As 2013 comes to a close and we finalize plans for 2014, we have identified our top ten list of tasks you can complete that will optimize the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of your back office/support services operation—and a dash of bettering yourself.
- Get your contracts organized. You should have a firm-wide database of all contracts, their expiration dates and notification periods.
- Conceive a plan for the contracts that will be expiring and consider a possible consolidation of services and vendors. Create a plan to make all similar contracts co-terminus so you are not faced with buyouts, early termination penalties if you elect to go that route.
- Organize your year so you have the time to create competitive situations. Your firm loses 10 -20% of potential savings each time you do not engage competitive pricing.
- Promise yourself in 2014 that you will say no to the following: early termination fees, additional permanent withdrawal fees on offsite records storage, non-solicitation fee or severance for out sourced employees.
- Examine how technology can improve your operation’s efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Some examples are digitalization of incoming mail, automated workflow procedures and improved litigation support tools.
- Improve the monitoring of existing contracts and invoicing. Studies show that approximately 8% of the value of invoices are incorrect charges.
- Take a fresh look at back office staffing. With mail volume and centralized copying decreasing, staffing in these areas should be decreased. These reductions may be offset by increased needs in scanning and lit support.
- Examine your current cost recovery strategy. Determine your billable percentages, what is being written off and why and what you are actually recovering. Develop a strategy to maximize the recovery of the items you can.
- While on the subject of cost recovery, participate in the 2014 Mattern’s Cost Recovery Study. Contact Lisa Schneider at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating.
- And don’t forget to invest in yourself. Take a class, view a webinar, expand your knowledge and talents. Look out for Webinar Wednesdays from Mattern to recommence in the New Year.
Have a great holiday.