Established in 1891, Best Best & Krieger (BBK) is a highly regarded, full-service law firm of over 350 professionals, including more than 200 attorneys across nine offices in California and in Washington, D.C. Maria D’Aquila is the firm’s Operations Manager.
Five years ago, D’Aquila engaged Mattern to streamline the firm’s outsourced facilities management processes. During that initial engagement, Mattern’s consultants were able to achieve savings of close to 23% per month for the firm, while consolidating vendors to a single provider and streamlining equipment platforms and contract expirations. “We were very pleased with those results,” says, D’Aquila, “which is why BBK called upon the consultants of Mattern to spearhead a new project for BBK, tackling our office supplies contract.”
Phase I and II Engagement in Office Supplies
For the firm’s office supplies, Mattern performed Phase I and II analyses in which there was an in-depth review of BBK’s invoices, contracts in addition to onsite visits to review current workflow processes. These custom analyses were then benchmarked and also provided the basis for Mattern’s recommendations.
BBK moved forward with an open RFP in the office supplies situation, selected a new vendor from the field of competitors, Office Max. Mattern was able to achieve approximately 10% in monthly savings firmwide for their office supplies. Because of these excellent results, BBK decided to move forward with the Mattern Phase III offering.
The Decision to Move Forward with Phase III
The Phase III offering from Mattern includes implementation oversight, monitoring and maintenance of a firm’s vendor contracts. “Best Best & Krieger wanted to maximize the opportunities in our office supplies contracts; however, our firm doesn’t have the resources to scrutinize contracts on an ongoing basis at this level. Having Mattern engaged for the Phase III meant our firm would have expert advice at our disposal throughout the lifecycle of the office supplies contract,” says D’Aquila.
For the firm’s contract with Office Max, Phase III entailed oversight of the vendor transition to Office Max, including firm-announcement language, coordinating firm-vendor conference calls and meetings; invoice monitoring and reconciliation specifically to ensure that the pricing was in-line with contract and pricing adjustments.
“Simply put, it’s a second pair of eyes looking at these things –an expert second pair of eyes. Mattern’s consultants are so well versed on our particular contract that they are able to suggest strategic recommendations based upon pricing fluctuations, or catch discrepancies very easily. The bottom line is BBK wants to maximize cost-efficiencies and optimize the value of our contracts, and with Mattern in place, we have the expert manpower to do just that.”
Mattern performs ongoing reviews and reports on accuracy in invoicing; on target run rates, ensuring these are being met to prevent price increases; optimizing contract vs. non-contract spend and making recommendations if supplies lists need calibrated to ensure the most cost-effective purchasing for firm as well as non-contract discounts to monitor for any required adjustments; and finally, reporting on purchasing trends to determine if any action items need to be addressed for budgetary purposes. As with the Phase I & II aspects of the project, the Phase III services cost the firm zero additional dollars due to the fact that Mattern’s fees were reimbursed by the vendor.”
“The bottom line goal of having Mattern in the picture is to consolidate, save costs, become more efficient and provide consistencies throughout our nine locations,” D’Aquila continues to say. “To be able to do this at no extra cost to our firm is clearly a win-win for Best Best and Krieger.”
In office supplies, Mattern’s consultants regularly review invoices for accurate pricing and, based on the firm’s concern regarding price fluctuations and lower advertised pricing for some of BBK’s core items by other providers, Mattern has additionally conducted a purchasing analysis to determine the impact to the firm’s contractual agreement if certain purchases were made elsewhere versus through Office Max – as well as allowing that data to illustrate what the most advantageous path for the firm would be.
“The Mattern team also provides spend per office and spend per attorney analyses—and all of these oversights by their expert consultants are very beneficial strategic tools for the firm’s budgeting,” includes D’Aquila.
“At the end of the day, it’s good practice to ensure contractual terms are met—and the consultants at Mattern are really good at that,” says D’Aquila. “Their consultants even participate in quarterly vendor presentations—keeping everyone on task.”
D’Aquila concludes, “Because of engaging Mattern for the Phase III, our firm is more pleased with our service contracts, we have also achieved significantly more effective contracts.
“Over the lifecycle of the engagement, the consultants of Mattern bring things to our attention we may have overlooked and act as an expert resource for any questions we may have, whether it be a strategic or price negotiation point in one of our contracts. I consider their team to be an invaluable resource.”