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Changing our team mindset

We caught up with Sarah Holford, Head of Legal and Compliance at Scania to ask how she got on six months after introducing matters+.

Sarah Holford, Head of Legal & Compliance, Scania

Sarah is a dynamic lawyer with a keen interest in legal operations and process improvement. She did not hesitate in adopting legal tech in her team and the positive results have quickly been noticed throughout the business.

When I stepped into the HoL role last year my remit was to deliver something different and to bring the business along with the legal team to improve our reputation by being more commercial and approachable. My former boss once said to me that you can be the best lawyer in the World, but if the business is not coming to you and engaging with you, then you’re not reducing risk.

So everything I have done since taking on the role has been about developing the team and its mindset and making the right things easier to do. I also knew that we needed to have better visibility of what we were doing, better record keeping and a way to report upwards to show what we do and the value that the team is delivering. So when I heard about matters+ it seemed to tick all the boxes.

How did you find the implementation of matters+ at Scania?

On-boarding and training were quick and smooth. In particular, the fact that it is such an intuitive piece of software means it was really easy to get to grips with. That was important because it meant that the whole team took to it without resistance and it quickly became a habit for the team to use the system every day.

For me personally, I now have complete visibility of what the team is doing. In particular, the fact that the matter information and records are all stored and ordered means that I can now manage matters far more easily. For example, if someone in the business calls me for an update, I can now get to the information while they are on the phone, without needing to delve into a pile of paperwork or email chains. This saves me a lot of time each day.

It has also changed the mindset of my team. They now feel much better equipped to engage with the business in a very functional way. And we now have somewhere to make and store notes of the conversations that we have that otherwise would have got lost. In the past, when an internal client was not pleased about progress on a matter, we just didn’t have the details to hand to be able to say exactly what had happened. We can now pinpoint exactly why a deal has been slowed down and have a constructive discussion with the business to overcome it. Our reputation has greatly increased.

We have also been able to introduce a new way of receiving instructions from the businesses, by giving them a central email address that automatically creates a new matter in the matters+ system. They also populate a form in the email so that we have much more of the information that we need to get a matter off the ground promptly. We have started to offer an “express” service for these automatically created matters, to encourage more people within the business to instruct us this way, because of the time it saves us.

What impact do you think matters+? has had in terms of your clients at Scania?

Fundamentally, it has led to more engagement with clients, which was one of my key objectives. In just a short amount of time, my team is now highly regarded in the business as super-organised, and forward-thinking.

Before, some clients may have felt anxious that their instruction had gone into a black hole whenever they asked legal for help. Now, just the fact that they immediately receive an auto-generated email acknowledging their instruction takes away their doubt and gives them confidence that their matter will be dealt with well and efficiently by a legal team that positively wants to engage and help.

In your experience, how has using matters+ made a difference to the lawyers at Scania?

matters+ has led to better cross-functional communication among the different functions within my team (H&S, compliance, contracts etc). Because they can all now see what others are doing and what new matters they are receiving, they are more interested in what each other does. It feels a lot more cohesive and joined-up. The team also really value the information that they now have at the press of a button to answer queries that the business raises on a matter. It has made their lives much easier.

How matters+ helped make you more effective as a GC?

I have found matters+ really useful to manage resources and allocate matters, which has given me back time in my day and made me more efficient.

matters+ enables me to report upwards easily and to great effect. I am now able to show the FD objectively just how much we are doing and the value that we add. I can demonstrate the relative advantages of handling work in-house or sending it to external firms and justify my decisions to change the way that the business might otherwise have proceeded with a particular transaction. And it allows me to spot trends and to predict workloads: to always be one step ahead.

My senior stakeholders absolutely love this software and are really impressed with what we have been able to do as a result. This has given me a great platform within the business to propose other new ideas, with confidence and on a highly-informed basis.

So what would you say are the top 3 benefits of using matters+?

1) Having all the details at my fingertips means I can manage matters at a glance and much more quickly. It essentially saves me time!

2) The analytics and reporting features present our team in a much better light and allow us to predict trends.

3) The positive effects on engagement with the business and on teamwork throughout the legal function.

Finally, do you think the investment in matters+ has been worth it?

Yes, absolutely, I wouldn’t hesitate in saying that. Along with the time we have saved and the enhanced engagement and perception of the team within the business, matters+ has become integral to the way we now work. We couldn’t go back!

Ready to get started?

Contact us to request a demo and hear about how matters+ will revolutionize the way you and your team work.