Between the Lines: Simplifying Service with the Process Server App

Oct 27, 2020 9 min read

Technology is an ingrained part of our lives and apps have become something we expect. ABC Legal Services has made the development of an app for process servers a priority, since service of process is a key offering at ABC Legal. The app uses technology to streamline and strengthen service of process attempts and the day-to-day of being a process server through enhancements to communication and transparency.

ABC LEgal Mobile

Last week’s article highlighted how the app streamlines documentation and helps to automate proof of service. Continuing our exploration of the process server app, “Between the Lines” is taking a closer look at the mapping and rating systems within the process server app, which differentiate service of process through ABC Legal Services by giving process servers a unique technological advantage in the world of service of process.

Benefits of Key App Functions and Features

Process servers benefit from the logic behind the app as well as key features within the app. The app is organized to provide process servers with the opportunity to optimize their service, the number of jobs they take and routes. The app is built around job organization, job consolidation, caseload management, map integration and scoring dynamics. Below we’ll take a look at how the app supports servers through caseload management, map integration and scoring dynamics.

Connecting Servers to the Right Volume of Jobs

ABC Legal Services facilitates service of process by connecting process of service jobs from its clients to local process servers. This relationship benefits legal clients seeking to have their jobs served as well as the process servers by increasing the number of jobs available in a given area. Process servers see more regular work and the paralegals or attorneys see jobs getting done faster.

Process servers working with ABC Legal tend to see a good volume of work available to them near the locations where they prefer to operate. The size of the business allows ABC Legal Services’ servers to take on the amount of work that suits their schedules and needs, creating efficient pathways to complete jobs quickly. In this regard, ABC Legal Services is able to support a variety of process servers, from those who serve full time to those who are only looking for gig work to help make ends meet. The benefit of this high volume of work is maximized by ABC Legal’s deference to the process servers’ focus on the value of time and distance in relation to their work.

At ABC Legal Services, the underlying job assignment system is organized by location rather than by client. This allows process servers to stay local and grow their specialized knowledge of a given area. The output of this organizational tactic is a process server favorite and highly useful feature - the process server job map. In the app, servers can see their current jobs as well as jobs available in their area. They can choose to claim the jobs they want to take based on availability, pricing, proximity and  allowed job capacity.

A process server is able to claim a certain number of jobs at a time. The process server can grow this number by successfully completing jobs. As their completions go up, the quantity of jobs they can claim will rise. Experienced and successful servers are eventually able to “claim a territory.” As long as it is within their earned monthly capacity, the jobs in a specific area or zip code will go to them first to be claimed. This remains true as long as they are able to maintain job completions and ABC Legal’s industry-setting standards for service of process. Process servers working with ABC Legal Services regularly serve jobs within a set perimeter, providing for faster and more knowledgeable service. They are also able to release or relinquish areas or jobs (before opening them), enabling the server to cater their workload to what they can handle and are comfortable doing from a quantity and location standpoint.

An additional benefit of the mapping and job selection feature is job grouping. As jobs accumulate in an area, they are grouped together. This is advantageous for getting jobs that are further from city centers done. A process server can elect to do a group of three jobs in one area rather than multiple servers randomly selecting a single job outside of their normal drive-time comfort zone.

Optimizing Driving Routes and Location Ranges for Service of Process Jobs

After confirming their acceptance of a job, process servers are able to download and print documents. Each job is available in their job list, complete with instructions, related documents, applicable notes and relevant dates. Process servers can choose to group or review jobs by city, zip code, proximity to current, instruction type (which may indicate a job has special requirements or is on an expedited timeline) or age. The jobs are visible on the process server map, which ties into our route planning feature, allowing servers to plan and optimize their route.

The team at ABC Legal Services takes feedback from process servers to make app improvements and guide development. One feature fast-tracked due to a process server request was the ability for servers to not only sort and group jobs, but to select jobs individually for further optimization. Filtered jobs can be selected through a toggling process, giving process servers the freedom to customize and optimize their data and journeys from their experiences, rather than relying on built-in optimization.

This built-in optimization is great for new servers or those who want to see how the route planner will align their service of process jobs. The route planner can be set to “Optimize for” total earnings or time. Additionally, within the route planner process servers can choose start times, end times, starting or ending locations. The most recent plan will stay active in their phone, so it should be ready the next time they come into the app. The app will make a best guess at how to align the jobs based on the provided criteria and known location data.

