Discover the importance of LawyerLinx
This article originally appeared in the September issue of Business Review Canada!
We live in a world where technology rules—that’s pretty obvious. Between the latest smartphone, app, wearable device and 3- and 4-D formats, it’s all about tech!
RELATED TOPIC: Are you protecting customer data or exposing it?
And it goes without saying that innovators and accelerators are key to the continued advancement of business: Without these forward-thinkers, none of this is possible.
Among these visionaries is Edyta Kowalewska, the Canadian-based lawyer who developed Lawyerlinx.com, a new website created to provide easy access to justice and credible information to help with all-things legal.
We had the opportunity to gain insight from Kowalewska regarding the motivation behind this service, as well as what it means to be a new leader in the tech field.
BRCA: What originally gave you the inspiration to create LawyerLinx.com?
EK: The inspiration behind LawyerLinx was an “A-Ha” moment when I realized that you could access much more information online about a car or refrigerator you were planning to buy versus a lawyer you were thinking about hiring.
Equally pivotal was my recognition that in comparison to various consumer products and services you can research and compare with relative ease, legal services (which carry significant financial costs and produce long lasting consequences for the client) lacked a centralized, streamlined tool to allow a consumer to obtain the information they require to make informed decisions about how, when and from whom they obtain such legal services.
Many individuals and businesses forgo obtaining legal advice altogether due to a perceived difficulty involved in finding and working with a lawyer. The lack of accessibility to the legal profession and lack of legal literacy are all underlying issues which ultimately effect access to justice. Using technology, I set out to make the legal profession, legal services and legal literacy in Canada more accessible to both individuals and businesses.
Through my experience as a lawyer, I found the supply and demand sides of the legal market misaligned and disconnected. This inspired me to create a platform that would provide a user-friendly system to connect consumers of legal services to the legal profession. The result is an innovative legal marketplace that does just that: connects individuals and businesses alike to great Canadian lawyers and legal services.
BRCA: What are some of your day-to-day activities or responsibilities?
EK: As a legal tech start-up, the capabilities of our platform and consumer experience are at the forefront of everything we do. Ensuring that the platform features are functioning well, receiving and using user feedback to continuously develop and improve the platform means daily development meetings.
I also spend a lot of time staying on top of news and developments in the legal industry, technology sector and consumer experience research. Some other daily tasks include:
- Communications with lawyers, consumers and organizations
- Content production
- Handling paperwork and accounting
- Troubleshooting, testing and ongoing improvements
- Strategy meetings
- Social media management
- Brainstorming and developing additional features and services
BRCA: What are your thoughts on what it means to be a tech leader? What particular qualities does it take to earn this title and how do you become a leader in this industry?
EK: A technology leader is an innovative and resourceful thinker who has mastered the art of execution and who either develops new technology or creates new ways of applying existing technology that answers or creates a need or opportunity in the market.
In my opinion, the focus of a tech leader is not the technology itself, but the benefit or value it brings to its users. I think this is the only way to have truly innovative ideas. Not necessarily focusing on the “how” of your vision, but starting with and being guided by what you are working to create and why. To me, a tech leader is a visionary with a purpose.
As a tech leader, I have a clear long-term vision of how the company will use technology to bring value to consumers of legal services. However, my vision and goals are agile and flexible enough to listen to and adapt to feedback, as well as the ever changing market needs and opportunities.
In terms of qualities required to succeed in this industry, you certainly have to be unrelenting and unstoppable. You have to have a clear vision of not only what you are striving to create but also why. Taking risks, being comfortable with uncertainty as well as anticipating, noticing and seizing opportunities as they arise are essential.
RELATED TOPIC: Some small Canadian companies big on data
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.