Cooper, Adel & Associates
“We've been blown away by the whole team and experience - and this has set the bar very high for any other companies dealing with us now. We expect the same high standards we get from the DocMoto guys.”
A major Elder law firm using Apple's Mac computers, handling thousands of client documents across multiple staff in several office locations, now relies on DocMoto for its company-wide document management requirements.
Cooper, Adel & Associates was an early adopter of Mac computers among United States law firms, covering its four Ohio offices, seven attorneys and 37 employees. The move to Mac – a two-year process which is now 99% complete – was initially a way to save costs on the upgrade of PCbased Windows operating system and Microsoft Office Suite licences. But the Mac environment – with the addition of DocMoto – has ultimately brought more to the firm than cuts in capital expenditure.
The firm's specialist practice area of Elder Law planning – such as dealing with trusts, the affairs of people going into nursing homes including protection of assets, helping veterans secure benefits and afterdeath administration – has a direct impact on the volume of documents created.
As the company's chief of technology, Bob Kueppers, explains: “Creating a trust for a typical client in their 60s generates some pretty lengthy documents. Indeed, the veterans we work with tend to come in with, literally, a ton of documents.”
The work of scanning, intelligently storing and being able to recover such important materials on behalf of clients is made even more challenging when various employees are collaborating between the firm's two main and two satellite offices.
Bob says: “Though we have separate buildings, we operate as one, large office unit with attorneys circulating around the offices every week and everyone accessing files whenever they need them. A lot of file sharing takes place, which could mean someone starting to prepare a trust document in one office then handing it over to people in another office who are looking at the funding aspect.
“Before we started using DocMoto, file sharing was an absolute nightmare. Each office had its own client directories with an A to Z folder structure. Creating one, giant client directory would involve merging the data of more than 20,000 clients over 23 years of practice. And that could include a lot of people called John Smith!”
Though Bob introduced the staff to using Dropbox for sharing general business files in temporary folders, he was uncomfortable with its level of data security required to store confidential client data. But even worse was the sluggishness of trying to open folders containing thousands of client documents: “In the Mac environment, because of the way it indexes files and creates icons, it could take hours to load a folder of files for just one letter of client surnames. This was a huge issue for us and there was no product that could do what we wanted.”
The problem persisted until Cooper, Adel and Associates, attended the Macs in the Law Office (MILO) conference, where they were introduced to DocMoto.
“Our attorneys embrace technology,” Bob says, “and what we saw at MILO was perfect timing all round. When I started to understand what DocMoto did, I felt it was going to solve our document management problems.”
According to Bob, the speed with which DocMoto could handle huge numbers of client files was a winning factor in itself; where connecting to the firm's different office servers would previously take two hours, DocMoto loads almost instantaneously. For example, the firm's folder – containing multiple files relating to 2,800 clients with the surname “S” – now loads in under 1 0 seconds. “Once it's loaded for the day, access is instant – and that increases productivity,” Bob adds. The firm is now handling more than 400,000 documents via the DocMoto system.
In addition, DocMoto's document scanning capability means that a previously costly scanning system is no longer needed. The DocMoto team enabled the software to import documents in the same way as before, so recreating the workflow but at a fraction of the cost.
And the software's document search ability now allows the firm to locate files that are inadvertently mislaid. In one example, an employee had accidentally moved files to the wrong folder, but the staff were able to find them through DocMoto's search function. In the previous system – hosting a collection of files and folders on a Windows-based server – retrieving misplaced files could take hours to find.
Bob says: “Every person using DocMoto is very happy with it; and we've never before dealt with a company like it. The team is amazing and it's unheard of to have a company which gives you direct access to one of its engineers.
“We've been blown away by the whole team and experience – and this has set the bar very high for any other companies dealing with us now. We expect the same high standards we get from the DocMoto guys.”
Cooper, Adel and Associates is proud of embracing Apple's Mac, despite the once widespread disbelief of its peers in the legal sector and many new employees who didn't associate Mac with running a serious business. But times have changed: “There are now more Mac attorneys out there than not, and many others are switching,” Bob adds.
“And it's more than a cost-saving exercise; it's the ease of using them – they're fast, there's no spam and no viruses – they just work.”
And when combined with DocMoto, productivity in the firm has increased dramatically.
“It's how seriously the whole DocMoto team takes the product: they really love it and love what they're doing. It's opened our eyes to the fact that you can do amazing things with companies that are not local. The important thing is working with high quality people, and they don't need to be living in the same town.”