Here are the top five things that partners and fee-earners are concerned about when they hear that their support services may be outsourced, along with our responses to those concerns.
Outsourcing can be perceived as automatically meaning poorer quality. But think about the great service you provide to your clients who have, in effect, outsourced their legal needs to your law firm. Then think again about how outsourcing can also be synonymous with a trusted, dependable and valued service.
Providing high quality, professional and modern support and constantly improving it, is in our DNA. All our employees understand the critical role they play in supporting busy fee earners or their clients and take real pride in fulfilling that role. We support them with a robust and proven management toolkit developed over many years.
We are legal sector specialists. From the inception of our business we have deliberately focused on delivering great support services to law firms. This means we have an unparalleled knowledge of how law firms operate and it is this experience that informs our approach with a new client.
We spend significant time understanding a prospective client’s culture and their future strategy. We make recommendations based on our understanding of best practice gained through delivering services to other law firms but always tailored to the needs of your firm.
We know that one-size-fits-all doesn’t work; not only is every firm different but practice teams within the same firm are very different. As a result many of the services we provide, particularly related to document production and file management, are specifically tailored to meet practice team needs.
We actively seek out feedback from partners and fee earners to ensure that we are continuously developing and improving the support we provide to your firm. In short, law firms that outsource to us pride themselves on providing a bespoke, trusted and valued service to their clients, which is exactly what we do for them.
One of the reasons law firms outsource to Intelligent Office is because they are confident we can develop and recognise their support staff better than they themselves can. Many of our employees TUPE transferred to Intelligent Office and have remained with us ever since.
As a service provider, the secretarial and office administrative staff that work for Intelligent Office are effectively our front-line fee earners. Commensurate with their importance to our business we have a wide range of reward, recognition and development schemes in place to acknowledge the contribution our employees make.
Our passion for supporting and developing our people was independently validated in 2012 when we were awarded Investors in People Gold accreditation. Then in May 2018, after the most intensive IIP assessment process we have ever been through, we met the Platinum standard: the highest level of accreditation IIP offers.
This is a truly fantastic achievement.
Quite the opposite, outsourcing to Intelligent Office often increases the control that the firm has of its support functions. Intelligent Office are specialists at providing services to the legal sector, it’s all we do and we are good at it. This means that our clients quickly benefit from teams that are focused on customer service in a way that they might not have been before or as one partner more eloquently put it “service is now provided to us naturally and not as a favour ”.
We supplement our focus on customer service with the collection and use of management information. This helps us to pinpoint our resource to where it is most needed and helps us provide consistent and flexible support, particularly at times of high demand.
We create services that integrate seamlessly with you and your practice team enabling us to collectively provide great support to your clients.
Law firms outsource to Intelligent Office for a range of reasons. It might though surprise you to learn that generating huge cost savings is generally not amongst them, although clients want to see some savings over the course of their contract with us. What law firm management teams say they most want to see through outsourcing to us is value.
When it comes to costs related to their support services, they want comfort that they are getting the maximum return for what they are spending and a way of improving this return without impacting on quality.
We deliver financial value to our clients in three main ways:
- We provide direct cost savings, particularly through our consolidated buying power and procurement expertise
- We improve processes and systems that our onsite teams and often the firm’s fee earners and core support staff use. This frees up more of their time enabling them to be more productive and therefore profitable
- Through better management, cross training and more structured development we manage support staff better than a law firm, enabling us to do more with the same
Our commitment to our clients is always to be transparent regarding how our pricing is calculated, to always treat our clients’ money as if it were our own and to look for ways to reduce the costs of our service at every opportunity.