SGN is a gas distribution company which, amongst other things, distributes natural and green gas to 5.9 million homes and businesses across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the south of England. Their legal services division consists of legal, audit, property, compliance, and risk experts serving circa 4,000 employees.
When they began their legal change programme in 2018, the legal services team were relying heavily on non-legal business tools such as Outlook, File Explorer and SharePoint, meaning that despite being a successful and driven team, they were held back by their manual setup. Too much time was spent on menial tasks such as finding lost documents and advising on low complexity documents resulting in a large amount of the ‘meaty’ legal work being sent out the door to external counsel.
LEGAL LEADING THE CHARGE
As part of their legal service excellence workstream, the legal team evaluated all aspects of the service they were providing to business users, with the view to make efficiencies and improvements where possible. They came up with a requirements plan for what they needed from their new tech and tasked their IT team to find a solution which would work for all parties.
Having decided on HighQ as the ideal platform, SYKE were brought on board to facilitate a smooth implementation as the off-the-shelf product needed significant configuration to fit the needs of the business.
The project involved implementing
- a Front Door to Legal where business users can log legal requests/queries and engage with the legal services team as the matter progresses
- a Matter Management system for legal users to manage matters from start to finish
- a Document Management system to allow the management of the lifecycle of a document
- a Legal Spend tracker
- Document Automation tools where users complete a questionnaire to generate standard form documents reducing the need for legal service’s input.
During the time that the legal services team were exploring their transformation project, the rest of the business implemented a drive towards efficiency and future-fit departments. This meant that the impetus was there from the whole business and especially senior leaders to support the project that the legal team were taking on.
TRAINING AND SUPPORT DRIVES ADOPTION
The new system was rolled out first to the legal services team who appointed five super users to be the day-to-day experts on the system and provide support for their colleagues. Training for new users was carried out internally with supporting materials from SYKE – such as user-guides and training manuals – in addition to the team generating their own ‘bite-size’ “how-to” videos.
Change management was facilitated via the internal SGN Change Management team – the new system was rolled out with a soft-launch and so far take up has been good and the response from the business has been overwhelmingly positive.
Paul Castell, Head of Legal at SGN, says
“The overall driver of this project was to free the teams up to spend more time on more complicated and time-consuming (and interesting!) projects and matters which may have otherwise been outsourced. It’s a huge win for the legal services team because we’re not only saving money for the business through efficiencies and reduced outsource spend, they’re getting to spend time on more projects that interest them. This also has associated retention of critical corporate knowledge benefits for the business. I’m very proud of what they’ve done alongside SYKE to deliver this project and make it a success.”