Serving an energy company with operations spanning the globe, this very large legal group labored under an in-house matter management system that had been developed internally and built on an outdated platform using a Microsoft Access® database. The legal department considered the system reporting to be unreliable, which prevented staff from effectively analyzing and controlling costs and other matter-related details. In addition, the system did not provide electronic invoicing – a crucial component of efficient legal enterprise management.
The Kiersted team meticulously reviewed the client’s existing system and concluded that a full system replacement was required. To help the company select and implement a product that would fit their specific needs, Kiersted’s consultants served in a leadership role on the in-house selection committee, conducted product research and arranged demos by selected vendors. Kiersted created scorecards that reflected ‘must-haves’ and ‘wish lists’ identified by legal staff. Based on scorecard tabulations, the committee selected the final product.
The Kiersted project team took charge of managing and executing all implementation tasks including hardware acquisition, system design, data conversion, rule writing, SAP interface designs, report universe design and report writing.
A significant portion of the design process included reviewing and streamlining the legal department’s financial processes and reporting needs. Kiersted researched each field in the previous system and then added, combined, or deleted any fields that were causing report errors.
Kiersted team members collaborated with representatives from every division within the large legal department to ensure that the final system design would meet all the extensive and divergent needs. Additionally, Kiersted integrated data and design requirements presented by two other legal departments within companies that the client acquired during this period.
- Streamlined Workflow
The solution fully integrated the data from all three pre-existing systems into a single new system that automates processes and enforces corporate standards. One system now handles all legal management requirements. Electronic workflow eliminates labor-intensive, paper-based processes, providing accurate and consistent information and complete transparency surrounding expenditures.
- Cost Savings
Automated features of electronic billing identify billing errors and enable cross-departmental tracking which helps the department negotiate better prices from legal service providers. The new workflow greatly improves transactional efficiency through reduced processing cycle times, translating into early payment discounts. In addition the client is sensitive to its image as a steward of the environment and welcomes elimination of paper, particularly invoices, as one of its many ‘green’ initiatives.
- Fast and Flexible Reporting
A solid foundation of accurate data has brought long-awaited benefits of timely and accurate management reporting. The new report writer empowers department members to generate reports that precisely meet their needs, reducing dependency on systems’ staff. Minimal training equips attorneys at all levels to search the application for accurate, real-time information. The ability to drill down to the granular level provides executives with easier access to information that is complete, enabling quicker analysis for better decisions.
- Global Collaboration
Kiersted implemented technology that allows secure remote access from any computer with Internet access – an important capability for team members located in countries that span various time zones. A core repository for legal knowledge that is trustworthy, complete and instantly available is an essential component for effective collaboration. This project demonstrates that the right technology, properly implemented, is a valuable asset in meeting the complex legal challenges of a global energy corporation.
This major energy client has ongoing requirements and maintains a continuing list of project priorities that are reviewed and addressed on a regular basis. Kiersted has become a standard part of that review process and serves on the client team that implements new projects.