are able to complete typing quickly which is essential for fee earners, particularly those who are out of the office at court and who are under time constraints.

DictateNow also provide a helpful telephone support service for any queries that arise providing a professional service.

Maria Adams
Family Solicitor
T V Edwards LLP