Archive: December, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Automate Your Contracts in 2010

In this, our final post for 2009, we’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and share with you the top 10 reasons to automate your contracts in the coming year.

Three reasons to have a post [Software] implementation project

I recently read a post on TechRepublic by Jay Rollins which said that within six months to one year after an initial software implementation project is complete, there is always a need for a second project to address opportunities that arise from the original implementation.

I agree with Jay that a post implementation project is an excellent process by which to find additional opportunities not covered in the original implementation. For our document assembly clients, we find that they benefit from added value uncovered during this process.

Document Assembly Solution: How to Decide Build Vs. Buy?

OK, everyone now agrees; your current way of creating documents is broken (too slow; full of errors; impossible to maintain). So, how do you fix the problem? Do you build your own system, or do you buy something off-the-shelf? There are pros and cons of both approaches. But first things first; before you can make a Build-vs-Buy decision, you need to work out your requirements.

Inceasing Revenues: The Sales Department Business Case for Contract Automation

I discussed the law department business case for contract automation with a focus on cost reduction. Now, I want to look at opportunities for the sales department.

In a 2007 report, Sell-Side Contract Management: Opportunity-to-Order Optimization [subscription required], the Aberdeen Group determined that the #1 reason for improving the management of sales contracts is to reduce revenue leakage.

Cutting Costs: The Law Department Business Case for Improving Contracting

In a previous post, I discussed the IACCM’s finding that, in some cases, more than 40% of legal department costs are associated with bid and contracting work.

What then might a business case for automation look like? Below is a quick, back-of-the-napkin calculation.

The insidious nature of the billable hour

From the You Cannot Be Serious! file:

“LAWYERS face a national crackdown on over-charging that could end the practice of billing clients for sending them Christmas cards and reading thank you notes.”

This is the opening sentence in Over-charging by lawyers under scrutiny, an article in The Australian newspaper. Do some lawyers truly charge for these activities? Do they disclose this to their clients?

Hourly Billing 101

It’s certainly true that lawyers are, in the most part, measured on their billings. You (usually) receive revenue for billable work (such as research, advice, drafting and negotiation on a matter); you don’t for non-billable work (such as investing time now creating processes and systems that will enable you to do all future work more efficiently).

When accounting for every six minutes in their day, lawyers are constantly deciding (often automatically) whether an activity is billable or non-billable. It doesn’t take long for new lawyers to conclude that billable work is ‘valuable’ (to the firm, not the client) and that non-billable work is worthlessnot. Accordingly, the bigger the bill, the more valuable the work.