Tag Archives for " business case "

Sep 21

Modern Library: Value of the Business Case

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Modern Law Library

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 options, 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, include 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 18

Is your library budget ready?

By Michael Feit | Budgeting , Modern Law Library

Budget season is here. Are you ready?

Budget season is here, and 2018 expense is right around the corner. While no one enjoys the necessary number-crunching of budget preparation, annual budgets are an important tool of modern-library metrics. The library budget, a microcosm of projected expense within the larger organization, should be meaningful by helping you to understand how you spend firm dollars. Your budget, broken down by categories of material, or service, or major vendor, should allow you a framework to monitor expense.

When preparing the budget, utilize all tools at your disposal. Annual budgeting should never be done in a vacuum. Talk to Finance to get a better idea of the firm’s strategy for the upcoming year. What is the firm’s fiscal goal for the new year, and what does that mean for the library? Is this a year of zero-based budgeting? Are there plans for a new office or strategic downsizing firm-wide? Is the firm planning to right-size practice groups? If so, then performing an office-copy audit becomes a valuable tool of budget preparation. Addition or deletion of attorneys and staff affects library spend and seat licenses, so make sure you are proactive in understanding what the firm is planning. If you have an Electronic Resource Management (ERM) tool in place, pull usage reports, and analyze user data and actual ROI of electronic subscriptions helping to support renewal or cancellation decisions. Don’t forget to survey your user population to make sure their needs have not changed and the firm is subscribing to the right content. Make sure you are current on legal-vendor offerings and haven’t overlooked new vendors with the same content but a better value.

The Modern Library requires individuals to change their mindset from maintaining the status quo to becoming open to new ways of doing things. Consider how you will shape your budget to reflect new solutions that you want to present to your organization. Whether it is new software to improve workflow or hiring a consultant for upcoming contract negotiations, the budget should reflect the library’s needs and projects for the upcoming year. If you are proposing something new, consider adding a business case as a supplement, providing the needs assessment and ROI derived from the new solution. For the law firm administrator that is often a numbers person, hard-budget data turned into informative charts and graphs will tell your story in a visual way that is powerful beyond just numbers. The law library budget should be well thought out and reflect your needs and expenses for the upcoming fiscal year.







Mar 21

Measuring The Modern Library – What exactly do your metrics show?

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Modern Law Library

Change is the only constant. There are changes we can forecast, and there are those to which we must react. Utilizing metrics and analytics will help support everyday operations, and changes at the firm that effect the Library. This data can come from an array of sources: Budget, Electronic Resource Management (ERM), User Feedback and even Associations Surveys.

Let’s start with the budget since this is almost the end of the year and most of our clients are finalizing renewals and expense projections. Consider just how meaningful is your budget? Does it truly reflect your operations? Are you capturing and monitoring revenue streams as well as expense? Are you billing for research services? If so, are you analyzing this data to identify which attorneys are passing on costs, and who is writing off client related expense.

For those with an ERM in place, whether monitoring reference requests or analyzing user data to assess ROI, ERMs are a valuable tool in the arsenal of the Modern Library. Robust reporting capabilities allow the Librarian to slice, dice and analyze data providing a better understanding of what is working in the Modern Library and what might need adjusting, like contracts for online resources seldom used or identification of training opportunities.

Since the Library provides many services, soliciting user feedback is valuable in figuring out what is working and what isn’t bringing value. The Modern Library is responsive to change when it needs to occur. A simple “how are we doing” at the end of a fulfilled request provides real time information and allows for agile change.

With the recent publication of the 2017 Biennial AALL Salary Survey & Organizational Characteristics, valuable metrics regarding salary, staffing patterns, Librarian attorney ratios are available allowing you to benchmark your Library. Are staffing and salaries where they should be for a firm your size?

The value of all these metrics lies in the data the Librarian can use to justify staffing, budgets and to assess the general ROI of the Library. For law firm Administrators, hard data turned into informative charts and graphs can tell the story of the modern Library in a visual way that is powerful beyond the numbers.

Dec 02

Why We Changed Our Minds about the Sole-Provider Option

By Michael Feit | Sole Provider , White Papers

Our view going into the writing and development of The Sole Provider Playbook was that the outcome of the business case would vary from firm to firm.

We thought at the time that the ability to overcome hurdles would sometimes be too expensive, overwhelming, and difficult to make this option worthwhile.

We changed our minds, and we’re convinced.

After months of scrubbing the market to identify any and all possible hurdles and concerns, we are confident that the business case for a sole-provider option is clear and valid for virtually all large law firms. While hurdles and concerns are numerous, the workarounds, hassles and costs are inconsequential in comparison to the savings opportunity.