Proclaim is an incredibly versatile piece of software, one only needs to look at Eclipse’s own website to gain a glimpse of the praise that is heaped upon the software. Not to mention it is the only CMS endorsed by the Law Society which is probably why over 24,000 professionals utilise it.However, that’s not to say everyone who uses proclaim is taking full advantage of what it offers, and below we go through 4 of the common mistakes we see people making.
1. Not Developing the System
An obvious one perhaps but not one that should be understated. Its surprising how many firms buy Proclaim and then fail to take full advantage of its feature set. Frequently we encounter firms who have adopted what is essentially a premium priced product and are using it for little more than mail merging documents together.That’s not to say pulling through case details into letters isn’t valuable, just ask anyone who’s tried to manually draft letters to all their clients. But the real power of Proclaim lies in its ability to streamline workflows and bring about true automation. With that pesky task that every fee earner in your firm spends an hour a day doing, I’m willing to put a very large wager that Proclaim could take care of it and free up your fee earners’ time, letting them generate fees rather than performing administrative tasks.
Struggling to find all the invoices at the end of case to bill a file? Let Proclaim take care of that instantly. Printing off a client’s medical report and posting it to them? Why not let Proclaim automatically print them out or better yet disclose them electronically and have the client’s response feed directly back into your system?
2. Not Using the Reporting Facilities
There’s no denying that Proclaim comes with some versatile stock reports. However, an area where many firms fall down is their ability to report on every facet of their operation. This can be absolutely crucial for successful management and forecasting. By way of example, from your current reports how many of you could answer the following?
- How many cases does fee earner X have where part 36 offers have been made this month?
- What is the percentage of cases that are successful from each source or type of work?
- What is the actual profit from each case after deduction of all overheads?
- Average length of time from inception of a case to its conclusion, and length of time before fees are received?
- How many cases do you possess over 3, 6, 9 and 12 months per case type?
The ability to access accurate information rapidly is essential for any business success. If you’re making decisions and projections based on little more than guess work you can only grow your business so far.
3. Storing Data Outside of Proclaim
On the face of it this might not seem like a huge mistake but it’s truly a cardinal sin. How many people know of that staff member who has their own personal spreadsheet detailing each of their cases that when open you’re fairly certain will trigger a migraine due to its questionable array of colours?Surely there’s no harm in letting a fee earners tally their own information up? True, but what happens to all that crucial information when the fee earner leaves or they lose the spreadsheet? This is not to mention the duplication of work that is often done. An extensively developed Proclaim system will not only give you all of this information but allow you to report on it and trigger actions.
Has it been 7 days since you chased a TP for an offer? Have Proclaim automatically email them or prompt the fee earner to review the file. Does the client need an update? If the current case positon was stored on Proclaim rather than in a spreadsheet you could automatically generate a letter or text message to the client with an update.
On top of these obvious benefits, your Proclaim database will have a full backup solution in place (I sincerely hope), your spreadsheet probably doesn’t. So, if efficiency and automation aren’t enough to convince you to store all of your data in your Proclaim system, hopefully the security risk in not doing so will convince you as to the folly of your ways.
4. Viewing Proclaim as an Isolated System
Whilst Proclaim is incredibly versatile, there’s no denying that there are some things that other applications just do better or with more ease. A lot of people don’t realise though that more often than not you can take advantage of Proclaim’s toolset to allow other applications to work in tandem.Do you prefer generating reports in SQL? Well use Proclaim’s MI Warehouse or an export routine to pull the data out of Proclaim into your platform of choice.
Need to manipulate the data and send it back into Proclaim? Well then use Proclaim’s web service functionality or an import routine.
If your staff spend a lot of time keying in data to both Proclaim and another application it’s almost a guaranteed certainty that this arduous task could be removed and both applications could work together seamlessly.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and we are certainly not suggesting that all firms are guilty of these mistakes, hopefully this will give you some reassurance that your using your system in the correct manner. If however, you find that your firm isn’t or would like to discuss other areas in which Proclaim could be developed to make your work life more pleasant don’t hesitate to contact us below.