Thompson Coburn LLP, an Am Law 200 Firm, Achieves Savings and Substantially Improved Terms Across Multiple Back Office Service Areas

Opportunity: Based in St. Louis, Thompson Coburn is an AmLaw 200 firm with over 380 attorneys in five offices. In 2016, Thompson Coburn engaged Mattern, LLC (Mattern) to assist with three different service needs: traditional outsourcing and equipment, off-site records storage, and office supplies.

For traditional outsourcing, the Firm had been pleased with its current outsourcing provider, Novitex, for a number of years; however, the Firm wanted to investigate new market offerings and best practices, ensuring its outsourcing services provider was both an optimal fit for the Firm as well as a reliable partner moving into the future as the Firm’s needs evolved.

Regarding off-site records, the Firm was not satisfied with its current service providers, a mix of five, some of whom were not meeting the Firm’s expectations. At the same time, permanent withdrawal fees were well above market rates, hindering the Firm’s ability to implement a firm-wide records destruction program.

Lastly, while the Firm was successfully managing its office supplies service provider, there was no formal agreement in place between the two organizations. To that end, they sought to enter into an agreement with a provider that could not only provide quality supplies, but also customize their experience through an online platform with capabilities such as showing more cost-effective alternatives to end-users, customized ordering and billing, and auto-alerts for out-of-stock and back-ordered items.

Process: The Firm knew it was taking on three disparate and important projects simultaneously. Thus, Firm leadership engaged Mattern to do a comprehensive review of all three areas and guide them through the complexities of the RFP process, award and contract negotiations.

Mattern performed a complete on-site assessment of their outsourced services and equipment at each of the five office locations. This included a review of the outsourcing service provider’s staffing levels, workflows, processes, and equipment. For off-site records, Mattern reviewed the Firm’s contracts with its off-site records providers, examined all its off-site records activities, and entered discussions with key staff to determine the Firm’s plans for records retention policies. It was discovered during this process that the Firm was owed approximately $73,000 in
penalties as a result of incorrect invoicing from one of their current off-site providers.

Finally, Mattern analyzed the Firm’s office supplies. As they had no contract in place, Mattern reviewed the pricing the Firm was receiving from its current provider, determined which items could/should belong to a “core” list, as well as observed the overall management of office supplies.

Based on these evaluations and Mattern’s analysis of the Firm’s needs and incorporating Mattern’s industry knowledge, benchmarks, and expertise in law firm back and middle office operations, Mattern made several recommendations for their consideration, including what services the Firm should be receiving…