Legal service and technology providers can give law firms more choice about how to get their legal work done. Because most law firms (and companies in general) function with limited resources, they must set and maintain their priorities regarding what they spend and what they get for it.
Your vendors play an important role in the experience your clients have with your law firm. Here are some reasons why working with fewer vendors can be the smart way to go:
#1: Easier training
Working with fewer vendors allows for better communication as well as more opportunities for face-to-face meetings and training sessions. Because software from the same vendor follows the same style of usability with similar controls and functionality, new usages and applications can be rolled out quickly, since the staff won’t typically require a high degree of intensive training to get up to speed.
#2: Simpler billing
Vendors that offer multiple services have native options for passing on their integration to law firms via organized billing options. However, the complexity of billing increases when you work with numerous vendors, as does the management of the relationships with those vendors.
One vendor = one relationship, one phone number, one contact, and one invoice. It’s simply easier to deal with fewer vendors. Period.
#3: Reduced risk
Relying on anyone outside your firm comes with a risk, no matter how reliable the partnership or inevitable the reliance. Ultimately, your law firm will be held responsible for any work done for you by a third-party vendor. The more vendors you work with, the greater the risk.
But a well-consolidated vendor management program can reduce the risk by allowing you to focus on fewer trusted partners and encourage better performance from the vendors you chose to work with. As you consolidate vendors, you’ll have developed a much-improved set of criteria with which to choose new vendors, and be able to define the types of arrangements that work best for your firm.
#4: Consolidated processes
Working with fewer vendors means less paperwork, fewer contracts to manage, and fewer certificates to obtain and maintain. It will also be much easier to offer end-to-end solutions that don’t involve exhaustive searches for the right hardware and software or the need to come up with integrations on your own. When you partner with a company that provides complementary solutions, you will likely find it easier to expand your firm’s offerings in numerous areas, as you’re leveraging their expanding capabilities.
[textblock style=”1″]With One Legal, you can arrange all of your legal support needs — eFiling, eService, service of process, court research and document retrieval, and more — through one system. No more time wasted managing multiple tools.[/textblock]
#5 Lower operating costs
When a law firm consolidates vendors, it manages fewer relationships, and the extra time can be used to make the legal team more effective. There are fewer processes to follow up on and fewer support requests to be made.
It becomes easier for each of your team members to become experts in the individual software options when there are fewer to learn. The improved flexibility improves the quality of the service your company provides by empowering each member of your team. At the same time you’re reducing procurement costs, operating expenses, and soft costs.
#6 Trusted vendors
Law firms develop long-term relationships with vendors based on trust. Just like the clients who come to your firm with multiple needs, by using a single vendor who has been a successful partner you
Regardless of the number of vendors you choose to work with, you should perform your due diligence when it comes to a vendor’s history, financial stability, partner program benefits, and the quality of its offerings.
For instance, the readers of “The Recorder” voted One Legal the #1 process server and filing service provider every year for the last five. Plus, we successfully file and serve nearly one million legal documents every year, and have ever since 1990. You can trust our experienced network of professional servers.
While there may always be reasons to diversify vendors there are plenty of reasons to use just a few, provided they’re doing a good job of tending to your needs. If you know of more reasons why working smarter with fewer vendors makes sense, tell us about them in the comments!