As the leader for Strategic Initiatives and Quality, Jackie Coury is always looking for ways to help Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions get even better. In leading the company’s Continuous Improvement (CI) programs, Jackie seeks to constantly learn from experience. She talks here about how she does this and what she has in common with our customers.
On a high level, what are your primary ongoing goals for ELM Solutions?
I want ELM Solutions to be the number one provider of products and services in the industry. I also want clients to know that partnering with us will improve their legal operations because we offer the best products and provide the best services in Enterprise Legal Management. Customers want reliable technology and service that address their challenges and help them run more efficiently, and I, along with everyone else at ELM Solutions, want to enable that kind of transformation.
How does ELM Solutions work toward those goals?
We have a lot in common with our customers, and we take our own advice. Many of the actions we recommend are also steps we take internally to improve our own operations. For example, we provide guidance to clients about collecting data and using metrics to improve performance in the legal department. We do that, too.
One method we use is capturing information about our customer support performance and using metrics like First Contact Resolution and Total Time to Resolve, we have been able to measure our progress and improvement in these areas. We even won a Stevie Award for Customer Service as a result. This is the same approach we advise our clients to take: measure your performance so that you can see how to improve it.
And, like our clients, we are constantly improving our processes and helping our employees to become even better at what they do. This is true across the company. We work cross-functionally to make sure that advancements in one area can be put to work across the company. Currently, we have key team members from all departments taking part in Lean Six Sigma black belt training to optimize our ability to roll out process improvements throughout our global team.
Can you talk about some of those process improvements?
Unfortunately, no company gets everything right from the start. So the first thing we do is learn from past experiences. If ever there is a challenging issue, we make absolutely certain that once the immediate issue is dealt with, we analyze the situation and identify the root cause. This allows us to put the right controls in place to prevent a recurrence.
This has helped us to evolve into a very continuous improvement-focused company where employees in every department are dedicated to always getting better. This can be as simple as identifying opportunities for additional efficiencies and eliminating waste. In doing so, they are contributing to our focus on improving the customer experience. Empowering employees to find new and creative ways of putting clients first has been incredibly helpful.
How is the company investing in and empowering employees?
We’re providing more and more tools for problem-solving. The Lean Six Sigma training I mentioned is one example. It’s a significant investment of time and resources but one that we know will pay off quickly. As our employees gain additional skills and confidence, they are even better positioned to serve our customers.
In addition, we staff projects with cross-functional teams. Not only does this give the employees exposure to expertise from around the company, it also encourages colleagues to consider each other’s perspectives and understand their journeys. Combined with a laser focus on client outcomes, these investments have helped us make huge advances in only a couple of years. And we’re still going – the improvements never stop.