ABC Legal's process server route planner in the app

The app experience has been optimized specifically for day-today of a process server. The app will take the route into consideration and will push the next location on the route to the process server’s normal map service, such as Google Maps or Bing. When the process server re-enters the app after arriving, the job for that location will be open and ready for them to complete notes and records. They can then move onto the next job on the route and get pulled back into their preferred map application.

These features combine to create a flexible and efficient schedule for process servers, who are often all too aware of the time and miles that go into performing proper service of process. Utilizing the process server app, process servers at ABC Legal Services are able to get the most out of their time, putting more energy into their service and less into logistics and route planning.

Process Server Scores and Ranking

ABC Legal's process server performance metrics

One way that ABC Legal monitors performance and encourages excellence in service of process is through the generation of process server scores, metrics that define each server’s performance. The score is presented within a scorecard, a dashboard that shows the server their star rating, monthly capacity and lifetime resolutions.

Star Rating

The data from the entire scorecard funnels into the star rating. The star rating is based on a combination of the server’s speed, accuracy and their number of resolutions. A star rating is only assigned to those that pass a certain lifetime resolution threshold, to maintain balance in the data and prevent a lack of data from biasing the score.

Monthly Capacity

Monthly capacity is the amount of jobs a process server is allowed to take on in a given month. Monthly capacity grows as the number of successful resolutions, star rating and performance overall improves. The capacity feature enables process servers to acclimate to a certain level of jobs and find the right number to take on without hurting their overall performance.

Lifetime Resolutions

The “Lifetime Resolutions” field is simply a record of a process server’s successful resolutions. Resolutions are closed jobs. Ideally, resolutions occur when a process server serves a document at an address to an appropriate individual according to local requirements. Otherwise, resolutions can occur when a process server has visited an address and determines that an individual cannot/should not be served or when due diligence requirements have been made. (as per local regulations and ABC Legal’s performance standards)

How can Process Servers Improve their Score?

Improving scores comes down to improving the metrics throughout the process server scorecard or dashboard. Getting more successful, fully compliant or “proper” serves will enhance a score. It’s important to note that scores are a weighted average over several months of service of process. Process servers must show improvements over a period as long as a month to start  seeing their scores improve and will have to maintain their averages across the scorecard metrics to keep scores up overall.

Process servers are able to see their scores as well as how they rank compared to other process servers, to invite friendly competition and to allow servers to self-assess their performance against other servers. It’s a great way to gauge current progressive performance against a larger standard, something process servers who operate independently often lack. Process servers can see how they rank within the state or nation as well as how their score or rank has shifted over time, on a monthly basis.

ABC Legal process server performance scorecard

Simplify Service of Process

The technology and business model utilized by ABC legal Services provides process servers with a more simplified, centralized and automated experience, helping them optimize their service of process.

The app relieves operational tasks from process servers and simplifies process of service by:

  • Facilitating caseload management through a user-friendly map interface;
  • Allowing for route optimization and planning that process servers can customize based on their input and knowledge of an area;
  • Providing process servers with a gauge on how their service of process compares to others, rewarding them for successes and setting them on a path that allows for reflection and improvement.

The process server app is focused and specialized technology ABC Legal Services is invested in and excited about. Since the app is something that elevates and drives the service of process experience, the teams at ABC Legal are constantly developing new features and working to evolve, optimizing and adapting the process server app. To learn more about being a process server with ABC Legal visit: https://www.abclegal.com/serve.

"Between the Lines" is meant to inform and empower your decisions around legal tech and help you get to know the people and processes powering ABC Legal Services’ products and services. Subscribe to the blog to stay up-to-date with our products, legal services and the legal tech industry.

About ABC Legal Services

ABC Legal is the nation’s leading service of process and court filing company and is the official process server to the U.S. Department of Justice. Docketly is a subsidiary of ABC Legal, providing appearance counsel on a digital, custom-built platform that smoothly integrates with our applications and services. ABC Legal’s applications are cloud-based and compatible for use on desktop, browser, and smartphones. Our solutions and digital approach ensure process server partners, law firm customers, and their clients save valuable time and resources when serving legal notices safely and with maximum compliance, control, and transparency. ABC Legal is based in Seattle, WA, with more than 2,000 process servers throughout the U.S., as well as internationally in more than 75 countries. To learn more about ABC Legal, our solutions, and subsidiary company Docketly, visit www.abclegal.com.

 

Heather Thomas

Written by

Heather Thomas

Digital Marketing Specialist, ABC Legal Services. Heather combines her natural curiosity and organizational skills to develop content and nurture stories at ABC Legal. A believer in good design and great brand experiences, she looks for opportunities to investigate, design, and create within the brand.

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