Category Archives for "Sole Provider"

Mar 20

If your firm is going sole provider, do you have a change management roadmap to guide the process?

By Michael Feit | Sole Provider

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. 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.

The idea of transitioning to sole-provider can be daunting, considering the many individuals and processes that might be impacted. There are a great number of elements to examine, from contracts to content, not to mention the strong reactions of users to fundamental system changes. Lexis and Westlaw have both successfully infiltrated law firms’ cultures and infrastructures over their many years of service.

Feit Consulting offers a variety of resources to help firms and organizations transition to sole provider. Firms and organizations can engage with Feit Consulting to provide project management direction, tools and resources to implement the change from two provider to one provider, or for some firms and organizations – flipping from one vendor to the other vendor. Feit Consulting will evaluate your specific needs to determine our role and pricing that is customized to your firm’s needs. Learn more about our consulting solutions here.

If your firm or organization is seeking a resource on how to implement the sole provider transition, Feit Consulting’s Sole Provider Playbook is an excellent resource for Administrators and Librarians. It is an all-encompassing guide, with detailed processes, steps, timelines and tools to actually execute the change.

Flipping vendors or eliminating a vendor can provide substantial savings, however this process requires an intense amount of time and planning. Let Feit Consulting guide your firm or organization through the process. Contact Feit Consulting today to set up an initial consultation with our team of experts.

Mar 20

Sole Provider is not for every firm. Have you evaluated the option for your firm?

By Michael Feit | Feit Consulting , Sole Provider

The sole-provider option is not for every firm, and largely depends on your firm’s legal practices, recovery rates, contract pricing, and usage. While the option may not be the right decision for every firm, an evaluation of the sole-provider option is necessary for law firm administrators.

The idea of transitioning to sole-provider can be daunting, considering the many individuals and processes that might be impacted. There are a great number of elements to examine, from contracts to content, not to mention the strong reactions of users to fundamental system changes.

Whether or not a firm chooses to go sole-provider, the evaluation in itself provides an opportunity for a firm to review, revise and refine its legal information strategy and potentially save significant money. In a secret pricing market, knowledge is power. Knowing to what extent the sole-provider option is viable for your firm can serve as great leverage in contract negotiations.

Feit Consulting’s Sole Provider Viability Decision Guide walks legal information administrators through the pre-decision process, and lays out the groundwork necessary for informed decision-making. Learn more about this resource here.

Contact Feit Consulting today for a free consultation on what sole provider means for your firm. Click here to get started.

Mar 10

Strategy, Planning, and ROI Tracking for 2018

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Contract Negotiations , Feit Consulting , Librarians , Modern Law Library , Pricing , Sole Provider , Vendors

Spring brings about the opportunity to do things differently. Technology and the buzz word – modernization, are on the mind we enter into this new year. There are tactical things you as an Administrator or Librarian can do to stay ahead of the game this coming year, and make technology and modernization optimized within your Library.

Budget – Two key words come to mind with regards to budget: collaboration and reporting. Work with Finance to more efficiently monitor budget and expenses. Establish a new schedule for collecting data, and the date of each month or quarter you will turn around that data. For example, receiving data on the 3rd of the month and providing a report to management on the 10th of each month.

Reporting – What metrics are you using to measure ROI and showcase value? Are you collecting feedback from library users? Are you using an Electronic Resource Management (ERM) tool? If so, are you utilizing its full capacity?

Contract Management Planning – Implement new deadlines for legal information management planning. Most of us mark contract expirations on a calendar or in a tracking program. Go a step further.

  • Month 1: Determine which tools you have in place that can provide data on usage, costs, and value. Such tools may include: Invoices, ERM, developing a survey for users, and scheduling one-on-one conversations with attorneys and staff to assess value and usage of products.
  • Month 2: Collect data. Based on the tools determined in month 1, begin collecting data. Work with finance to dive into invoices.
  • Month 3: Analyze the data. Understand what is your ROI for the expiring product(s). Look at as many metrics as you can: Spend per Attorney, usage, discount, etc.
  • Month 4-6: Begin the negotiation process by requesting a proposal from vendor. Remember, it is more beneficial for vendors to wait to the last minute for pressure to sign the new contract. It won’t be easy but start early.

For firms and organizations considering eliminating Lexis or Westlaw, start this process 9 months to 12 months in advance of your contract expiration of either vendor. Assessing vendor preference and combating concerns is a lengthier process than one might think. While it has been done in a month, having more time on your side is always an advantage.

