How long will vendor elimination take?

By Michael Feit | Sole Provider

Feb 28

Often before beginning the vendor elimination process, the big question is, “How long will this take?"

There are two approaches to vendor elimination. The first is the “pull off the Band-Aid” approach, whereby management buys-in and then the decision is announced with no planning or re-resourcing of content. Let the chips fall where they may.

This approach may work well in certain circumstances, but it is not the approach we recommend.  The approach that Feit Consulting advises aims to make the transition to sole provider as seamless and painless as possible.

Our preferred approach requires strategic planning, stakeholder management, time and commitment.The complexity of this process is largely dependent upon the intricacies of each firm and the length will vary accordingly.  Business plan development, presentation and follow-up is estimated to take 4-5 months.  If the firm decides to move forward with the sole provider option, the next steps include conducting a Gap Analysis and developing replacements and work-arounds, taking 2- 4 months.

Today, eliminating Westlaw is a much more difficult task than that of eliminating Lexis.  In the process of a Westlaw elimination, gaining associate buy-in will likely consume the greatest amount of time, but minimizing associate push-back will ensure success. Therefore, the timeframe to eliminate Westlaw (6-12 months) is significantly longer than that of Lexis (1-4 months).

Lastly, allocating 3-6 months to transition processes and people from two vendors is beneficial. In sum, adequate planning and execution to eliminate Westlaw can take 15-27 months, and for Lexis elimination: 10-19 months.

Often before beginning the vendor elimination process, the big question is, “How long will this take?” There are two approaches to vendor elimination. The first is the “pull off the Band-Aid” approach, whereby Management buys in, and then the decision is announced with no planning or re-resourcing of content. Let the chips fall where they may.

About the Author

Michael Feit earned his J.D. from the Loyola University School of Law in Chicago and was an executive at Westlaw before founding Feit Consulting 16 years ago. Feit Consulting partners with law firm administrators and legal information professionals to optimize vendor contracts and the management and delivery of legal information resources by providing leading-edge, customized solutions. Contact Michael at mike@feitconsulting.com