Survey Says! Law Firm Efficiency Drives Bottom-Line Success

by Alexa Drago on November 16, 2017

By Doug Striker

The 2017 Aderant “Business of Law and Legal Technology” Survey recently came out and it was fascinating. One of its top findings? Efficiency is key to success in an ever-competitive marketplace. (Hey wait… hasn’t someone you know been saying that for a long time? Oh yeah… me!)

In fact, the first finding in the Executive Report states:

“Law firm efficiency and agility top of mind.

While most business of law professionals say that the performance of legal business this year is about the same as last year, 36% said things were better or much better. Respondents indicated the top challenges facing law firms today are 1) pricing pressure, 2) improving operational efficiency, 3) winning new business, 4) growing more business from existing customers, and 5) improving law firm agility and adaptability.”

Just down the same page, the report states:

“Operational efficiency is both a challenge and opportunity.

While most firms cite operational efficiency as a top challenge, many also see it as an opportunity to get ahead. Nearly three-quarters (74%) say automating manual tasks is the technology concept with the greatest upside. The top technology tools that deliver the most benefit for law firms include 1) document management, 2) financial applications and ERP, 3) business intelligence, 4) matter pricing and planning, and 5) case management.”

My take-aways from this survey:

  1. If efficiency is among in the top concerns for law firms, and…
  2. Document management tools are deemed the top technology to deliver more efficiency, then…
  3. Training employees and staff to use that tool to its maximum potential will…
  4. Deliver even greater firm-wide efficiency, which leads to…
  5. Less wasted time
  6. More satisfied clients
  7. Marketplace differentiation
  8. Improved bottom line

You May Have an Amazing DMS but Can Your People Use It?

Just because your firm purchases a top-notch document management technology, such as NetDocuments, does not mean your people will know how to use it properly. That, of course, leads to a loss of efficiency (and mistakes!).

For example, we can all agree that Smart Boards have been an amazing addition to our children’s classrooms, but when teachers don’t know how to use them, they’re just expensive furniture. And we’ve all seen the teacher who refuses to use his or her Smart Board – students and parents expect more today.

As do law firm clients.

In order to use your fancy tools properly, you need to offer and maintain a training program that not only launches people for success at the outset, but helps them to keep advancing their skills as their needs unfold. Then, of course, that tool will be updated by its manufacturer on a regular basis and you need to stay on top of its new-and-improved capabilities.

For example, NetDocuments is a company that continuously listens to its clients and launches updates to improve user experience. Your firm needs a way to anticipate those changes and train people to use them.

The best solution to that challenge is to find a training partner whose entire job is to keep your firm working with its current tools at maximum capacity, and to help you anticipate and embrace the changes that are coming your way.


Doug Striker is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Savvy Training & Consulting, a provider of legal software training solutions. As a former Chief Operating Officer of a prominent law firm, he specializes in helping firms acquire the software platforms they need, training staff for maximum workflow efficiency, and enhancing continuity and bottom-line results. 


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