Epping Forest District Council Case Management & Time Recording
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01 Sep Epping Forest District Council Case Management & Time Recording

Using Timebase with Workflow and Case Management to improve efficiencies

In the legal industry, where time is precious and efficiency is crucial, it is perhaps no surprise that when a new tool is developed to ensure improved processes, businesses snap up the product before it even hits the shelves.

Epping Forest District Council were the very first to order Timebase Case Management, and had put pen to paper even before the package was complete.

Nine months on and legal officer Fareeza Sheikh says it has made a difference to the way the department operates by keeping track of day-to-day activities and giving access to each individual’s daily tasks, automating office routines and speeding up departmental communication.

Key features include reports on ongoing work. All relevant work is attached and personal notes can be added to each project, meaning anyone can step in at any time and can take ownership without having to dig through paperwork.

Fareeza said the diary section, which details when individuals are in or out of the office, saves having to hop from desk to desk looking through each person’s diary before making any arrangements. This is at present being used by a handful of staff and she hopes to have it rolled out to the rest of the staff in the coming months.

The control of access is another key component which set the system apart. Not only are there sections with restricted admission, for use when confidentiality is important, but there are other sections which any member of the team can access at any time. This previously had required the go-ahead from an administrator. Now there’s no need for the middle-man because of the advanced security set-up.

And better still, the software is so straight-forward that everyone has been able to make use of it, for the purpose of time recording. At present a number of staff use the full system and Fareeza hopes to have it rolled out to the rest in the next few months.

“We looked into a number of options before committing to purchase,” said Fareeza. “One thing that stood out above the rest was how easy Timebase Case Management was to use. Some of the other systems on the market were far too complex for what we wanted to use them for. We didn’t want the new system to make life more difficult, but one which would meet our requirements and allow us to use our own documents.”

Epping Forest District Council were already usingTimebase, its predecessor.

“We’d been working with Timebase for a while, and though it was a great tool, it was time for us to step up to something with more capabilities. Tricostar’s Legal solution hadn’t yet been launched so we looked around at the other systems on the market. But after we got in touch with Tricostar they told us about the next idea they had in development,” said Fareeza.

“We saw a trial system in operation and, after discussions with my colleagues and with the IT department, we agreed it had the potential to be the best option.” After working with Tricostar to build a system tailored to their needs, the Council installedCase Management in March 2005, shortly after it was unveiled at the Legal IT show in London.

“Having used a Tricostar product before, we knew what kind of reliability and support we could expect, and we trusted them to produce a quality product. The result will be everything we had hoped it would be, with a few additional extras once the system is fully operational.

Thee system is now at full capacity and development of the tailored system is ongoing as the processes and requirements of the business change. Fareeza says that the system is playing a key role saving her department time and money and making for a more efficient operation as a whole.