Document Processing Outsourcing: A Way to Do More with Less?

While Document Processing (Word Processing) has long been an outsourcing option for law firms, Mattern & Associates has seen an increased interest in the platform. Law firms continue to strive for efficiency, and the quest to do more with less is driving firms to address their back and middle office operations.  If done correctly, outsourcing allows firms access to a proficient staff, expanded service hours, overflow support, and the
ability to meet fluctuating levels of need.

Choosing whether an outsourced Document Processing operation is right for your firm depends on various criteria. Cost saving is not the only driving factor, although savings can be achieved via the consolidation of locations into a single Center of Excellence (seen in lower cost labor market). While some firms have executed this internally, others select to partner with a provider that has successfully built out the facility and implemented a proven workflow. These benefits include access to trained staff tasked with staying abreast of industry trends, expanded service hours including after-hours and weekend coverage (without overtime pay), and the ability to adjust staffing levels according to current needs.

Moving to an outsourced model can feel like a leap of faith, but there are processes that help increase comfort level.  First, some providers allow for a transactional overflow model, in which firms use their own internal operation, while accessing workflow with a partner for other needs. This allows the firm to utilize outsourcing, while retaining control of mainline operation. Once comfortable with the workflow, firms can choose to off-load more work or completely immerse themselves in the outsourcing model.

For those that make the shift to an outsourced operation, if the implementation is done correctly, they should find a seamless transition of the off-site operation to an extension of the firm. Employees are dedicated to working for a single firm, provided a secure office space within the service provider
location, and even remote into firm infrastructure for working on documents. Essentially, the operation becomes another “city office” without the firm sinking investment into a new location.

While not the right fit for every firm, Mattern & Associates believes the outsourcing of Document Processing will continue to gain traction.  For those firms that embrace the outsourcing of other back and middle office functions, this is a logical next step in successfully increasing  services while reducing costs.