INDUSTRY CASE STUDY

INDUSTRY CASE STUDY

Taking away the bundling pain

As the Covid-19 pandemic revealed weaknesses in document creation processes, new solutions needed to be found for the arduous creation of court bundles at law firm Howard Kennedy. IT business partner for education and change Kenneth Crowley explains how Bundledocs helped eliminate service desk pain points and provided a straightforward solution

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In normal times, the switch to a new IT solution might take months – time enough for a firm to look at the available options and test a few out before making a decision and implementing it.

During the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was no time for these luxuries. When Howard Kennedy realised its document-bundling programme was not up to scratch, it had to make a quick switch – and the simplicity of the first solution it looked at, Bundledocs, seemed too good to be true. Yet, two years down the line, the firm’s IT business partner for education and change, Kenneth Crowley, has no regrets.

“It’s been one of those changes that had to be done, and Bundledocs is thankfully one of those solutions that actually works,” Crowley says.

Speeding up solutions

Before lockdown, Howard Kennedy’s fee earners and support staff had been using an older document-bundling solution which required significant processing power and time to generate bundles. It turned out that many staff had developed their own workarounds to make the system functional, such as sending documents to a copier and then scanning them back into a PDF. At home, these solutions were impossible.

“There was a big increase in the number of service desk tickets related to generating court bundles. The product we were using wasn’t intuitive to our users, and also put great demands on both their time and devices,” Crowley says.

The old system did not allow users to start bundle generation and then get on with something else on the same laptop. Instead, it was a case of crossing fingers and hoping the device wouldn’t grind to a halt.

“That was a common ticket to our service desk – that everything had frozen. The generation of the bundle didn’t allow our users to multitask, which was very problematic,” Crowley says.

“When we saw Bundledocs in action and then when I followed up with testing and trialling, it was really apparent that it was going to have a massive effect on our service desk and the amount of tickets they’re dealing with.”

Kenneth Crowley, IT business partner for education and change, Howard Kennedy

Online research and discussion with peers brought Bundledocs to Crowley’s attention, and in late November 2020 Howard Kennedy had a demonstration of the product. “Sometimes you see something for the first time and you think it must be too simple to be true. That was my first impression – Bundledocs just did what I expected it to do,” he recalls.

Positive impacts

Trialling Bundledocs proved to Crowley and his team that the product could fulfil the firm’s requirements. “When we saw Bundledocs in action and then when I followed up with testing and trialling, it was really apparent that it was going to have a massive effect on our service desk and the amount of tickets they’re dealing with,” Crowley says.

The firm’s old system also made it difficult to meet evolving court requirements for electronic bundles, which require indexed, hyperlinked documents to be produced to tight deadlines.

Bundledocs, in comparison, has five steps and, as a cloud-based system, allows for users to collaborate as the bundle is put together. Various templates for different types of cases have also been custom created for Howard Kennedy by the software developers.

“I found myself on a regular basis on the phone with colleagues dealing with distressed personnel who were just at their wits’ end trying to produce a bundle. I don’t have any of that anymore. That’s been completely eradicated.”

Kenneth Crowley, IT business partner for education and change, Howard Kennedy

“I found myself on a regular basis on the phone with colleagues dealing with distressed personnel who were just at their wits’ end trying to produce a bundle. I don’t have any of that anymore. That’s been completely eradicated,” he adds.

Onboard with change

Crowley also explains that Howard Kennedy made sure the implementation of Bundledocs in January 2021 was as smooth as possible by putting all the pieces in place first.

“We worked with our core users to get the templates in place and aligned with court requirements, and we were quite rigorous in testing it and getting the teams set up. We put a lot of support and learning resources in place,” Crowley says. “We got everything lined up and put a lot of consideration into how we were delivering this. It was a necessary change and I think we just went about it the right way.”

Reception has been positive. Bundledocs is primarily used by Howard Kennedy’s fee-earning support teams in family, private client and dispute resolution, but Crowley has noticed people using it beyond court bundling tasks – for example, to create single, indexed PDFs for clients. As Bundledocs is integrated with Howard Kennedy’s document management system, iManage, and Office 365, users can easily export documents or entire folders from those systems to Bundledocs through just a right-click of the mouse.

Overall, Crowley says Bundledocs has saved time and taken pain away from the bundling process.

“I don’t think there have been any surprises – this was the solution we’ve always required within the business. It’s become part of people’s toolkit to get work done and there’s a general fondness for it now – and I can’t blame them,” Crowley concludes.

To find out more, visit: www.bundledocs.com