Technology at the heart of JCP Solicitors growth strategy
Law firm JCP Solicitors has grown from a single office in the centre of Swansea to become one of the top 100 companies in South West Wales, in just over 25 years.
This thoroughly modern law firm became a limited company in 2015 and currently has 24 Directors, approximately 160 staff across offices in Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Fishguard and St Davids.
JCP offers a wide range of legal services, including traditional services for individuals, businesses and property. The firm specialises in sectors such as agriculture and healthcare, and has developed into niche areas such as professional negligence and catastrophic brain injury.
Growth on the agenda
In recent years JCP has undertaken a series of mergers with smaller regional law firms to deliver the growth planned by CEO Hayley Davies and the senior management team.
They recognised from the start of the implementation of the growth strategy that technology would play an increasingly important role in delivering high quality legal services.
Entrepreneurial in its approach, JCP identifies merger targets, ties up the deal within 3 months and expects to integrate them into the business within 8-10 weeks, ensuring all users share the same IT network, infrastructure and phone system within that time. A challenge for Quiss and our engineers, but one for which we have spent years preparing.
Nurture and train to gain
JCP believes strongly in nurturing the talent within the business, with tailored training programmes helping every individual receive the IT training they need to improve their confidence and productivity.
Bringing new starters up to speed quickly with the practice management software and new Microsoft Office products is vital in maintaining the firm’s high quality service.
The management team quickly appreciated the advantage of an external training provider that would deliver a consistent message, not shaped by particular trends in the business. Making the most of Quiss’ training services also ensures JCP’s users feel confident to ask any question, however simple it may appear, without fear of ridicule from managers or colleagues.
Continuous and relevant training is so critical to JCP’s success, it now forms part of every individual’s appraisal – just one more reason for the longevity of careers. Cyber-security is a big issue for law firms and in-depth security training is now part of everyone’s calendar, as important as the need to monitor and address external threats to the network.
Outsourcing introduces greater expertise
With each new generation of solicitors expecting availability of systems and data anywhere, anytime with any device, JCP’s senior management team paid particular attention to improving the firm’s IT infrastructure, support for users and the time taken to resolve issues.
This led to the decision to outsource responsibility for the firm’s IT to Quiss Technology back in 2008, which allowed for more projects to be undertaken at the same time, than would have been possible with just an internal IT team.
When required we can introduce specialist expertise for short periods that few businesses could afford on a permanent basis. This helps deliver the experienced consultancy that ensures IT is an enabler for growth, not a stumbling block.
This second support contract with JCP Solicitors, is now a 5-year agreement instead of the original 4-year term and it is many years since we upgraded their IT infrastructure. In the intervening years, we have concentrated on keeping all users online, anywhere, anytime with any device and supported the firm through its many mergers.
The IT challenge when law firms merge
The merger process typically leaves us with 6-8 weeks to integrate the two firms with users sharing the same IT network, infrastructure and converged telephony solution. The time we are allowed to ensure everything works is getting shorter, which stands testament to the confidence the JCP management team has in our abilities and our resources.
As part of the comprehensive Qworks managed service solution, JCP has access to a wide range of services, including unlimited access to our 35-strong support team of Helpdesk, Field Service Engineers, Network Support Engineers and Logistics Team.
Access to our training team ensures users receive specialist training on both their practice management software and all the standard Microsoft desktop applications.
Importantly for this ambitious business, our support offers unlimited consultancy and project management, which has proved particularly useful as JCP sought to increase productivity and efficiency.
Train the trainers
As part of the original support agreement, Quiss helped JCP through the process of assessing and implementing the ILE legal case management software. When the firm’s users were shown how ILE worked and how to get the best from it, the training team from Quiss sat in on the sessions, which ensured they would be ready to deliver future training for new users.
It is this confidence in our consultancy service that has ensured the JCP management team has been able to undertake a number of significant projects to enhance the service the business can deliver to its clients, including: a comprehensive print management solution; a BigHand digital dictation workflow system; transition to a converged telephony solution.
There is no doubting that throughout the relationship there have been minor problems, but as JCP Solicitors’ CEO Hayley Davies comments: “Receiving such a high level of service from Quiss and remarkable first-fix rates from the helpdesk engineers over a sustained period, makes it easy to forget just how much better the service is than when we relied solely on an in-house IT team.
“Our team did not have the resources or expertise that might only be needed for a few weeks a year, to ensure a project can be delivered quickly and easily.
“Quiss has given us the confidence to pursue projects that through the application of new technology, will deliver ever greater efficiency and productivity, allowing us to improve the service we deliver to our growing client base.”
The management team at JCP admit the decision to outsource the entire IT function was not one taken lightly, but one they recognise has played a significant role in their continued growth and current success.
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