In-house Resources vs. Hiring an Outside Consultant: Which is Better for Your Firm?

Being a consultant, I often get asked by law firms why:  why should a firm hire a consultant to assist them on running a request for proposal or examine administrative workflows or help them improve their cost recovery revenue when they believe they have this expertise in house.

My usual response is: “Why do your clients hire your law firm to represent them in a matter when your clients have an in-house legal department?”

The response often entails the following points:

  • Expertise
  • Experience
  • Reputation
  • Leverage
  • Capacity

My answer is the same--except that in Mattern’s case, we can add Cost to the list: Mattern’s fees are reimbursed by the winning service provider--a much more cost-effective solution than having in-house resources shifted from their core function to managing RFPs, notwithstanding the demonstrable increase in savings Mattern is able to achieve.

Mattern consultants have an expertise that cannot be matched by any in-house team.  Our consultants are exposed to an industry-wide view and myriad scenarios across our service areas every day for nearly 25 years, providing benchmarks and insights not available to one department working alone on one RFP every 5 years.

When we represent a firm, it shows their commitment to driving the most competitive deal possible.  We manage $16 million dollars a year in outsourcing contracts, know this business inside and out, and have the most current and comprehensive industry benchmarks to prove it.

Is 50% chance of success good enough?

Industry-wide, whether managed in-house or by a consultant, 50% is the likelihood your firm has of your outsourcing engagement bringing significant improvement to the functions you are outsourcing.  This was reported  in the past four iterations of the Law Firms in Transition Survey (2016-2020) conducted by Altman Weil.  This is a rather dismal percentage.

In the same period, however, Mattern’s success rate was 100%.  This reflects firms of every size, in every geographic region where 100% of the responding firms said that their outsourcing situation was significantly improved by Mattern’s involvement. 

Moreover, in situations where we have been brought in to finish an outsourcing RFP and contract, we have been able to improve the savings on average 50% and greatly improve the terms and conditions of the contract.    

100% is Better than 50%

100%, if we may be so bold, is significantly better than 50%.  In fact, it’s twice as good.

If your firm is looking to make an outsourcing endeavor successful but more importantly create a back-office strategy, consider the value of Mattern’s expertise and what the impact of doing twice as well might be to your firm. Your firm does this when looking for office space, healthcare benefits, and insurance, then why not do it for an equally important service:  the office and administrative operations of your firm.

Firms are often surprised by what we can accomplish:

“Mattern was able to leverage terms that I could not have obtained on my own and was able achieve better pricing and a better SLA than I could have. From someone who was initially skeptical, Mattern did a great job and I recommend their team.” CIO,  Am Law 200 firm