Carrick Read Solicitors specialises in commercial law, insolvency and debt recovery, and has established itself as one of the leading firms in the ‘northern legal capital’ of Leeds.
Carrick Read Insolvency Debt Recovery is the specialist arm of the practice providing legal and technical advice to insolvency practitioners and creditors. The debt recovery team provides services to large and small commercial entities, institutional lenders, service professionals and local authorities on a nationwide basis.
The team implemented Eclipse’s Proclaim case management software system in early 2006; Steve Bailey, Debt Recovery Manager, talks us through the selection process and ongoing usage.
How was the initial system selection made?
At the time, we had reached something of a watershed with our incumbent system. We had been successful in winning a good number of new clients and caseloads, and this necessitated some changes to the software to take into account new processes and client preferences. It became clear that not only was our current software inflexible in terms of its ability to accept ‘on the fly’ changes, but also the support service from our vendor was not matching up to our expectations.
We viewed presentations from several case management software providers, and Eclipse’s approach immediately struck a chord with us. The Proclaim system immediately looked very intuitive, and the inclusion of a system toolkit meant that we would be free to tailor the system internally on an ongoing basis. Eclipse’s willingness to bespoke the system for us pre-delivery was the final element which tipped the scales!
What day-to-day benefits do you see from the system?
The one overriding benefit is Proclaim’s ease of use. For example, if we have new or temporary staff joining us, they have no trouble getting to grips with the system and its case progression tools. The interface is clear, and Proclaim’s structure is blissfully logical. With pretty much every other system I’ve used there is always a steep learning curve, which means huge chunks of time are wasted when initially introducing the system to new users.
In addition to this, my staff find it of great value to be able to manage all case-centric tasks through the system. They don’t have to keep hopping in and out of programs to move caseloads forward – Proclaim provides one central desktop tool to cater for every action they need.
To what degree have you tailored Proclaim in line with your particular needs?
The system we have is very bespoke to our needs, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I have a technical background, and in my experience it tends to be the case that business software is ‘hard-wired’. When changes are required, it necessitates a meeting with the vendor, a lengthy wait, and then a large bill at the end of it all.
Not so with Proclaim – when it was first implemented here at Carrick Read, Eclipse offered to deliver the initial system in line with our own unique requirements and spent time with us to create the system we wanted in terms of billing requirements, claim forms, etc. The initial assistance and training we received has enabled us to carry out our own system changes ever since, which is a huge benefit. For example, it has allowed us to create an entirely new case management routine for a particular key client, and a new business process for uninsured loss. This is fantastic for business development and building strong client relationships.
How does Proclaim fit in with Carrick Read’s overall strategy?
Our primary ethos is recovering client monies quickly and efficiently. Proclaim enables us to greatly reduce the amount of administration inherent in debt recovery, streamlining the process to reduce costs (for both Carrick Read and our clients) and make recovery as painless as possible.
We promote a ‘full-service’ approach – from pre-legal through to proceedings, enforcement and insolvency. The firm manages everything from volume recoveries to more complex individual cases, so our client portfolio is extremely varied and their needs are ever-changing.
We actually use Proclaim proactively when meeting prospective clients and demonstrating how our service can help them. By showing them how our internal software system works, we can help them to understand just how effective and cost-focused our service is. Building confidence and ‘buy in’ in this fashion creates ultimately stronger professional relationships which can of course only be a good thing!
Do you have any future plans or goals for your use of Proclaim?
As we expand, we will continue to tailor Proclaim in line with both our evolving processes and our client needs. The flexibility of the system gives us great confidence that whatever process we want to put in place, Proclaim’s toolkit will be more than up to the job.
Of particular importance is Proclaim’s ability to be tuned and tailored to fit with new lines of work. Nobody knows what the future holds, either legislatively or commercially, and it’s great for us that Proclaim can ebb and flow in whatever direction Carrick Read’s requirements necessitate!