Feit Consulting’s Optimizing Legal Information Pricing is an excellent resource. It shares detailed processes and steps for contract negotiation planning, knowing which metrics to use, and how best to strategize the negotiation process.

Mar 08

30% of the Market is Still Paying Too Much

By Michael Feit | Feit Consulting , Legal Information Trends , Pricing , Sole Provider , Vendors

“As a person who has watched this industry for over 17 years; it is amazing and frustrating to see that 30% of the market is still paying way too much.” -Michael Feit

Prices for Westlaw and Lexis grew astronomically from the late 90’s up until the 2008 due to usage growing so fast.  After 2008, 30% of the market said it cannot afford to cover the costs of online research – not being able to pass off the full costs to clients.

Some firms were successful in getting concessions from both Westlaw/Lexis. However, in 2010 the Sole Provider trend emerged. Many firms started to move forward and eliminate either Westlaw or Lexis.

Right now; 55% of large law firms have one or the other.  Of the 45% of firms that continue to have both Lexis and Westlaw, 20% have threatened to eliminate a vendor….or have eliminated a vendor but then took them back at best of market pricing.

Currently,  25-30% of market are still overpaying by greater than 50-100% of mid-market pricing (per Feit’s Benchmarks).  Is your firm getting the best market pricing?  Click here to get more information from our experts.

Jan 18

What happened in 2017?

By Michael Feit | Contract Negotiations , Feit Consulting , Librarians , Resources , Sole Provider , Vendors

Westlaw and Lexis continued to see their market share erode due to firms eliminating one or the other vendors as the Sole Provider trend continues. Lexis is now starting to become victorious where previously Westlaw has dominated the market.  What is interesting is the rate at which firms choosing Lexis to Westlaw has increased.

Lexis really stepped it up in 2017.  By purchasing new companies and developing a suite of products. Lexis holds onto firms that might have canceled by allowing access to their exclusive suite of products, making it difficult for firms to exist without Lexis.  

Westlaw maintains legacy popularity but we find them priced too high in many places and firms cannot justify the astronomical price disparities. Firms are unhappy with Westlaw’s inexplicable pricing model and as a result, more firms are eliminating Westlaw more so than ever before.

BBNA had some success in 2017.  They have been breaking into firms that have phased out Westlaw or Lexis but for the most part they are more expensive than Westlaw/Lexis and firms are not interested spending that much money on an unproven product.  

Westlaw/Lexis were very aggressive in going after firms that they had historically lost by giving firms they lost?  10-15% of firms that had previously canceled a vendor contract are “flipping” in order to get best in market vendor pricing, sometimes at 1/10th the price, and taking vendors back to these lower price points.

Sep 27

The Demise of the Wexis Monopoly

By Michael Feit | Sole Provider , Vendors

Today, over 50% of large law firms retain only Lexis or only Westlaw. Within large law, 21% of firms with over 500 attorneys have gone this route. If a firm with 1000+ attorneys can go sole-provider, does this foretell the end of the Wexis monopoly?

In the world of legal information, Westlaw and Lexis have been and remain the market leaders. Until recently, midsize and large law firms universally believed that Westlaw and Lexis were complementary products. Even once-innovative products and services ultimately find themselves on the path to commoditization as they mature. Fierce competition motivates products to adopt their rival’s successful features, and therefore become more similar. While there may be preference for one or another, unique product benefits become less obvious.

As corporate clients pushed back on research costs, firms were not able to recover costs entirely. The effect on the bottom line pushed some firms to make the decision to go sole-provider. The freedom of funds allows firms and organizations to purchase wish-list software and technology to enhance the delivery of legal information. Feit Consulting has been monitoring the sole-provider trend for over a decade. While this has worked for some, the big question is whether it is the right decision for your firm or organization.

How should you proceed?

1) Get the pricing intel to determine contract pricing is favorable. Compare contracts with market intel in Feit’s white paper, Optimizing Legal Information Pricing.

2) Whether or not your firm or organization has favorable pricing, this alone does not pre-determine whether you should keep both. It is worthwhile to assess the viability of sole-provider option. Develop a business case. If needed, check out this resource, the Sole-Provider Viability Decision Guide.

3) Execute and implement. Consider hiring a consultant if you decide to make a change.

Regardless of the outcome, exploring the sole-provider option is a healthy step in revising your legal-information strategy and can provide intelligence to enhance your tactics for upcoming negotiation. If you choose to do it alone, these resources are an advantage to legal-information decision makers on what steps and considerations should be made in the process.

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