Destin Solutions provide NW Legal Consortium with new website, hosting and workflow technology
The North West Legal Consortium (NWLC) was set up in 2006 with the aim of helping member organisations procure legal work from Solicitors at discounted rates and minimising the need for them to go through an official tender process every time they required external legal support. Members initially consisted of a small number of Local Authorities but has now expanded to include currently 45 organisations including Police Commissioners, a Waste Authority, a Housing Association and a Transport Authority.
As the Consortium grew it became apparent that typically whilst Heads of Legal departments within member organisations knew about the work of the Consortium the individual Lawyers who were responsible for commissioning of the work didn’t. It was at this stage the idea of creating a website was proposed to inform lawyers in member organisations of what the Consortium did, enabling them to procure legal services through commissions with external Law Firms and Barristers Chambers, supplementing their own capacity and skillsets.
The development of the website has gone from strength to strength and Destin Solutions was appointed in 2016 to better automate the back-end processing of the site through a series of workflows and templates, add in reporting functionality and to project manage the rebuild of the front-end. This was with the goal of enabling lawyers to more easily commission work through the site and to book training courses offered by partner Law firms. A key element of the new site was also focussed on encouraging the sharing of best practice and common issues using forum pages.
Working with Destin Solutions the NWLC chose to invest in the very latest web hosting and workflow technology to help drive down costs and achieve further efficiencies for member organisations. They have achieved this by implementing a highly automated website where Local Authorities and other member organisations can login to a secure portal and submit a commission online outlining the details of the work they require. All new commissions are then automatically and securely published so that Law Firms and Barrister Chambers can view and have the opportunity to bid on that work.
According to Brian Gibson, Website Support at the North West Legal Consortium “we chose to work with Destin Solutions because we wanted access to the latest technology. We wanted a more intuitive, user friendly, resilient system capable of helping us adapt more quickly to our changing requirements and one which is flexible enough to incorporate change as the needs of the consortium advance.”
With the new back end system in place, the NWLC can now change workflows more easily and create new templates around commissioning and the work processes surrounding this, all with relative ease and without major costs associated. It has also provided them with scope for developing potential inter-authority collaboration in future.
The NWLC can also now run a wide range of reports providing them and member organisations with key management information. For example reports can be run to identify throughput of the Consortium. Reports could also include the number of commissions completed by members and the and number of commissions awarded to Law Firms and Barristers Chambers. With more information, comes more informed insight and the ability to make better decisions that will benefit the Consortium going forward.
During the upgrade of the website, Destin Solutions also took the opportunity to improve the front-end functionality by ensuring the site was built and hosted using a content management system. This has meant that the Consortium now has the flexibility to manage and update virtually all elements of the site themselves. This has led to reduced costs, reduced duplication of effort and reduced time to publish new pages, jobs, courses or news items. These can all now be published at any time from any device that provides them with internet access to their web administration homepage. As well as being a more efficient and productive way of managing their site content, it puts the control back in the hands of the Consortium, whilst reducing costs as they don’t need to pay each time a change is required.
Beryl Heath, Consortium Development Manager from North West Legal Consortium concludes “thanks to this new implementation by Destin Solutions we are able to react to change more effectively. Destin Solutions very quickly understood our business requirements and were able to adapt and change to meet our needs as they unfolded throughout the project.”