‘They will die’ if productivity software taken away from staff, says legal firm boss
By Kiran Kaur Sidhu December 23, 2019
- Productivity frees up 20% of employees’ time and resulted in about 25% in cost savings
- Top-down approach introducing technological change is key, especially migrating old data
One gripe at a recent Lawtech summit was that the legal profession is slow to pick up technology. But for Mirandah Asia, embracing tech to improve its internal processes is just the smart thing to do. And it saves him over US$2,660 (RM11,000) a year in fines paid due to human error.
“There is big consumption of time and paper resources in sticking to the manual approach. For us, it was about looking ahead and saving manpower in doing certain tasks,” explained Patrick Mirandah, the group chief executive officer of Mirandah Asia.
His eponymous law firm focuses on patent and trademark work. As a patent lawyer, Mirandah also holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. His technical background certainly plays a role in his desire to take his firm up a technological notch or two.
The benefits of the system implementation is felt by the employees firm-wide. In fact, Mirandah says: “If we take it out, they will die. They will not function without this system,” he says emphasising how staff are quick to embrace any tool that helps them do their jobs quicker and more afficiently to free up time to focus on more value-added work.
The firm’s use of its document management system has freed up 20% of employees’ time and also resulted in about 25% in cost savings. “When we cut down all the manual work, errors reduce and cost reduces because errors are less,” said Mirandah, sharing that errors previously resulted in over RM11,000 per annum in penalties.
But the key to the productivity of Mirandah’s firm is the close back and forth he has with its tech provider, AmberSoft, a MSC Malaysia status software company that built and owns the intellectual property to a suite of Knowledge Management and Process Automation software including RPA. Based on a decade’s usage experience of a much earlier version of document management system, Mirandah was very in tune with the needs of his business and was ever-willing to push the tech capabilities of the system it currently employs.
And AmberSoft appreciated it as the constant feedback from Mirandah, with lots of meetings, has helped AmberSoft build a better version of its product.
“There was a lot of adaptation. The advantage that we have is, being the IP owner of our software, we were able to customise to his needs. We basically changed the way the operations team worked to suit his business environment. And actually, many of Mirandah’s ideas have helped develop our next version,” shared Sukhdev Singh, the managing director of AmberSoft, whose company counts multinationals like Konica Minolta, Nippon Express, Ingram Micro and Thai conglomerate, Siam Cement Company as customers across four countries.
The top-down approach of management in introducing tech is key, Sukhdev believes. Like any change in process, there was some resistance to the new system in the early stages. “But with Patrick’s persistence in making it work, that has made a lot of difference.”
Having a leader who is willing to shake things up to introduce a more efficient way of working is one thing, but Mirandah points to an area that he feels will dictate the success or failure of any digital adoption program. Data migration is all important and will dictate if you win or lose in your journey to adopt he says.
The first step in this case was for AmberSoft to migrate Mirandah’s 10 years’ worth of existing data from the old system to the new system. “That is key. These guys managed to do that. Then, we started with the new system and it worked very well,” says Mirandah.
Being a big believer in the value of technology for the legal profession, Mirandah is now excited for robotic process automation (RPA) and AI to make its mark in the law fraternity. He is certainly not one to shy away from tech thinking it’s only meant for the bigger law firms. “I always thought robotics could work for me. It has to work for me.”