One easy way you can boost your law firm productivity? Hint: it has to do with documents.
A recent report that polled over 220 legal professionals found that “68% view improved productivity as one of the main business drivers for 2015.” While that is a lot of room for improvement, it doesn’t exactly tell you what steps you need to take in order to improve your law firm’s performance. Fortunately, there is a remedy that is extremely effective yet somehow still underused in law firms—possibly because it’s trapped in the shadow of filing cabinets.
The answer lies in technology. Specifically, technology related to document automation. “Almost half of respondents say their firm or company has adopted technology in an attempt to drive efficiency, however a staggering 65% still think their firm could automate more process around document reviews, such as automatically alerting individuals when new versions are available, to help speed up document progress.” This is precisely the downfall with paper; it may seem more secure because it is a tangible object, but it has many shortcomings that until now have gone largely unchallenged.
There’s no escaping it; documents abound in every legal case, and there is a lot of information to keep track of and organize. Doing it all with paper no longer works for today’s productivity-driven and time-strapped firms. Using a document management system means that you can sort your documents by dates, see who went into the document to make changes and when, and search by keywords—plus it just makes access much easier. Document collaboration is a huge part of your day-to-day tasks. You have to edit them, share them with clients, and keep track of the changes made in every version. Paper is quite possibly the least efficient way to achieve these goals.
Not only that, it also costs you more. You’re spending more time making copies and sending them physically from one location to another, and you’re spending more money creating copies and storing these vast amounts of information. “With ineffective review processes hindering the progress of documents, 65% of respondents state they need a central workspace to share, review and collaborate on documents.” Other than operating more quickly, taking your documents online also comes with other benefits. Especially when “the majority of legal professionals collaborate with over five people during a project.” With so many people working on the same document, it can be difficult to keep track of everyone’s comments, which version is the latest and who made which changes. Even the Canadian Senate struggles with version control, when debate occurs—over the wrong version of the bills.
With a document management system, you can have the full record of all of these edits. No more digging around in filing cabinets looking for older copies, no more leafing through binders and folders. A new document management method that is easy to implement, offers huge cost savings, and makes your firm run more smoothly.
Want to learn more about other ways you can improve remote collaboration and reduce law firm overhead? Check out the 3 Technology Tools to Build a Virtual Law Firm guide to get started.