Sandberg, Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. Change Service Providers Mid-Contract, Improve Contract Terms for Office Supplies and Off-Site Records

Opportunity: Sandberg, Phoenix & von Gontard P.C., a well-established St. Louis-based firm with over 100 attorneys, was having difficulty with its outsourced service providers’ ability to fulfill agreed staffing levels as well as provide proficiently trained on-site personnel. Only in its third year of a 5-year agreement, turnover rate for on-site staff was high, overall staffing levels were down 18% for several days/weeks, and replacement staff was not meeting the Firm’s expectations. After several correction notices to the service provider, the service provider was unable to consistently meet the required staffing levels and Sandberg’s expectations.

Process: Sandberg leadership engaged Mattern to review their current outsourcing agreement, complete an on-site assessment of services, and provide recommendations for improving the Firm’s situation. After discussing recommended options to address the current situation with the Firm, as well as additional opportunities for increased efficiencies, Mattern developed and managed a customized Request for Proposal (RFP) process for replacing the current service provider should they fail to correct and improve the situation over the next few months. While the RFP process was in motion, Mattern continued to work alongside Sandberg and the incumbent to address the Firm’s needs.

Results: After the conclusion of a lengthy review and multiple opportunities provided to the incumbent to implement meaningful changes, Sandberg selected a 5-year contract with a new service partner for the Firm’s outsourced on-site support services. Mattern ensured the new agreement included several clauses that better protected the Firm going forward from future staffing deficiencies such as:

  • Staffing level guarantees with significantly higher penalties if not fulfilled
  • Increased periods of on-site employee commitment before reassignment or redeployment
  • “Un-trained” back-fill penalties of $150 per day
  • Commitment for permanently-based floater when not required elsewhere
  • Increased penalties for not meeting service level agreements
  • Upgraded monthly reporting tools – as well as penalties for not utilizing/reporting

Off-site Records Storage and Office Supplies

Sandberg also wanted to review its current off-site records storage agreement and office supplies pricing to ensure they were getting competitive pricing and contractual terms. Mattern reviewed these agreements, made several recommendations, and negotiated new contracts to include several modifications and improvements:

The new Off-Site Records Agreement included:

  • Elimination of permanent withdrawal fees (only retrieval charges would apply)
  • Projected 13% reduction in monthly costs
  • Annual destruction allowances to align with their destruction policy
  • Fixed pricing for 3 years with a cap on annual increases thereafter
  • Penalty based service level agreements
  • Detailed termination and removal process

The new Office Supplies Agreement included:

  • Fixed pricing for 1 year with a cap on annual increases thereafter
  • No minimum spend requirements

Overall, through Mattern’s guidance, recommendations and knowledge of contractual terms, Sandberg was able to substantially improve their outsourcing venture as well as modify the Firm’s off-site records agreement and their office supplies agreement for more favorable terms.

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