The Client Relations division of a large intellectual property law firm was responsible for managing the client data, events, and most importantly, client relationships for the entire firm. The firm eventually found itself with a decentralized spattering of client data stored on attorney hard drives, ad-hoc Access databases, and Outlook emails and calendars. Client Relations events were communicated by fishing information out of emails and piecing it together in spreadsheets, then manually printing address labels. Contact information was stored on one attorney’s machine, but not another’s. Because each attorney was storing data on individual machines, the question of whether or not all the data was actually captured was dubious at best.
i3solutions worked with the Client Relations team to first identify all the sources of the information to determine the full extent of the problem. Once all of the data was identified, we laid out the data and determined how each piece was related to the others. This exercise not only resulted in a database schema for the system, but it helped to solidify the Client Relations team’s understanding of what the system needed to do. Once the data and functional needs were identified, the technology platform was selected and development was off and running. A lightweight custom application was created to solve a heavyweight data problem. Best of all, the application was integrated into the company intranet, furthering the overall unity of the firm’s data.
The Client Relations team now enjoys a host of improvements resulting from the new system. Creating a holiday card list is now simply achieved by running a report. Attendance and new client information is captured for every event. The database of contacts now contributes to the growth of the firm instead of hindering it.