Digital mailroom and document capture bring productivity increase
One of the UK’s top personal injury solicitor doubles work allocation speeds with a full digital mailroom and electronic case handling infrastructure
- An increase in daily work allocation speeds of 5 hours
- Cheque processing speeds reduced from 3 hours to instantaneous entry
- Improved customer service and experience both internally and externally
- A reduction in storage costs and re-allocation of space to enable staff growth
The successful Merseyside based national practice specialises in accident and injury claims of all types - from simple food poisoning claims and multi-track spinal/brain cases, cycle accidents and motor accidents involving whiplash incidents. Lexcel accredited, the firm is also a longstanding member of MASS (Motor Accident Solicitors Society).
In readiness for large-scale changes to the personal injury claims sector, Camps embarked on an IT strategy to upgrade its systems and processes.
Looking for a complete digital mailroom
As specialists in the provision of personal injury legal services for the last 25 years, Camps lawyers and fee earners work in a fast-paced, high energy environment. The volumes of correspondence related to a single PI case file are often high and taking receipt of over 6,000 pieces of post per day is the norm.
Despite this, the delivery of a quality customer service and positive experience is a key focus for the firm, therefore having the most productive method of case handling and distributing their daily post was a priority for Camps.
The firm had already introduced a scanning process into their head office mailroom, however, although some post was being captured electronically, there was no recognition software in place. As a result, their mailroom staff were initially scanning the post but then having to manually read each item in order to allocate it by hand to the correct lawyer or legal team.
As James Barron, IT Director at Camps explains, ‘This manual process was leading to a potential backlog in work allocations, was heightening the risk of errors, and there was a greater chance of misallocating post. Staff could end up receiving their daily work as late as 4pm, whilst the storage of paper documentation was creating additional costs. What’s more, the process for handling our incoming cheque payments was also manual, taking 2 to 3 hours each day to record onto spreadsheets’.
On top of this, the firm was also expanding and storage space was at a premium. So, with the capture element of their mailroom only meeting 50% of the firm’s requirements, and maintaining high levels of customer service a top priority, Camps engaged Restore to introduce a full digital mailroom solution.
Integrated electronic case handling
After an initial consultation period, Camps decided to upgrade their existing capture hardware to include the latest scanning equipment, adding to this specialised optical recognition and classification software. This new software ensures that when documents are scanned within the mailroom, key identifiers within the content are automatically picked up, providing the data to route files directly into their case management system. From here their fee earners are able to see their incoming work for the day without the need to wait for hard copy files to be distributed.
This upgraded infrastructure also provides an automated cheque scanning functionality for Camps. With their previous cheque scanning process taking between 2 and 3 hours per day using manual entry, now the data from their cheques is extracted automatically and recorded within their case management system immediately.
A new way of working
From a process that required the manual entry of 6,000 pieces of post each day, and taking up to 4pm for staff to receive their full case work, Camps now has an automated workflow that begins automatically delivering work moments after its arrival within the mailroom, and ensures all work is allocated to fee earners by 11am - a major time-saving. By reducing their reliance on paper the firm is also better utilising their storage space, the enablement of remote working is now much easier, and the need to transport hard copy post between their three offices has been eliminated.
An efficient document storage and retrieval system now exists, with print facilities on previously scanned documents able to be submitted as legal originals as required for court should the need arise.
And as James Barron concludes, ‘Due to the traditional paper-intensive nature of the legal sector, the transition to a paperless approach has been a major adjustment for our case workers. However, a successful proof of concept, and the subsequent visible benefits, has proven that the impact of automated case management by far out ways any initial resistance and the upfront project management effort’.