Tikit case study: A template for success
RadcliffesLeBrasseur is a leading UK-based law firm providing business, regulatory, not-for-profit and private legal advice from offices in London, Leeds and Cardiff.
The law firm was undergoing a major upgrade of its document management system. As part of this, it was updating its Office word processing software and decided to take the opportunity to refresh the system that enabled it to create the templates it needed to do business. These ranged from standard documents – letters, memos and attendance notes – through to specialist legal documents, marketing collateral such as name badges, mailshot letterheads and accounts document templates.
Previously, all of the firm’s templates had been built within Word using macros. The templates had become quite outdated and, as a result, were hard to manage. The process of editing and changing the templates was complex and required specialist knowledge to write the macros. Only the head of IT knew how to edit the macros, so if he was not available that created a major bottleneck.
Quick facts about case study
1. Rapid deployment of document templates frees up IT professionals to concentrate on other strategic areas within the law firm.
2. Tikit’s TMS solution underpins consistent document production, sharpening up the look and feel of the corporate brand.
3. Templates are intuitive and easy to use, with minimal training requirement.
RadcliffesLeBrasseur decided to implement Tikit TMS Template Management System. The firm had used Tikit’s time recording system successfully for many years, so it knew it could rely on Tikit solutions. The training requirement was minimal as Tikit TMS is highly intuitive for anyone with a basic knowledge of Word. Now the IT team can put in place any newtemplates or edits to old templateswithin a matter of minutes.
As the firm was switching to the 2013 version of Word as well as making changes to template provision it was particularly important to make sure that the new software felt familiar and easy-touse for staff. The IT team at RadcliffesLeBrasseur worked with Tikit to customise the tab interface of the document templates, so that staff were presented with all the document creation templates they were familiar with and this very much smoothed the transition process.
The new templates allow staff to see how the document they are creating is looking as they work on it. This is very much an improvement on the previousincarnation, whereby people wouldpopulate text boxes and then see thecompleted template only at the end ofthat process. At that point, they mightspot that they had introduced an errorand they would have to go back to thetemplate production process. Now, staff can input text directly into thedocument they are creating and edit itand tweak it as they go.
As part of the rollout of Tikit TMS, RadcliffesLeBrasseur reviewed all thetemplate types that were held in the previous document managementsystem. It reproduced these templates in the new format and then invited to admin staff, to review the new templates and make any comments, right down to the font and size of text, the placement of text and the signature strip at the base of legal documents. As well as transferring templates like-for-like from the old system, RadcliffesLeBrasseur is taking the opportunity to produce new templates that could save time and effort in future.
The implementation phase of the project saw a seamless deployment. Tikit demonstrated professional engagement with deep understanding of templates and willingness to consult in depth on the templates the firm needs. Since completion of the implementation, there has been no requirement for support calls or any remedial work – the solution just works.
It is now very much easier to create new templates. When changes are made to templates, within minutes they may be published throughout the firm and everyone has access to them. When the firm recently moved offices, it was quick and easy to roll out document templates containing the new address within minutes. Then the change was published throughout the firm. This may be carried out at any time of day – it is not necessary to make the change out of hours when the system is down. The next time each member of staff logged on to their PC, the new template was available for them to use.
Over time, staff had created their own templates and multiple variations of similar templates had evolved. There was a lack of consistency in ‘look and feel’ across the firm’s documentation. Now, consistent, up-to-date document templates are held centrally for everyone to use. In the past, clients might have been dealing with different departments of the law firm on different matters. Documentation from each department would differ slightly and there was inconsistency in the firm’s branding.
This has been replaced with a coherent look and feel across all the firm’s documentation.When members of staff work at home, they can access the templates through the firm’s Citrix implementation that enables remote access to the firm’s systems and data.
Across the firm, lawyers and support staff now have the opportunity to identify new templates that would help them work more efficiently. The IT team can turn around these requests within minutes now, so staff are increasingly likely to request new templates that can really support their business processes.
Previously, the IT team spent a lot of time creating and editing templates – time that would have been better spent adding value to the firm’s activities. Now the template creation overhead is removed, the IT team is far more productive.
Like most law firms, RadcliffesLeBrasseur was under pressure to do more with limited resources.
Removing the headache of template creation and management has enabled the small IT team to get on with the job of supporting almost 200 staff across three sites and to add real value to the firm’s services.