This Am Law 100, West Coast firm has over 700 attorneys across 15 office locations. The firm had been in a lengthy relationship with its vendor for its MFDs, onsite back office services and outsourced document and word processing administrative services at its 7 domestic locations.
A review of the services themselves revealed that they were being performed well. However, after many years with this provider, leadership felt it needed to address certain financial and contractual shortcomings developing in the relationship. Overall, the firm felt it had been overpaying for services received and that its contract was not up to market standards
To that end, the firm desired to increase efficiencies, improve pricing and terms, negotiate a contract that was flexible and in-line with the firm’s future plans, as well as ensure that the service provider had a clearly stated management team in place to address firm needs. Additionally, the firm wanted to wrap in a review of the MFD equipment since certain equipment was tied into costly leases. Thus, the focus of the Request for Proposal (RFP) was on contract terms, management plans, and efficiencies, all provided at a competitive cost for both labor and equipment.
The firm engaged Mattern to lead the firm through a competitive RFP process, award, contract negotiations, and implementation.
Mattern did a complete on-site assessment of MFD equipment, outsourced labor and document and word processing services at each of the firm’s staffed offices as well as the off-site location where word processing operations were housed (eight locations in all). This included a comprehensive review of the outsourcing vendor’s MFDs, staffing levels, workflows, and processes. Additionally, Mattern interviewed the firm and the incumbent vendor staff to document all aspects of operations from execution to impressions of how operations were either successful or unsuccessful.
Based on this evaluation, and utilizing its industry knowledge, benchmarks, and long history with law firm operations, Mattern made multiple recommendations for the firm’s consideration. These included staffing and operational improvements in each office to increase efficiency. Mattern also recommended contractual improvements to bring the firm up to the standards of the Mattern Method benchmarks.
Importantly, Mattern also felt the firm could bifurcate the onsite outsourced/administrative services and equipment in order to maximize savings as an option. Mattern then collaborated with the firm to create a uniquely tailored Request for Proposal that addressed the firm’s areas of concern.
The RFP process yielded several viable providers all with competitive bid and after a careful review, the firm elected to retain its current provider. However, the firm decided against awarding the incumbent provider both the onsite outsourcing/document and word processing administrative services and equipment. This was done for several reasons, including the firm’s desire to maintain flexibility with its labor contract and to pursue a more comprehensive equipment approach separately from labor. Thus, the new agreement was a labor-only contract. With the new agreement, the firm gained substantial benefits, including:
- Right-sized staffing configuration
- Backfill allowance
- Untrained staff and staff underage credits
- Significantly improved terms and conditions, including Firm approved clauses regarding non-solicitation and severance
- Inclusion of National Account Program with executive sponsorship
- Guaranteed meeting requirements (monthly, quarterly, annually)
- Ownership of all non-MFD equipment
- Penalty based service level agreements
- Contract term-length suited to the firm’s long-term strategy
Through the Mattern process, the firm was able to enter into a contract that guaranteed it would receive the attention required all while decreasing month-to-month costs in excess of 12%. Mattern was also retained by the firm to oversee implementation for the project, as well as the on-going monitoring of the contract for the implementation phase.
Part II Equipment RFP:
As a result of the success of the outsourcing RFP, the firm re-engaged Mattern for the equipment portion of the initial project overview. The RFP was sent to two vendors representing three different equipment manufacturers. After numerous rounds of pricing, onsite equipment demos overseen by the Firm’s IT staff, the Firm chose the same equipment platform it had under its previous outsourcing contract. The savings is projected to be 67% while obtaining 20% equipment flexibility, service response times backed up by penalties, and quarterly scorecards.