Wedlake Bell is a contemporary London-based UK Top-100 law firm, which offers a wide-range of bespoke legal services to clients of all sizes in the UK and abroad. With 70 partners supported by more than 170 lawyers and support staff, Wedlake Bell operates on a four practice group model: private client, business services, real estate, and disputes. As part of its business services practice, Wedlake Bell’s IP & Commercial team combines technical expertise with commercial insight to deliver a full spectrum of legal services to its clients, working with them to achieve their commercial objectives.
Applying an Innovative Solution to Supply Chain Management
As part of these services, the IP & Commercial team partners with major retailers to audit the supply chain of specific batches of products sold in their nationwide stores to mitigate reputational, quality, and compliance risk. These audits require the firm’s lawyers to conduct extensive due diligence on complex supply chains and provide timely reports to clients to ensure the integrity of the supply chain.
Opting for a Modernised Solution
Previously, supply chain management services were supported by a custom application developed for Wedlake Bell nearly 15 years prior. The firm wanted to modernise the legacy system to gain operational efficiencies, address technology constraints, and ensure the latest security standards.
To bring the application up to date, Wedlake Bell had three options:
- Budget to build a new custom application leveraging the latest technology;
- Re-architect the current application to include the required functionality; or
- Leverage a proven no-code/low-code platform to modernise the process.
After careful consideration, Wedlake Bell opted for a no-code/low-code solution to optimise and modernise the application. Having already partnered with Sysero to develop over a dozen internal applications for the firm, including client onboarding (KYC/AML), knowledge management, and records management, Wedlake Bell selected Sysero’s no-code/low-code platform to design an improved application.
This had a number of benefits including
- Re-use of the existing investment in software
- Rapid development and deployment of the new app (< 4 weeks)
- Ability to expand functionality as needed
- Meets current quality, security and data protection standards
“It was important for us to work with a technology partner that understood our unique needs and would be able to support us throughout the process,” explains Riana Nel, IT Projects and Implementation Specialist at Wedlake Bell. “Sysero’s flexible technology combined with their supportive team made them the ideal partner for our project.”
By partnering with Sysero, Wedlake Bell was able to leverage its existing software investment, and rapidly develop and deploy the new application, which was delivered in under four weeks. Sysero’s built-in security features ensure that Wedlake Bell’s application meets current quality, security and data protection standards. Additionally, Sysero’s flexible technology provides the firm with a scalable solution that can be expanded and modified as and when required.
Designing a No-Code Supply Chain Workflow
Sysero worked closely with Wedlake Bell to design, develop and deploy a new no-code application to automate and streamline the process of managing complex supply chain audits for the firm’s retail clients. The application significantly decreases the time and complexity associated with managing multiple audits simultaneously, by allowing lawyers to:
- Manage multiple deal sheets from multiple retailers
- Automatically supply chain inspection reports
- Collate all evidence and related documentation into a single case file
To facilitate improved information sharing and management, Wedlake Bell imported its existing database of suppliers into the Sysero application, creating a central database of suppliers that can be accessed via an intuitive web interface. Using the application, lawyers can easily add or amend details about suppliers. When retailers submit information on the deals being offered to them by suppliers who have bought goods from multiple sources, it’s uploaded into the Sysero application, along with other documentation to ensure the provenance of the goods, and consolidated into a single case file.
As lawyers complete due diligence research, they’re able to access the system and start creating an Inspection Report for their clients using the application’s document workflow automation. The document workflow enables lawyers to provide information via an easy-to-use online form, which is then used to generate a dynamic Inspection Report for the client. At any point, lawyers can save their forms and return at a later date to input more information. The ability to build multiple reports as they go, makes it much easier for lawyers to manage numerous complex reports concurrently.
“The Sysero system is a useful platform, which enables Wedlake Bell to process large amounts of data and efficiently carry out important legal checks on the supply chain,” says Sam Efiong, Paralegal at Wedlake Bell. “The automation and speed with which information can be uploaded and accessed helps us provide a valuable service to our clients.”
Since launching, the Sysero system has greatly improved the way lawyers manage and communicate with their clients about supply chain audits. At any one time, a lawyer may be working on dozens of Inspection Reports. Using Sysero, they can easily check the status and make updates to the reports, which can be regenerated and sent to the client as required. Sysero also allows for filtering to enable lawyers to see certain types of deal or the deals for one supplier, providing clients with useful information that can be analysed.
Given the success of the new application, Wedlake Bell plans on adding further stages and incorporating a higher level of automation to increase efficiency and provide clients with greater visibility into the status of each deal.