Scaling operations delivers growth objectives - £4m over two years
Sectors: Conveyancing Industry: Legal
About the client
Our client is a legal firm specialising in high volume Conveyancing case management for house sale and purchase transactions. With offices in London and across the Southeast, it has been operating for over 25 years and steadily grown organically and through numerous mergers, incorporating several established practices into the portfolio.
Following the takeover by Private Equity in 2019, the firm set out a plan to grow at scale over the next three years. However, as demand increased, it was identified that scaling operations, through recruiting more staff and implementing a new case management system, would not deliver the growth objectives the partners and investors were looking for.
The project scope included all functions and processes across all offices. The objective was to use our diagnostic service across people, processes and technology, to identify and recommend solutions to overcome constraints to growth.
Time Consulting Group has helped us to discover and implement significant efficiency improvements across our organisation. They have helped us develop an improvement roadmap for the organisation and have been instrumental in leading our culture change. The team alone could not have reached the depth of detail Time Consulting Group has achieved.
Discovery and diagnostic
Constraints to growth across processes, people and technology were identified by observing and recording conveyancing sales and purchase tasks being performed. Case input demand was analysed and segmented by case complexity, volumes and seasonal trends.
Resource planning and work allocation methods were assessed to establish if work was being allocated to the right person, with the right skills, at the right time.
To determine how much paid time was being spent on value adding and non-value adding tasks, several work studies were performed. The work studies allowed each task to be broken down to micro steps at the key stroke level, allowing us to create a waterfall chart to show where labour time was being consumed.
A further work study was applied to the case management system and connected technologies to identify where new technologies could be introduced to add value, and where outdated systems could be replaced with more streamlined, robust and automated processes.
Partners and solicitors were consuming over 50% of their time on low-skill tasks
More cumulative time was being spent on post than on team development
Two case management systems were being used
Lack of financial, people, customer and process level measures
45 improvements relating to client onboarding were identified
Lack of multi-skilling was causing bottlenecks and sub-optimal case completion rates
Holidays were not controlled, impacting output at peak times
Lack of career development was causing high staff attrition
Paper-based processes meant remote working wasn’t practical
Poor leadership, comms and low morale fuelled a lack of employee engagement
Design, implementation and transformation
After analysing the performance across the business, we ran a series of innovation workshops with the partners, solicitors, subject matter experts and support staff. We created a detailed three-year value creation plan (VCP). The VCP provided a clear set of deliverables including the steps required to move to a new operating model. VCP outcomes included increased capacity, improved staff morale and engagement, increased customer service and increased case output per person.
Key project work streams:
The adoption of one case management system
Team and individual performance management
Contract completions task removal
Using email templates to improve communication and time to type
Automating 3rd party document retrieval
Post and scanning taking up too much time
New operating model implementation
Managers now focus on four areas to build high performing teams:
- Developing people
- Setting and steering direction
- Improving systems and processes
- Gathering and sharing information
Case managers are no longer spending 50% of their time on management communications, and there is a more proactive approach to cases which means a better customer experience.
Teams are more engaged, processes are more efficient, and there is a clear plan for ongoing improvement.
Significant efficiency improvements
Improvement roadmap developed
Moved to online system
Partner resistance to change overcome
Improved customer service, compliance, staff utilisation and morale
Client onboarding time reduced from days to minutes
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