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Technology and Six Sigma applied to a flood of hard-copy invoices

A post by David Hobbie about an International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) session on Aug. 22, 2007, describes some of the initiatives of Liberty Mutual’s law department. That department handles 1,600 law firms that submit electronic bills, yet they it still receives up to 6,000 hard-copy invoices every month. According to Mike Russell, Strategic Legal Technologist at Liberty Mutual, his team followed Six Sigma to improve processes that surround the deluge.

They use Documentum WebTop to capture key information about the invoices and Adobe Acrobat Standard (6.0 Professional) to annotate and handle the invoices. Staff scan all invoices into PDF and import them into Documentum. They also track invoice information in Excel.

The law department ships the original invoices to a vendor with a bar-coded cover sheet that describes what is in each shipment. The vendor destroys the invoices after 90 days. In other words, Liberty Mutual legal function, with the assistance of internal IT resources, re-purposed its document management system to treat bills as documents.