The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) states that 20% of what you do will generate 80% of your results. Therefore, a law firm should inevitably focus greater attention on the 20% of activities that generate revenue.
Understandably, this means that non-revenue generating activities can get de-prioritised. In firms, this can lead to a lack of investment and commitment to administrative support staff—even amongst firms with the best intentions for developing their employees.
Increasingly, firms are considering how they can balance this need to prioritise profit-generating activities with developing their workforce. They know that business growth and true operational excellence is achieved when all elements of the firm are working at their optimal level of efficiency and output. This can only be achieved with a high level of commitment to all employees, including non-fee earners.
In the past, decision-makers in law firms worried that outsourcing their administrative support services would compromise on the quality of services. However more recently, pressure has been increasing on resources, both in terms of headcount and time. Because of this, many firms are moving towards a model whereby their support staff is outsourced. But as we have written about before, it is normal for firms to have some concerns and queries about this outsourcing process.
This blog explains the top three reasons firms outsource their administrative support functions to us, and the benefits they reap as a result.
1. Support functions are further developed and become consistent, agile and repeatable
Often, firms who approach us do so because they do not have consistency in their administrative support functions and are looking for ways to improve their service delivery. In these scenarios, the standard of support work varies across the firm from employee-to-employee, and when employees leave or are off work for a period of time, they find gaps in knowledge and experience occur.
Firms also find their method of support provision is inflexible, and they are unable to redeploy resources to suit business needs.
At Intelligent Office, we standardise our support functions and ensure a consistent approach to work in each practice group. Not only does this result in an improved service to clients because each team is working to a universal standard, but it allows us to be agile in the way we provide support functions.
This approach to administrative support functions increases efficiency—both amongst the support staff themselves and therefore across the firm generally. Ultimately, this means a firm can excel at focusing on clients, and growing the business.
“Intelligent Office has turned our back office into a much slicker and streamlined operation bringing improved working practices and efficiencies which in turn enable us to provide an improved service to our clients.”
Partner & CFO – Farrer & Co
2. Intelligent Office engage and motivate employees
One concern firms have when outsourcing their support function is that their employees—who may have worked at the firm for many years—will not be looked after. The reason firms choose Intelligent Office is because they are confident of our commitment to these employees. This commitment is evidenced in a number of ways:
- We achieved the Investors In People (IIP) Platinum Standard in 2018. This is the highest standard a company can achieve and is only held by 0.8% of the companies with some sort of IIP accreditation. You can read more about how we achieved this elite status in our recent blog.
- We hold an annual Leadership Weekend for all of our team leaders and managers, alongside our senior management and corporate team. This gives a chance for the achievements of our employees to be recognised and culminates in a ceremony where awards are given to the very best performers—nominated by their peers. This initiative demonstrates our commitment to our employees, who in turn feel motivated to perform to the highest standard. Ultimately, this means they deliver the best possible administrative support services to firms.
- Our reward and recognition toolkit demonstrates the culture of commitment to employees on a day-to-day basis. This continued investment in our employees means they feel valued and are more likely to go the extra mile when it comes to the services they provide.
- Our many client and employee testimonials—and the continued success of Intelligent Office—demonstrate that this approach is valued by firms.
“The Support Team are better trained, better managed and really encouraged to take pride in their jobs. This is what we wanted at the outset—a partnership in which we can intensify our focus on developing our lawyers and serving our clients, underpinned by Intelligent Office’s ideas, innovation and expertise in managing and developing our administrative support.”
Chief Executive – Nelsons Solicitors
3. Intelligent Office deliver operational excellence for our clients
Ultimately, any decision a firm makes to outsource administrative support functions must make sense from a business point of view.
When working with Intelligent Office, clients have access to proven best practice in legal support. They benefit from our centres of excellence, which contain subject matter experts who have knowledge and experience across a range of projects.
- Our collection and use of management information maximises productivity and drives improvements. In turn, this delivers costs savings for our clients.
- Our partnerships deliver against metrics such as fee earner productivity, profitability and RPL.
- We are the only provider to UK law firms with a demonstrable record delivering PA, DPC, FSU and traditional back office services. Our deep understanding of the UK legal sector ensures we have the breadth of expertise to understand the culture of each firm we work with.
- This consistent drive for operational excellence means administrative support functions will perform at their best in both the short and long-term.
In the current environment where law firms are facing so many challenges, we need to be able to rely on the consistent provision of these services to support our busy partners and fee earners. Intelligent Office has always delivered great service whilst also professionalizing our support in line with what we deliver as a law firm,
CEO – Wiggin
If you’re ready to talk about outsourcing your firm’s administrative support functions to us, you can get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on +44 (0)7984 252 150.
Alternatively, if you’d like to hear more about outsourcing your law firm’s administrative support services to a third party like us (and hear from the people who are currently doing just that), we send emails no more than twice a month to our database.