The power of productivity – managing content for success

In our power of productivity series, we have looked at the challenges faced by lawyers to maintain productivity in an ever–competitive market, technologies available for capture and conversion of data on the go and harnessing the power of AI to get you ahead of the pack in your production.

In this edition, we delve into transcription workflow management platforms and the dramatic improvements in productivity and significant cost savings that can be achieved by choosing the right solution.

The Australian Government Productivity Commission made several interesting findings in their Productivity Insights report published in March 2020 about Australia becoming a productivity leader, which included:

  1. Australia is a high–income country, with the 12th highest average income in the Organisation for Economic Co–operation and Development (OECD). This is partly due to Australians working harder, with the 5th highest hours worked per capita in the OECD. This is driven by high labour force participation rates and hours worked per employee relative to our OECD peers, which in part reflects an absence of recession for 28 consecutive years.
  2. When it comes to working smarter — measured by our labour productivity level or GDP per hour worked — Australia’s productivity is middling, sitting at 16th among the OECD.
  3. Estimates suggest the Australian service industries are between 20% and 60% less productive than the same industries in the United States.
  4. Management capability is critical in facilitating innovation, but Australian businesses tend to perform poorly in this area, particularly in harnessing the benefits of digital technologies.

These findings appear to be particularly true when looking at the experience of law firms who have traditionally been slow in the uptake of digital technologies across the board. A great example of this is that law firms produce thousands upon thousands of documents every single week through a combination of author typed and author dictated inputs. Most of these are either typed by the author or typed by a typist from direct or recorded dictation.

Without technology, the process is reliant on several factors to work efficiently, including people being in the same physical environment, the author using dedicated dictation hardware, and typists using dedicated transcription software and/or hardware. Further, data files need to be downloaded, transferred or saved directly into a document management system securely. All the disparate steps require integration between multiple products, many of which require onsite presence of the labour.

Lawyers will often have numerous documents across various matters in differing stages of production at any one point in time. However, many firms have no formal or integrated workflow system to manage this volume of documentation effectively and securely.

There are however a limited number of solutions that provide a fully integrated and seamless content capture and document creation systems. These advanced workflow solutions can demonstrably increase efficiency, provide clarity and precision to the data intake and the production of legal work – all in a secure and reliable environment. These systems consolidate the input, management of documentation and accelerate and optimise transcription workflows consistently and economically. The outcomes delivered to legal professionals improve productivity and profitability and – most importantly – gives them time back in their day.

The market leading vendors provide solutions with the ability to:

  • Reduce turnaround time for lengthy, multi–channel recordings by splitting audio into segments, distributing to multiple typists, then seamlessly reintegrate those segments into complete, accurate documents
  • Take advantage of simultaneous voice and text playback, customisation tools, and flexible templates to automate and speed your transcription processes by 30% or more
  • Use flexible, customisable priority routing rules, load balancers, content and delivery templates, billing profiles, and document formatting features to meet the clients’ specific needs
  • Leverage multiple, industry–proven protections to secure and manage access to your confidential data

These types of systems enable lawyers to work smarter and drive productivity that is otherwise holding law firms back. Firms with progressive management teams have identified that it is critical for their firms to harness the benefits of available and emerging technologies, particularly in circumstances where the labour market is becoming increasingly demand driven.

Legal professionals are facing ever–increasing workloads, greater administrative demands and increased expectations on quality and turnaround time for their work. Over recent years there have been significant advances in law firm practice and document management systems, ancillary software, mobile access to files, the digitisation of research resources and online access to court files. However, it all still relies heavily on the manual input of data and content.

Savvy firms looking to create greater productivity and a competitive edge are well serviced by a suite of information capture and document creation tools that is underpinned by a workflow management tool. End–to–end providers help eliminate the risks from using disparate software tools to manage documentation.

This concludes our 4–part series highlighting how current and emerging technologies provide a range of solutions that can accelerate the creation of typed content, and in doing so reduce complexity and costs of the process of creating that content all in a secure environment.

This sponsored content article represents the views of the sponsor and does not necessarily reflect the views of Queensland Law Society

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