Eyes on LAO
Posted on: Wednesday, May 7 /08
Lawyer Services and Payments (LSP) has discovered several ways to improve their department in line with the IMPAC Management Strategy and the Value Agenda.
LSP's Paperless 2 Project has led to productivity gains, significant cost savings by using less paper, less physical file storage requirements, more effective information management and -- most importantly -- improved service to the Bar.
LSP is now six months into the paperless project. After creating a small committee to engage the department, and recruiting a mapping expert, Nick Roller, QSO, and help from IT, LSP focused on how the department operates on a fundamental level and mapped its paper flow processes.
Process mapping helped LSP identify the sources and quantity of paper and information flowing into the department. By brainstorming, examining different options and implementing changes, LSP has created more efficient, cost effective routing and storage of information. For example, a simple process for converting and storing faxes to an electronic file system (EZ Docs) saves the department a great deal of paper and time - it's much quicker to locate an e-version of a fax filed in an electronic folder and to email a link to the soft copy to the appropriate staff member than to store and find a paper version. These new approaches make the most of modern paperless technology; scanning, converting to Portable Document Format (PDF), e-filing and e-mail.
As well as using process mapping to identify and reduce paper, LSP also found mapping a helpful tool for evaluating and charting process improvement and performance measurement.
Re-mapping over older process maps helps measure how much improvement has been made. For example, LSP has discovered that the relatively simple concept of processing faxes electronically has not only saved a significant amount of paper - thousands of pieces are no longer used - but one full-time payables representative's time has been freed up to handle other assignments.
All of this enables LSP to provide a more green, cost-effective and efficient service to the Bar and greater value to taxpayers.