With outsourcing on the rise, flipping a coin does not make a lot of “cents”

The majority of law firm outsourcing engagements are not successful, and yet outsourcing is on the rise.  This creates an interesting conundrum.   

In the past three iterations of its Law Firms in Transition Survey (2016-2019), Altman Weil has found that just under half of firms reporting their outsourcing engagements as successful – except for 2016 when under 40% of firms reported their outsourcing engagements as successful.  And yet year over year during the same period, outsourcing is on the rise. 

Why would firms increasingly pursue a strategy that delivers results that are slightly less reliably positive than flipping a coin?

The answer is:  because the new law firm model demands it.  The legal industry is on the cusp of transformational change making the ‘siren song’ of a successful outsourcing engagement ever more alluring:  increase expertise and flexibility while lowering costs, and significantly mitigating risk. 

As the outsourcing model increasingly aligns with the transformation of the law firm business model, this brings more and more providers to the table, creating what will soon be a crowded market of managed service providers vying for your firm’s outsourcing business. 

This begs the question: how do you increase your chances that your operation will be successful?

At Mattern we use the Mattern Method®, our proprietary process that allows for an unbiased evaluation of your back and middle office services, followed by the industry’s most comprehensive request for proposal process that empowers firms to make an intelligent, well-informed vendor selection and achieve the most detailed outsourcing contract in the industry.  

Our success rate is 256 to 0, 256 successes and 0 unsuccessful engagements.  That’s a pretty significant increase in odds from ‘half’.

On top of this, our post-implementation contract compliance monitoring ensures that what was promised in the contract, is delivered by the service provider.  

Keep in mind:  your firm might not need to outsource at all.  In-house operations can be equally expert and cost-efficient as an outsourced operation but there may be some internal inefficiencies that need to be corrected.  If your firm is willing to put in the management time, invest in/procure your technology correctly and pay your people appropriately for their skills, then you can be as competitive and efficient as any outsourcing company can be. 

Firms should investigate the viability of outsourcing back and middle office functions to see whether they have the in-house expertise for a successful operation, if not, then outsourcing may be the solution.   

Leveraging the expertise of a consultant is welcomed by each stakeholder in the process.  If outsourcing is on your firm’s radar or already in progress, let’s talk about ensuring its success.