Is typing still relevant? More than relevant, thank you

Someone challenged me recently, questioning whether digital dictation, outsourced typing and document production could still be relevant in today’s increasingly tech-driven world. They weren’t being provocative, merely intrigued by an earlier comment I’d made about strong market growth.

The technology revolution that he saw as a threat has been our greatest opportunity. Automation, the always-on culture, the now imperative, the drive for productivity, the simple fact that you can now do pretty much anything anytime anywhere, it’s all combined to create a dynamic, output-driven legal workplace – and an endless torrent of documents. While many of those documents are handled in-house, plenty also come to us for transcription and production – and this is quite simply a matter of resource.

Relevant reasons

Against that backdrop, I offered up a few more specifics as to why these services still matter;

  • Speed and accuracy – Though it stuns people who work outside of the law to learn this, lawyers don’t routinely type their own stuff – and a healthy hourly billing rate is a good starting point. They can dictate far more quickly and easily than they can negotiate complex templates and the mysteries of Word. Besides, they’ve had skilled secretaries and audio typists to give them the responsiveness and quality they need. But increased demand and reduced headcount in-house are applying stress – and the option to augment resources by outsourcing and getting a fast, error-free turnaround on demand is an attractive one.
  • Resources and scalability – Truth is that there aren’t that many skilled legal secretaries around as there used to be. And those that are are always busy, with secretary/fee earner ratios having changed so much in recent years. A legal secretary also does so much more than just type and knowing that you can dip into someone else’s typing talent pool to handle not just every day but big spikes in workload or seasonal cover is reassuring, and at times essential.
  • Round the clock working – Things don’t stop. Lawyers work at all hours, international offices are online, and clients want an answer yesterday, and that can quickly escalate into a pressure cooker of demand. The ability to call on a reliable resource pool 24/7 is a useful release.
  • Efficiency and value – Getting things done by the right systems and by the right people in the right way is key to a smart, slick business. So we certainly don’t want lawyers struggling with documents when they could be fee-earning, or support staff getting taken off important tasks for commodity transcription work. Intelligent outsourcing can maximise your efficiency and their value.
  • Cost-efficiency – With outsourcing, you only pay for the minutes of work done. In today’s climate, where firms are no longer staffed to the max, the ability to seamlessly enlarge your in-house team with an outsourcing arrangement makes financial as well as operational sense.

Was my new friend convinced? Is typing still relevant? Well, I wrapped up by sharing some company growth stats – that did the trick! Outsourced document production in 2018 is not just relevant – it’s invaluable.

Martyn Best is the founder and CEO of outsourced typing and document production specialist Document Direct.