Tag Archives for " ERM "

Jan 17

The Role of Technology in the Modern Law Library

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Librarians , Modern Law Library , Resources

Whether tackling big data, pushing curated content to client team dashboards, ensuring your Electronic Resource Management (ERM) or Integrated Library System (ILS) is meeting expectations or keeping abreast of legal apps, the Modern Library needs to be at the technological forefront of their organizations.

As information professionals, the Library needs to take a proactive approach of see a need fill a need and help organizations identify, and test possible technology solutions. It doesn’t have to be some grandiose approach, start small and present something simple that can solve a problem showing immediate ROI.

Learn more about the role of technology in the Modern Library in Beyond Virtualization: Transforming the Law Library. Release date is Friday, January 26th. Pre-release pricing now available. Click here to learn more.

Sep 18

The Modern Library Defined

By Michael Feit | Librarians , Surveys

Cutting-edge…state-of-the-art…unconventional…using the most up-to-date techniques, technology and metrics…

While all these ideas are traits of the Modern Library, the first step to modernization really starts with you, the librarian. You need to be flexible in your approach and meet change head-on. Ask yourself, “How can I change my habits to actually facilitate change? How can I move out of my mindset of but we have always done it that way? What can I do differently to offer value to my organization and make them see me and my library in a new way?” While law firms have always depended on library and information professionals to support the research needs of their lawyers, the Modern Library is undergoing a paradigm shift. Success now depends on the library taking a more active role in the organization, to help support the day-to-day business of law.

While librarian skill sets remain the same, the methods used to apply those skills are vastly different from those of the past. The Modern Library is a nexus for interdepartmental support, including, but not an exhaustive list:

  • Embracing new roles in Conflicts Support for new business intake
  • Partnering with Marketing to provide competitive intelligence to support the RFP process
  • Partnering with IT to identify and beta-test software
  • Driving Knowledge Management

Be enthusiastic about new ideas. The Modern Library is a trendsetter, evaluating and embracing new techniques, ideas and technology to help support business processes.

It is no secret that the legal sector is in flux and change, which is the only constant in our organizations. There are changes we can forecast, and there are those we must be able to react to in order to function as a fiscally responsible unit in our organizations. The Modern Library, a business within a business, is not passive in its approach but rather utilizes metrics and analytics to forecast, predict and analyze data as changes occur.

Preparing and monitoring annual budgets and working with Finance on cost and recovery of client-related research are important fiscal initiatives. With the cost of resources continuing to rise, data-analysis tools such as Electronic Resource Management (ERM) are invaluable in analyzing usage, preparing for contract renewals and general collection development. No longer a nice-to-have tool, ERMs are essential as the Modern Library moves away from print towards virtualization.

Rather than be a target of downsizing or outsourcing, the Modern Library is innovative and forward-thinking. It strives to carve out new roles within the organization while showcasing the value of resources and staff.

Feit Consulting is interested in learning how modern you see your law library and what obstacles stand in the way of modernization. Click here to get started on our 15-minute survey.

Sep 05

Budgeting to Maximize ROI

By Michael Feit | Budgeting , Modern Law Library , Resources

Will you play it safe or take a risk for greater returns?  

The Modern Library requires individuals to change their mindset from maintaining the status quo and becoming open to new ways of doing things. Budget season is here. Now is the time to consider how you will shape your budget with new solutions to your organization’s anticipated changes in 2018.

Checklist of budget items to consider adding or changing in your 2018 budget:
  • ERM (Electronic Resource management system): If your firm doesn’t already have an ERM, it may be time. Read more here.
  • Content Aggregators: Influencing the firm’s bottom line with current awareness on clients and potential business.
  • Library Membership Fees: Save on subscription costs, fill content gaps at a lesser cost, access to archival and historical collections and just-in-time document delivery.
  • New Software: Consider software that offers newer efficiencies, extensive analysis and taming big data.
  • Outside Services: Budgeting for value-added insights on those special projects, allocating funds for consultancy services or to purchase resources that will provide critical insights on pricing, creating efficiencies and library modernization to name a few. Tap into Feit Consulting’s white papers or other consultants’ resources.
  • Conferences and Events: Be smart in which topic class or conference you decide to attend. Think about who may also attend as networking is as valuable as the content offered. Specialized topics covered by ILTA or the Ark Group offer valuable takeaways on timely topics that will affect your bottom line. Discounts available for multiple attendees from your organization.
  • Staffing: Do your foresee a need to add staffing capacity? Will it be a short-term need or long-term? Hiring temporary or permanent staff is one option as well as outsourcing depending on how each option delivers return on the expense.


Mar 22

The Value of Electronic Resource Management (ERM) Tools for Law Firms

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Resources

There is great value in providing metrics to management on the utilization of library resources. To be a truly modern library, you need to be able to access and analyze real-time data about your online subscriptions and library services and how they are being utilized. With many Electronic Resource Management (ERM) tools on the market, if your firm doesn’t already have one in place, it may be the time to consider such an investment. While the upfront expense might seem significant, presenting the purchase to management in a business case and showing return on investment that the ERM will provide can go far to help management better understand the value of the purchase.

The data analysis and insight an ERM tool provides in evaluating electronic subscriptions for renewal or cancellation may in fact help to offset the actual costs of the ERM purchase. In terms of contract negotiations for electronic subscriptions, ERMs provide you with the raw data regarding actual usage of your online vendors.  This is powerful information and can help guide your decisions on whether to retain or cancel an expensive subscription or try to negotiate a lower fee if usage is low. You can pull reports and chart usage with ease based on a wide variety of criteria, including office location, practice group, individual user, and date ranges. The canned reports allow you the flexibility of charts and graphs to help explain to management library expenses, especially at budget time. ERMs can also fulfill many other functions.

Key benefits and capabilities of ERMs:

  • Help manage your contracts.
  • Review research queries within databases to identify users who may require additional training.
  • Utilize password management tools to make it easy for users to hop onto databases by having their passwords pre-populated and allow users instant access to firm-wide resources.

  • Identify the top users of online resources to inform them of database enhancements and additional training.

  • Analyze usage, allowing the library to market any under-utilized online resources.

  • Avoid out-of-contract costs by including warning screens and messaging in online databases to direct your users to alternate resources when they go to excluded content.

  • As many ERMs allow for client/matter number validation, track and bill clients for time spent performing research on databases.

  • Promote mobile research and access to online resources and passwords.

  • By tracking research and reference queries, many ERMs allow users to submit research requests online, which provides a centralized place to manage library research requests and allows for easy reporting of statistics.
  • Track metrics that make it easier to communicate the value of the library to firm management.

A few key players in this space are Priory Solutions (ResearchMonitor)OneLog, and Lucidea (LookUp Precision). As described above, the ERM product suite is robust. You do not have to buy everything at once. Assess your immediate needs and go from there. Purchase and implement; then see how the product allows you to calculate metrics. Show that data to management. In doing so, future ERM module purchases will be easier for management to understand because they are already seeing the power of the ERM tool. `