Voice Recognition System Reduces Backlog at Newstead & Walker
• A successful, long-standing legal firm.
• The business is booming.
• Looking to embrace technology.
• Letter backlog.
• The letter turnaround times of up to three days.
• Letters now only take 15 minutes to prepare, down from an hour.
• New voice recognition system has cleared backlog.
About Newstead and Walker Solicitors
While it is important to maintain traditions – like delivering exceptional and attentive service – it’s equally important at times to embrace what’s new, not least if what’s new ensures traditions are not lost.
This is the approach taken at Newstead & Walker Solicitors, a legal firm based in Otley, West Yorkshire.
For over 200 years, it has become synonymous locally for providing excellent service.
They pride themselves on advising clients on commercial property, buying or selling residential property, litigation and dispute, resolution, family mediation, family, children and divorce, wills and estate planning.
Looking Ahead and Keeping Ahead
As part of its ongoing commitment to progress, the company has kept ahead of technologies designed to capture dictation.
Over time, tape-based recorders were replaced by digital voice recorders.
Today one product is playing a role helping Newstead & Walker Solicitors continue to deliver the calibre of service that its customers expect – Dragon voice recognition system.
Developed and published by Nuance Communications, Dragon is the world’s best-selling desktop voice recognition software.
It helps legal practitioners create documents, search the internet or compose and send emails, simply by using their voice.
Capable of transcribing up to 160 words per minute and offering accuracy rates of up to 99%, Dragon can drive a dramatic increase in a legal firm’s productivity.
Productivity is one of the key reasons Dragon is in use at Newstead & Walker Solicitors, as the firm’s Practice Manager agrees:
“We have even more clients than before, which is great for the firm of course. However, this only added to our letter backlog. We needed to find a way to deal with the backlog and the extra clients. All without the expenditure that comes from the increasing headcount.”Michaela Bruszniewsk
Backlogs Banished with Dragon
Part of the backlog dilemma was the process the firm formally used for creating documents.
The firm’s fee earners would dictate to their digital recorders and send the files to be transcribed.
It could take up to an hour for each letter to be typed up once it had made its way out of the backlog.
This resulted in letters being created up to three days after they were dictated.
Having decided that this situation was untenable, the firm looked to modern and proven speech recognition as an effective alternative.
As Michaela explains: “One of the managing partners had seen a demo of Dragon some years back and we knew we had to move with the times and that things were moving on from digital dictation.
“We wanted to see how much potential speech recognition had in terms of unlocking productivity.”Michaela Bruszniewsk
To that end, Newstead & Walker Solicitors met with VoicePower. They have been supplying speech recognition solutions and dictation products for more than 20 years.
“The training was very good indeed and we were impressed by VoicePower. It was conducted in two stages, over two half days.”Michaela Bruszniewsk
Michaela explained: “VoicePower then came back again after a few weeks to see how we were getting on with Dragon.”
A further licence for Dragon was purchased this year, bringing the total number of users to eight. After a gradual roll-out to enable the company’s long-serving secretaries to become familiar with Notifier.
VoicePower’s bespoke software that enables the secretaries to seamlessly manage the transcriptions created by the fee earners.
Michaela states that today Dragon is working well with its case management system.
While one of the four partners equipped with Dragon chose to take advantage of the extra flexibility provided by using the wireless microphone option. This enables the partner to keep dictating within a certain distance while away from their desk.
Meaning that searching for paper-based files or grabbing a coffee doesn’t hamper their productivity.
Dragon Delivers – Voice Recognition System is Success
Now that Dragon is an integral part of the document workflow at Newstead & Walker Solicitors. Michaela is in a position to reflect on the changes it has made.
“The secretaries love it, thanks to Dragon managing the transcription. Now, they simply copy and paste the text into the right document template.”
“Dragon helped to completely clear the backlog. The time it takes to create a letter is down from one hour to approximately 15 minutes.”
It has been well received by the company’s fee earners too. Michaela explains: “It’s very easy to use when transcribing dictation. A further benefit they are enjoying is that Dragon enables them to dictate and send emails, and given that much more correspondence these days is via email, that capability is another bonus.”
In this case, emails are automatically tagged to the firm’s case management system.
Of the three things that have most impressed her about Dragon, Michaela includes the tangible boost it has given to users’ productivity, its accuracy and ease of use.
When asked whether she would recommend Dragon voice recognition system to other legal professionals, Michaela stated:
“Yes. Everybody’s work is so much better when using Dragon.”
Michaela also confirms when it comes to the training and installation of Dragon, there is only one company she would recommend:
“VoicePower. They are excellent and they have always been there for us.”
If you’d like to explore the option for speech technology within your business, we’d love to have a chat.