Enhancing Operational Efficiency Through Improved Office Services Workflow

Recently, a leading international law firm launched an initiative to meet two key challenges. One was connected with the planned relocation of the firm’s corporate headquarters to a new site. The goal was to engage a managed services provider to help the firm reduce a significant amount of paper documents accumulated over decades of being in the same location; paper that the firm didn’t want to bring to the new site. The solution would involve working with a services provider to review the paper documents and scan as necessary into the firm’s records management system and dispose of the physical files where possible. 

The firm’s other challenge, also related to the move, was to consolidate its office services program from two managed services providers to one. The firm wanted one partner that had the expertise to oversee its mail, print/copy, office services and records management operations as well as enhance the end user experience through a customized services program that comprised assigning specific individuals to each practice floor and included coordinating daily services such as copying, scanning, mailing and special projects. Additional responsibilities include ensuring that all the multifunctional devices and floor service centers were fully stocked and operational on a daily basis.  A critical component of success for the initiative was having a dedicated ambassador/manager in place. This program covers all practice group floors at the firm’s headquarters office.

The law firm developed a strategy for the onsite delivery of critical services, and by partnering with a service team learned it could deliver on this strategy based on its experienced onsite and offsite personnel and a detailed project plan. While the firm was considering proposals for the office services contract, the onsite members of the service were managing the office move/scanning project, working closely and efficiently with the firm’s administrative personnel and end users; effectively managing logistics; successfully coordinating offsite support capabilities and consistently maintaining smooth, streamlined workflows. As a result, the firm engaged with that service team for imaging initiative as well.

Results from the imaging project included scanning millions of pages, accurately entering the data into the law firm’s records management system and coordinating with the firm on document disposal. The services team helped the firm solve a challenge with scanning highly confidential files by setting up a scanning workflow that processed the sensitive files in a secure area under very strict guidelines. The imaging project was completed on time and coincided with the firm’s move into its new space. Both a records group and a dedicated move project group worked onsite in secure rooms at the firm to complete the move project. Group members worked closely with the firm’s personnel to go through paper documents, eliminate redundancies and provide reassurance that all necessary documents would be scanned as promised.

The services program now includes managing and providing personnel for the firm’s mail, print/copy, office services, supply management and records management programs as well as the floor ambassador program. There are two floor ambassadors per each legal practice group floor. These ambassadors work with the members of each practice group (partners, associates, administrative staff etc.), with the goal of anticipating and meeting their key needs. Floor ambassadors are cross-trained to be able to support multiple practice groups, which improves coverage. Floor ambassadors have daily runs on each floor to anticipate and address any specific needs as well as help set up traveling attorneys to maximize their experience at the site. The services team enhanced the program by proposing that a dedicated floor ambassador/ manager be assigned to supervise the program. This was approved by the firm and implemented with significantly positive results.

As a result of the quality of the team’s personnel, including their focus on client service and expertise in elevating office services delivery, the firm has been able to achieve its objective of enhancing the end-user experience. A performance management approach was also introduced that helped the firm better manage office services through metrics and track key performance indicators. The system allows the services team to track performance trends and more efficiently deploy resources to better manage the firm’s daily workflow needs. An example is rotating the floor ambassadors to different practice groups that are experiencing heavier activity. The metrics also better enable the firm evaluate the services team’s performance.

Another key advantage has been the creation of clear standards for implementing, managing and continually improving the firm’s office services. A national communications structure to share key information and best practices across the firm, and standard operating procedures for each site were developed.

The firm is committed to always striving to deliver the highest service experiences for both its clients and its legal and non-legal personnel. By implementing new, improved workflows and other approaches the services team demonstrated that it had the same vision for the firm.

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Ken Neal

Ken Neal

is a certified enterprise content management practitioner (ecmp) and director of corporate communications for Canon Business Process Services, a leader in managed services and technology.