Medibank is an integrated healthcare company that provides private health insurance and health solutions to nearly 4 million Australians. The company employs nearly 4,000, including about 25 FTEs in its Legal Department.
The Legal Department comprises individuals across a number of offices, and most work remotely at least one day a week.
In an effort to organize its operations, Medibank’s Legal Department tried a number of general-purpose software tools, including a database, shared drive and Outlook files. This caused a number of problems: a shared Outlook inbox frequently exceeded storage capacity; the Legal Department could not create custom fields relevant to their work; it was difficult to understand who was working on what; and the team could not easily produce a recap of their matters for the C-suite or for their own analysis and planning.
“What are we doing, is it of value?” said Kerryn Saric, senior legal counsel. “What are we sending externally, and is there a need to scale up in-house rather than send a particular kind of work out?”
Medibank decided to pursue matter management and document management at the same time. With a frequently remote-working team, the Legal Department placed a priority on efficiency and connectivity.
“The old ways of working were just not going to cut it,” said Saric. “Web-based was a very important consideration for us. Integration with document management was essential for people.”
Medibank ultimately selected Xakia and NetDocuments, integrated platforms for matter management and document management, respectively. The software was deployed across the Legal Department in a matter of weeks.
No longer relying on makeshift software solutions, Medibank is working with tools designed specifically to make legal operations simple. There are no more storage concerns and no more toggling between disconnected applications.
The Legal Department now has visibility into both its current projects and past performance. The team makes use of the Xakia quadrant, which maps matters by complexity and strategic value, in its reports to the chief financial officer and in its day-to-day management.
“We are trying very hard to focus on the matters that fall into the high end of the spectrum as our priority rather than just churning through grunt work,” Saric said. “Every client feels their matter is the most important; in reality, it can’t be. We are attempting to focus on high-risk, high-priority matters – those are the ones that the leadership team really care about.”
Data from Xakia also empowers the team to make smarter resourcing decisions. For example, Saric said, she recently analyzed the company’s real estate matters, which tend to come in sporadic waves. That unpredictability makes it hard to staff in-house, so Medibank decided to outsource it entirely to law firms that can staff up or down as needed.
Moreover, as Web-based tools, Xakia and NetDocuments foster seamless remote working – whether in the course of ordinary business or as needed for extraordinary circumstances like COVID-19.
“Our old system never would have worked or held up this long,” Saric said. “The only way we can be flexible is with web-based systems like what we’re using.”