Is your court reporter an industry leader or a copycat?

A famous English cleric, Charles Caleb Colton, first said that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. While Colton lived in the Eighteenth Century, his words still ring true in today’s business world. A world in which many are constantly imitating and trying to catch up to industry leaders. This situation is uniquely true in the world of court reporting, where industry leaders are frequently copied but rarely duplicated.

It is, of course, a tribute to the success of individuals or companies when others copy them. In business, small companies will often copy market leaders, aspiring to have their level of success. In reality, this rarely happens, as it is the research, development, innovation and investment that creates the market leaders in the first place, and by the time others try to copy and catch-up, market leaders will already have moved on.

Kentuckiana Reporters was established in 1975 and has continually grown since that time. We were the first in Louisville to introduce multimedia CDs that synchronized deposition text to the videographer’s video. We were so far ahead of our time that the Jefferson County courtrooms are only now catching-up and installing the JCUP trial presentation equipment to utilize our trial-ready CDs (a project which we proudly sponsor).

We were the first in the market to utilize digital court reporters to reduce costs while maintaining quality. One small competitor reacted by attacking us, claiming that attorneys should only use stenographers (someone who writes in digital code) or pen writers (reporters who use ink pens). We believe that a mix of both stenographers and digital reporters is the best way to serve a broad client base.  Sure enough, it has been five years since adding digital and we are serving more clients than ever while delivering transcripts in industry-leading turn-around times. It turns out that many attorneys are, like the rest of us, cost conscious and focused on results. We stand by our results. We’ve even challenged our competitors to head-to-head deposition contests in order to see which method is more accurate. Those outspoken opponents, well, they’ve run from our challenge.

Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery but in business it can be a dangerous game…especially for the customer. Imagine if your suppliers simply copied products from the market leaders without the vision, innovation or investment to “paddle their own canoe”. Your business will always trail behind your competitors who put their trust in those visionary companies who do invest, who do innovate, and who do lead the market.

Competitors have been quick to steal our marketing language by claiming to be a “full service firm”. They do this without embracing the requirements of the label. Kentuckiana has a full-time staff which includes a scheduling coordinator, production manager, transcript manager, trial presentation specialist, client concierge and an office manager who is available 24 hours a day to address any problem you might have. That stands in sharp contrast to court reporters working from their garage with no support staff while claiming to be “full service”. Look beyond the labels and make sure you are really getting your money’s worth. Providing “full service” across the region means providing for all of your court reporting and videography needs whether your deposition is in Hickman, KY, Pikeville, KY, Cincinnati, OH or anywhere in the Ohio Valley. It also means that you never have to leave a message or ask your court reporter if their schedule will accommodate your needs. “Full service” means providing complimentary conference rooms in Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and London. “Full service” means partnering with industry leaders to provide court reporters for you anywhere in world. The next time a reporter claims to be “full service”, make sure they don’t actually mean “working from the garage”.

At Kentuckiana, we have continued to strengthen our position as a market leader. By developing reporting packages uniquely tailored to our client’s needs, we have been able to save local attorneys thousands of dollars in transcript costs while delivering an accurate transcript faster than ever before. And we’re investing in the future – in new technology, innovation, new databases and better ways of doing business. Think carefully about court reporters who simply imitate our slogans and follow our lead. While as market leaders, we appreciate the flattery, if you want your business to stay ahead of the game – instead of playing catch-up – perhaps the wisest move is to team up with those court reporters who do lead from the front.

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