How handl Is Helping Foresight Scale
A growing number of specialist legal, insurance and healthcare companies are joining the handl Group. But why? Foresight’s Susan Henry, explains how being part of the Group is delivering for the business and for customers.
When Foresight joined the handl family in 2018 it was, like all the Group’s acquisitions, a natural fit. An industry-leading nationwide provider of expert witness services for the criminal and family law markets, the company helps legal professionals save time and work smarter by sourcing the most suitably qualified and highly experienced experts to support their cases. But as with any growing business, there were challenges. Susan Henry takes up the story.
“We were a great small business with a great team, but it’s fair to say we were plateauing. We needed a larger sales function and a greater brand presence. Joining the handl Group presented a clear opportunity to develop both of those aspects in partnership with experienced people who could help us get it right and avoid the pitfalls."
What were your goals/ambitions for the company following acquisition – and have those ambitions been met?
“A brand refresh was the first thing on the agenda and that has been a big success. Awareness of who we are and what we do is growing and we need to continue that with more new potential clients. Growth is underway. Pre-Covid we were well on track. The pandemic has delayed our plans somewhat but we have already invested in increasing our admin and sales team by a third and the easing of restrictions will present the opportunity to get back on track.
“The final element, linked to our growth strategy, was an office move to accommodate the growing team. That’s now complete and we’ve doubled our space.”
What’s been the biggest personal learning curve since you joined Foresight?
“Foresight’s customer base is different to those I’ve worked with previously. Working in criminal and family law means experts have to work within legal aid limits and there are tight court deadlines on the majority of cases. I’m fortunate to be working with an excellent team who’ve helped me to quickly understand the dynamics between our customers, the services we offer and legal aid.”
What are the particular challenges you face in scaling an expert witness service? How have you achieved this?
“The more you scale, the more experts you need to deliver the services you offer. That presents two challenges: first, we need to bolster our existing team of experts with new additions who offer equal insight and capability. We’ve been able to do that thanks to a huge amount of Group knowledge and resource in supply chain management.
“And second, you want to continue to build strong relationships with your customers and experts. We are rightly proud of the relationships we’ve built and we want to protect and nurture those relationships as we scale. We’ve appointed a new general manager, Mark Speight, part of whose remit is to ensure that happens.”
How has being part of handl Group helped?
“The Group has amassed a huge amount of knowledge and experience. When you join, you get to tap into that. It’s not just that there are in-house specialists in finance, sales and marketing , IT and supply on hand to support your business; it’s that they understand the sector so you can get things done so much quicker and more easily."
How has joining the Group impacted Foresight clients? What do you believe you do better now – from a client perspective – than you did before?
“Consistency and alignment are the overarching impacts. Every client will enjoy the same great experience with us because our account managers are now clearly aligned. By increasing the number of account managers and administrators we’re able to offer more dedicated support to every client. And by improving our marketing we’ve been able to extend our reach, engaging more customers in a consistent way. Our digital brochures, for example, are more effective at highlighting our services, and how they can benefit clients.
“For our customers, that means they can expect a consistent, joined-up experience from the moment they read any of our marketing collateral to the moment their expert witness’ work is done.”
What’s next for Foresight?
“Our aim is to make Foresight the trusted partner when an expert witness report is required. To do that we need to continue delivering the highest levels of customer service to our clients. We need to continue our work with our expert panel to build ever-stronger working relationships and more efficient processes. We need to attract and recruit further high-quality experts onto our panel and we’ll continue to work collaboratively with other partners across the Group.
“Finally, we’re working to ensure Foresight remains a great place to work for our employees.”