DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT AND THE ELECTRONIC FILE
Whilst electronic files have existed for a number of years they have still been accompanied by the original paper file and for a large number of firms this is still considered the “master file”. Over the last few years with firm’s needing to work change their working practices, embracing mobile working and
cloud computing becoming more mature the need for the electronic file to become the master is a growing requirement.
The electronic file being the master file causes a number of concerns for risk management teams and technological challenges for the IT team. Both of these teams need to be heavily involved in any project to move towards the electronic file. Systems and procedures for how email is managed, documents are stored, paper files are scanned, physical post is delivered electronically all need to be considered.
3Kites is able to provide valuable assistance to firms in implementing and fully utilising document management systems and electronic files, because:
We have developed processes and templates which facilitate the gathering of key current and foreseeable requirements in a manner which takes up the minimum amount of internal time, whilst being sufficiently broad ranging. This is key to understanding requirements (and existing constraints and issues) for staff at all levels, and electronic file requirements to meet the client’s requirements, such as online portals to access their documents. This information gathering could take many forms and regularly includes online surveys, interviews with key staff and conducting workshops.
We provide guidance on implementing electronic filing in a way which is both practical, but which also supports the need for compliance. Our approach makes the electronic file the master file of record, but allows for hardcopy documentation to be used and referenced where this is necessary including building plans, meeting notes and court appearances.
We have extensive experience of working with professionals to establish their document and filing requirements and of finding the right solutions for them.
Our unique combination of lawyer, IT and supplier experience puts us in an ideal position to understand the requirements and the most practical ways of meeting them with the tools available. We are well placed to engage with the business and, if appropriate, its clients, to understand current issues and likely future requirements.
We are [robustly] independent of any commercial ties to suppliers, we have good relationships with a number of suppliers to the professional service market and work to ensure we are up to date with their offerings and approaches. We take pains to share this knowledge across our team. Our independence is important as it ensures we recommend the best solution to the firm not the solution we have most experience of.
We can provide the capacity and momentum to see the process through, so that it does not get delayed as a result of day to day pressures.
An example of a document management engagement is our work with a top 40 UK law fim (c. 1,450 people with offices across the UK and Ireland). We assisted the Head of IT in successfully making a business case for the introduction of document management to this national law firm, we evaluated a number of options before recommending a solution which was duly purchased and implemented.
This involved undertaking detailed requirements gathering for document and email filing, verifying with the business an approach that supported different needs across the firm’s practice groups. Managing the integration of the document system with the firm’s case management system and the migration of documents in a three-month roll-out plan across the entire firm, this was successfully completed on time and within budget.
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or contact JON HOWELLS on:
+44 (0) 7917 367872
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