Rushton Hickman Ltd

Chartered valuation surveyors and estate agents switch to digital dictation and transform working practices with Lexacom.

Derby based estate agency Rushton Hickman Ltd initially enquired about Lexacom 3 after searching for an alternative to analogue tapes.

With multiple offices, the firm found too much time was spent transferring tapes between sites for dictations to be typed. We spoke to Chris Birds, a forward thinking partner at Rushton Hickman Ltd, who was keen to streamline working practices between sites and across teams. He searched for a solution online and found Lexacom to be a key supplier for digital dictation, on seeing a demonstration of the software in action, Chris decided that it was the right solution for the firm. The installation was seamless, with between 30-40 staff members across 4 sites, the engineer made time for each staff member and was able to tailor some of the data entry options to suit the specific requirements of the firm. Chris told us “We are rather unusual in that we are an estate agents and chartered surveyors, you would normally be one or the other. We were really pleased on the day of installation as the engineer took the time to understand our business and tailored the drop-down menus with options specific to our industry.”

Following the installation, the team at Rushton Hickman Ltd found the time saved from moving tapes between sites was quickly having a positive impact on overall efficiency. Coupled with the streamlined workflow as a real-time to do list for the secretaries, the firm could see productivity improving from the offset. Lexacom worked perfectly with the infrastructure already in place, as all 4 sites were connected, dictations could easily be sent for transcription to any office depending on available resources. Chris told us;

“To be able to do a dictation and select another office from the drop-down has saved us so much time,” He continued “The admin teams have adapted to this system very quickly, the feedback I have heard is nothing but positive. They have all reported the sound quality of the dictations are much better than the tapes they have previously used, also the workflow is really intuitive and user friendly.”

What really surprised the teams within the firm was the use of Lexacom Mobile. Selected users were granted access to the mobile app to enhance out-of-office efficiency, they soon found they were using it far more than initially anticipated.

“For me, I prefer to use the mobile app for all of my dictations. We all work differently, however the other 3 evaluators in the business use the mobile far more often than the desktop version. It is perfect for what we do, as estate agents we will visit a property and dictate the details as we are back in the car while it is all still fresh in our mind.” Chris Bird, Partner and Chartered Surveyor.

Chris told us, “I know the surveyors work is far more convoluted, they generally feel more comfortable dictating from their offices. Their work is more complex and detailed, but they have no complaints and appreciate the newly streamlined workflow.” Chris told us that they had recently lost a secretary which may have previously caused a strain on existing resources, but thanks to Lexacom the workload has been shared across teams and has saved the organisation an entire salary.

“We managed to absorb workload with spare capacity between other offices, if I analysed it the addition of Lexacom is most likely the reason we haven’t had to replace our secretary after she retired. In the old days we wouldn’t have had a choice.” He continued, “Lexacom has utterly transformed our workflow, it has made us think that we don’t need quite as many people as we did before. Of course there will be natural progression over the next few years, we have been used to having our own secretaries, however we are more efficient than ever before and that may no longer be necessary.”

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