Sep 22

See you at ARK Group’s 11th Annual Competitive Intelligence in Modern Law Firm program!

By Monice Kaczorowski | Competitive Intelligence

Rather than be a target of downsizing or outsourcing, the Modern Library is innovative, forward thinking and strives to carve out new roles within the organization while showcasing the value of resources and staff.  Librarians have a variety of skills that can be utilized in innovative ways and partnering with marketing to provide competitive intelligence for business development is just one of them.

FEIT Consulting will be joining our peers, colleagues and clients on September 28th at the ARK Group’s 11th Annual Competitive Intelligence in Modern Law Firm program to understand the latest trends in “Balancing opportunity and risk by leveraging intelligence that informs strategic decision-making – expanding the competitive horizon beyond competing law firm practices”.

As part of the Modern Library audit, we often times advise our clients on best practices for evaluating current CI units or how the library might engage with Marketing to provide interdepartmental support by providing research and actionable data on current clients and competitors.  As we help our clients explore the challenges and opportunities the Modern Library faces, we want to know what our clients need to know on how best to support the ever shifting business of law. See you in New York!

Sep 21

Modern Library – Value of the Business Case

By Monice Kaczorowski | Library Modernization , Modern Libraries

The Modern Library evolves and shifts as needs of the firm or organization change. By being proactive to change, the law library brings added value to the firm or organization. A well-developed business case responding to changes and needs provides solutions to current issues and showcases the value the law library brings to the firm or organization.

Don’t discount what your law library can do. If you are an Administrator, be open to considering business cases for new ideas, products, or processes. If you are a Librarian or Director, think about what solutions or new value the law library can bring.

In your business case, include the factors driving the reason for the proposed idea. Be specific and clearly state what problem you are solving. Include a financial review with comparables. If there are several option, state each but include your recommendation and the back-up for it. Surveying or interviewing current or potential users or recipients of this proposed idea can bring value to your business case.

Budget season can serve as an optimal time to deliver business cases. As you develop your budgets, includes business cases for budget increases or changes. In short, a law library that presents well-planned business cases not only impacts the bottom line in the long-run but also showcases the value of the law library; transforming it into a Modern Library.

 

Sep 21

Contract Red Flags

By Alex West | Contract Negotiations , Pricing

Contract negotiations are often not on your list of most fun things to do. It can be a long and drawn out process. There are many red flags to be aware of when entering the negotiation process. One being the option of a long-term deal. For some, it can seem ideal to lock in a price and put off the next round of negotiations even farther into the future. However, with rare exceptions, a long-term contract is among the worst paths a firm can choose for several reasons. The first reason seems obvious: change. Technology and pricing are continuously changing. You wouldn’t buy a plan that kept you from upgrading your phone for 5 years, would you? The legal information landscape is rapidly evolving with exciting acquisitions and new companies/products emerging. These products will continue to pull away use and interest in Lexis and Westlaw. It is always possible that one change in the market could make another product irrelevant. And as Artificial Intelligence rapidly gains momentum, there is much to be seen. Generally, a longer contract benefits the vendor. For legal information contracts, we always advise keeping the term to within your near and long-term forecasts, generally that is 3 years or fewer unless you are receiving a truly exceptional deal.

Another red flag is the year over year increase. Consider what additional benefits you are receiving for an annual increase. Pay attention to the later year increases, as these can often be higher than the first to second year increase. Complacency or lack of diligence in managing information resources can have long-lasting unfavorable implications on both processes and costs, thereby hampering overall efficiency.

Another red flag are bundles. Bundling products together can be an advantage for some. However, for many a new contract bundle may be hiding unnecessary products or content that the firm or organization doesn’t need. Take for instance the cable, internet and phone bundle. If cable companies realized a 35% increase in bundling these products, imagine the increases your legal information vendors are receiving. Take a good look at the bundle being offered. It could be a great deal, or it might not; but in either case, it is worth investigating.

To learn more about the do’s and don’ts of legal information contract negotiations, click here.

 

Sep 19

Why A Start-up Wouldn’t Purchase Both Westlaw and Lexis Today

By Michael Feit | Sole Provider , Vendor Elimination

Imagine you had a new start-up law firm. You are deciding which legal information resources to purchase. You sit down with Lexis and Westlaw. Each offers you the same pricing and contract terms your firm or organization currently has today. Would you purchase both?

With the majority of firms already making the choice to retain just one vendor, the market has proven that firms don’t need both Lexis and Westlaw to operate successfully.  It is hard to imagine a start-up today purchasing these redundant services when, instead, the firm could redirect its legal information budget to a multitude of other products and simultaneously enjoy substantial savings.

Until a decade ago, more than 85% of law firms had both Lexis and Westlaw. The vendors offered products with a lot of unique content, making it justifiable to have both. Additionally, approximately 90% of costs associated with online research were passed through to clients.

Since the 2008 Recession, recovery rates have dropped to 36%, overall usage is down and continuing to decline, and, Lexis and Westlaw products have become quite similar. While there is still some unique content, it is not enough to justify firms retaining both.  And, fortunately, there are many workarounds to alleviate concerns about lost content.

If you are still retaining both vendors, it is time for you to re-evaluate your legal information vendor portfolio.  Feit Consulting’s Sole Provider Playbook provides a step-by-step process for firms to assess the option and, if viable, implement the change. Learn more here.

Sep 19

New Customers Are Treated Like Royalty

By Alex West | Contract Negotiations , Market Trend Reports , Pricing

It is not unheard of for companies to offer sweet deals to lure in new customers. Save $15 off your next Lyft or Uber ride, only to look up the promotion and find out that you are not eligible because it is reserved for new customers.

Similarly, new customers of Lexis and Westlaw are enticed with great pricing, content sets and contract terms. If your firm has been a long-time customer of either vendor and has not received recent price reductions, it is highly likely that your contracts are unfavorable.

Find out today how your firm’s contracts compare with the market.  Feit Consulting offers contract benchmarking services and products, including our white paper,Optimizing Legal Information Pricing.

Sep 19

How Timing Can Impede Contract Negotiations

By Jenny Potocnik | Contract Negotiations , Pricing

Negotiating an expensive legal information contract requires more than a few conversations with the vendor. If you want the most value for your buck, allocate the appropriate amount of time to evaluate your resources. Assess usage, content redundancies on other vendor products, practice group or firm size changes – to name just a few.  Many firms give themselves just three months or so to work on their next round of legal information contracts.  Whenever possible, however, it is best to allocate more time for planning and evaluating the real value of legal information resources.  The extra time creates huge leverage for the firm in contract negotiations.

You can’t turn back time! Get the tools you need now in order to successfully negotiate and optimize your firm’s legal information resources and pricing. Working with a consultant can help your firm navigate the complexities of these important vendor negotiations. Learn more about our consulting services here.

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