BLM: Service desk transformation
November 21, 2019
Insurance and Risk Law
- Improve end user productivity
- Improve end user perception of IT
- Improve the relationship between IT and the IT Service Desk
- Service Desk toolset implementation & integration
- Service transformation and best practice
- An SLA-driven Service Desk with extended availability
- Increased end user satisfaction and productivity
- Cost effective customer service improvements
- Data available to improve IT decision making
Supporting organisation restructure with high performance end user IT – SLA-driven best practice service desk for leading insurance and risk law firm
BLM is a leading UK insurance and risk law specialist. The firm has over 200 partners and 800 lawyers and technical experts based from 13 offices across the UK and Ireland.
Growth, ambition & restructure
Following a number of major mergers and accelerated growth, the insurance and dispute resolution law firm re-branded to become BLM in 2014, and set out its vision to become one of the leading global insurance and risk law specialists by 2020.
This initiated a restructure of the firm to reflect its customers’ needs and its goal of helping them to reduce the time and money they spend on managing risk and resolving disputes.
BLM’s focus on an efficient client service delivery model naturally led to a spotlight on the contribution from IT in achieving this. The firm brought in Abby Ewen as its IT Director to take on this challenge.
The importance of IT support
When it came to the importance of IT support helping to achieve BLM’s vision, there was a consensus that lawyers and staff must have the necessary tools and support to perform their roles as effectively as possible.
Both Abby Ewen and Darren Broughton, Head of IT at BLM, agreed that the Service Desk directly impacts on end user productivity levels.
The IT Service Desk team at BLM had evolved organically with the business and its capacity and structure were becoming stretched. It was affecting the overall perception of IT.
“The Service Desk is the shop window for IT. For many users, it is IT.” explains Darren.
Plan-Net specialises in helping organisations transform their IT support functions by combining best practice theory with a strong track record both in the legal and other professional service sectors. The BLM IT management team made the decision to engage Plan-Net to carry out a formal, independent review of the Service Desk and its impact the business and the IT function.
The review covered the people, processes and technology elements. Methods included key player interviews, process reviews, statistical analysis and ITIL maturity ranking to build an understanding of the current environment. Plan-Net also provided recommendations on how to transform the Service Desk into an enterprise-grade, high-performance function.
Following a structured procurement process, the law firm chose Plan-Net to deliver this transformation and ultimately manage the Service Desk.
Enter Plan-Net, enter process
One of the main findings of the service review was a difficulty in accessing meaningful management reporting. The law firm was being held back by its incumbent toolset technology and a lack of formal process.
As part of the service transformation, Plan-Net implemented and configured ServiceNow, a leading Service Desk toolset. Darren Broughton comments; “This was a really important step for us. It allowed us to access much more accurate figures and statistics around performance, establish proper SLAs and start to measure against them.”
With this visibility, both Plan-Net and the IT team at BLM could start to analyse trends and build insights allowing BLM to prioritise issues and investment. Repeated and unnecessary calls were significantly reduced, and a culture of continuous service improvement could begin with a definable starting benchmark.
The transition period moved the Service Desk from handling and distributing contacts to a customer centric, highly responsive and resolution based entity.
The transformation also focused on defining and documenting process, including the role and accountability of the Service Desk Analyst, drawing from ITIL best practice and experience and then applying those to BLM’s specific environment.
Benefits to BLM
Darren explains there has been several significant benefits from the transformation project and Plan-Net’s ongoing management of the Service Desk.
With accurate and accessible reporting, combined with clear processes and continuous service improvement, the BLM IT team and Plan-Net have been able to significantly drive down call volumes by tackling issues uncovered by regular incident analysis.
“Previously it was not possible to identify and prioritise these issues. We had no structured way to reduce the number of calls.”
“With better reporting, we have the evidence and back-up information to approach the business for investment or to highlight issues we need its support on.”
“Now the Service Desk team is seen as an integral part of the IT department. First time fix rates have increased to 84%. Service desk resolution is now at 90%, which is unprecedented. With only 10% of all contacts being escalated to other IT teams. Better communication has meant that working relationships between the Service Desk and the rest of IT have
“With end user satisfaction hugely improved and less distraction for others in IT, we now have much more time to focus on other IT projects that will improve the business.” Darren concludes.
Acora and Plan-Net join forces
In 2019 Acora announced the completion of our merger with Plan-Net. This created a group with over 300 employees, 4 offices and 300 customers, focused on delivering outstanding customer experience to businesses across the UK. The group is underpinned by great people, strong technical innovation and a combined desire to grow.
This Plan-Net case study is an example of the great work the team have delivered and the combined capabilities of the new group.