A New York law firm recognized the value and importance of a well-defined and executed RIM program that balances the enormous responsibility of safeguarding client-owned property, maintaining confidentiality, and mitigating risk in a cost-effective and productive manner. Although the firm was outsourcing its RIM function to another vendor, it became evident that a more strategic partner was needed to bridge gaps between existing practices and best practices, train the staff and set clear productivity expectations, and help mature the firm’s RIM program. The firm saw an opportunity for Epiq to help, and Epiq quickly jumped into action.
The current outsourcing vendor was struggling to meet the firm’s expectations and failing to execute on assigned projects and commitments. A few key frustration points were:
- The vendor’s proposed retention policy and schedule were not actionable, resulting in stalled file destruction efforts.
- Vendor staff did not have measured productivity expectations and vendor management was not holding staff accountable to productivity targets resulting in several tasks, such as document imaging, taking too long to complete.
- Lack of naming conventions and document/file coding standards led to awkward processing time, and at times, lengthy searches for missing files.
- 10,000 boxes of client and firm records were destroyed unexpectedly after a fire at the firm’s 3rd-party offsite storage facility. The existing outsourcing vendor put together a disaster recovery and action plan with an attendant cost of $35,000 to remediate the problems. However, due to gaps in the project planning and execution, the Rapid Records Deployment Epiq rapidly deploys records & information management services in 7 days vendor was only able to positively identify fewer than 10 percent of the impacted boxes, leaving the firm unable to fully remediate the issue.
In addition, the firm was in the process of finalizing an acquisition that would result in the office doubling in size, increasing attorney and staff numbers by nearly 100 percent. In light of the ongoing challenges with the current vendor, the firm was eager to find a strategic partner with top-notch RIM expertise, strong communication and problem-solving skills, and effective staff management that would deliver reliable and timely results.
When the previous vendor was informed that their relationship was being terminated, and Epiq had been awarded the contract, they abandoned the account, leaving Epiq only seven days of transition instead of the industry standard of 45-60 days.
Epiq quickly assembled an emergency rapid deployment team consisting of a RIM subject matter expert, local operations managers, a human resources representative, and additional ground-level resources. Epiq quickly identified and trained a high-quality team of on-site professionals, and partnered with the firm on resuming all existing records projects. Within the first week, the assigned Epiq RIM subject matter expert completed a needs assessment, with the goal of understanding the current state of the operation. The subject matter expert reviewed all procedure and policy documentation, gained an understanding of the level of service being provided, and performed a SWOT analysis to help the firm prioritize all uncovered opportunities putting the firm at risk.
- Making recommendations on how to efficiently and effectively resume retention
- Performing retention schedule research to identify record keeping requirements in jurisdictions in which the firm does business
- Making recommendations on how to identify the contents of the boxes lost in the storage facility fire
- Performing a physical records space management assessment and project plan to ensure the firm could support the arriving group of attorneys
- Establishing productivity expectations and benchmarks for records staff
- Continuous on-site records team support and guidance from a RIM subject matter expert
- Participating in quarterly business reviews (QBRs) to report on existing project status, and overall progress and challenges
- Developing file coding standards that improve processing time
After only one year of working with the firm, the Epiq team continues to meet deadlines, deliver high-quality results and exceed expectations. With each new project, our team is given the opportunity to reinforce our credibility and reliability, giving confidence to the client that they made the right decision to entrust Epiq with maturing their RIM program.