Aderant case study: Reynolds Porter Chamberlain improves efficiency and usability with time management software
Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC), a modern, progressive, and commercially-oriented law firm with offices in the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore and more than 400 fee earners, gained real efficiencies several years ago when it began using a time management system, Carpe Diem. With limited enhancements to Carpe Diem in recent years, RPC began looking at new time entry solutions.
RPC wanted a solution that would meet the firm’s growth, was an enterprise solution, and was scalable. More importantly, the software should be easily integrated with their existing financial management system. A key focus for RPC was usability; simple and rapid capture of time. All lawyers at RPC enter their own time – a mandate across the entire firm. Their fee earners were diligent users of Carpe Diem’s Time Capture system, and the majority of them used Timers on a regular basis. RPC could not sacrifice usability and risk losing time entries. After looking at several products, they realized Aderant Expert 8.0 Time Management offered all of this and more.
In 2012, being an Early Adopter of Expert Time Management, a pilot group of fee earners at RPC tested the product to ensure functionality and usability, which resulted in the product being enhanced. The implementation of Expert Time Management by RPC’s internal IT team went smoothly, with no technical difficulties. In addition to the ease of adapting and configuring the software, Expert Time Management provided the functionality RPC was looking for in a time management system upgrade. The decision, made by their lawyer IT forum and pilot group, became a clear one. The final approval was given to move forward with a firm-wide rollout. The firm’s partners fully supported the move to Expert Time Management.
The firm implemented Expert Time Management throughout the entire firm along with their Windows 7 and Microsoft 2010 implementation initiative over the course of a month in July/August 2012. RPC determined that hands-on training was not required, and therefore complete training was offered using the firm’s e-learning program. The application had an impressive 87% adoption rate at launch. Expert Time Management is now the firm’s core time management application.
Expert Time Management allows fee earners at RPC to input their time entries from their desktops or laptops. Communication through the database is rapid, and the time management information is accessible to lawyers anywhere, at any time, either natively or through their Citrix connection. When time entries are submitted or modified, fee earners can immediately view their updated time statistics and other key totals throughout the program. The Timers within Expert Time Management are utilized by a majority of fee earners. Various options allow users to tailor the experience to their own personal preferences. This includes multiple Timer views, temporary matter names, most recently used lists, expansion codes, and more.
In addition, Expert Time Management offers a full time management suite that is already integrated with Aderant Expert and has a clean interface that is simple and easy to use. Expert Time Management offers features not available in Carpe Diem, including the ability to adjust time and narratives after posting, unique searching facilities, draft time entries, real-time access to time entry information, and more. Equally important, Expert Time Management is cost efficient, improves productivity, and upgrades are seamless and easy.
By switching to Expert Time Management, the firm will be able to utilize Aderant’s Found Time application, a product that helps fee earners reconstruct their day by recording time spent on emails, documents, telephone calls, and more. Found Time was important in the overall decision making process for Expert Time Management. RPC wants to provide tools that individuals find easy to use so that they can maximize time capture and improve the overall accuracy of the time that is captured. The firm will begin evaluating Found Time in early 2013.
Now that the firm has implemented Expert Time Management, the accuracy and efficiency of billable time entry has increased. Time entries can be submitted and then immediately posted and billed if required. With Expert Time Management there are no longer any third party interfaces to administer, monitor, or manage, lowering the total IT investment for the firm.
In their words
“Set expectations up front,” offers Julie Berry, IT Director at RPC. “Firms considering a similar implementation project should recognize that lawyers are passionate on time recording, and you need to engage them early in the process,” advises Berry. “You won’t get their buy-in if they don’t understand the process and see the benefits.”