Legal firm Sparke Helmore Lawyers has credited a 14-week software development effort for winning a major Westpac contract and improving its own efficiency.
The project commenced last March in response to a requirement written into a Westpac property management tender.
Sparke Helmore’s chief information officer Peter Campbell led an effort to build a case management, workflow and document generation system for managing property leasing matters.
The system includes a customer-facing web portal that gives Westpac greater visibility over its leasing portfolio and allows it to submit instructions and reports to Sparke Helmore and its property provider.
Five internal IT staff at Sparke Helmore delivered the document automation coding, forms design and data, applications and web services integration, with the help of a consultant and web design company for the portal’s user interface.
“We analysed, developed and implemented a workflow and document generation system with 13 workflows, 25 screens and 70 documents along with a completely functional secure web portal in 14 weeks from a standing start,” Campbell told iTnews.
“This has made the management of leasing for all three parties more efficient and has also reduced the need for our clients to call us and ask for progress updates on their leasing matters.
“The best endorsement of this is winning the entire portfolio of matters from another law firm – a significant new revenue stream for [our] firm – and having a truly happy client.”
Campbell declined to disclose the value of the three-year deal but noted that development costs were recovered in less than four months.
He credited the IT team’s relationship with the business for the project’s timely delivery, with the team working closely with lawyers and Westpac’s property manager to determine system requirements.
Internal users, including Sparke Helmore lawyers and administration staff, were also involved in process improvement discussions.
“We have a good relationship with senior stakeholders in the firm who see us as not only as efficient and effective service providers but as partners of the business who help them win work and deliver it more efficiently,” Campbell said.
“Beyond keeping the core systems running effectively, the firm invests a significant part of our IT spend into business process improvement projects.
“The IT team are directly engaged with the business at all levels and work with them to secure new business, manage the transition in and deliver tangible continuous improvement.”
This project was submitted to the iTnews Benchmark Awards 2012.