Competition from ‘challenger’ firms is formidable. Our comprehensive knowledge of Strategic Suppliers in the Legal/Professional services sector that can support you, will keep you ahead in serving your clients, consistently.
We know the Strategic Suppliers in the Legal / Professional Services marketplace, really well:
Their strengths. The key attributes of each Strategic Supplier and what internal client disciplines you will need to have in place so they can achieve your outcomes and objectives, quickly.
Their challenges. Complex service delivery does not always go to plan. We can advise you what diligence your team can put into place to assure these Strategic Suppliers deliver to your expectations.
Their contractual constraints. We know what most Strategic Suppliers will accept contractually, what they will not, and why. Our ‘Optimise’ process assures you can overcome these constraints and be fully contractually protected for fit for purpose services.
Your key expectation you should have from Strategic and Complex Supplier Relationships:
Optimum value in service and solutions delivery. These specialist suppliers represent themselves as ‘experts’ in their disciplines. Recent case law determines you can often rely on the supplier’s represented expertise to drive maximum value for money in your service delivery, even if your contract terms are ambiguous in terms of their responsibilities.
Benefits of using BPG to facilitate your Strategic Supplier Relationships
We know what practices work really well. Having optimised over 500 complex supplier relationships, we have deep expertise of trust building in relationships. We also have proven template documentation, including procurement structures, service requirements, agile fit for purpose contracts, implementation and operating governance, along with expertise in what actions you need to avoid to make sure your strategic supplier relationships achieve your outcomes, quickly.
Key Considerations when Legal/Professional Services Firms enter into Complex Supplier Relationships
How the BPG 'Optimise' Process delivers great Strategic Supplier Relationships
The BPG ‘Optimise’ Method is evidenced from over 500 complex supplier relationships. It shows there are 8 characteristics present in every successful complex relationship. We can help you successfully implement these quickly to improve service innovation, supplier relationships and drive down BAU costs.
Click here to see how the ‘Optimise’ process can help you drive maximum value in your Strategic Supplier relationships.
Examples of the types of Complex Supplier Relationships we help you optimise
Some of the Strategic Suppliers we have detailed knowledge of
Civica UK Ltd
DPS Software Ltd
Eclipse Legal Systems
Oyez Professional Services Ltd
Redbrick Solutions UK Ltd
Select Legal Systems Limited
The Behaviours you should expect from a 'Good' Strategic Supplier Relationship
Objectives being met
Critical friend supplier
Inherent commercial trust
Sustained collaboration and innovation
Reduced service cost
High reputation with your peers
Internal team aligned
Services always aligned to outcomes
Flexible/agile contract structure
Evidenced based results
Typical Supplier Relationship hurdles faced in the Legal/Professional Services Sector
We’ve dealt with optimising over 500 complex supplier relationships. More than 50% of complex supplier relationships experience misunderstandings between client and supplier over your requirements and expectations.
If the right foundations are not in place to drive maximum value, you may experience:
Additional charges and costs for ‘misunderstood expectations’
A lack of understanding of contractual roles and responsibilities
Governance and performance escalation not clearly delineated
Senior client executives not being clear on their expectations and dynamics of the relationship
Not enough investment by senior executives in the resourcing or skills of the client supplier management team
Loss of key in-house expertise to the supplier (inadvertent staff poaching)
Employee resistance to new working methods from the supplier
Clashes of culture between client and supplier staff and so forth.
Operational challenges faced by the Legal/Professional Services Sector
There are a number of business challenges facing the Legal and Professional Services sector. As well as challenges, they also provide great opportunities if seized upon, implemented and mobilised quickly:
Brexit. Brexit will impact both positively and negatively on law and professional service firms, depending upon their practice areas. Once the government has given a firm sense of direction, the challenge will be in firms having enough capacity and expertise to advise companies across the industrial spectrum, quickly and effectively enough.
Retaining Talent. The millennial workforce is focusing on achieving a ‘purpose’ in their work and it isn’t restricted to money. Flexibility in working practices to allow a work/life balance is the reason why many younger recruits are turning their backs on ‘traditional’ employment and working in the ‘gig economy’. Organisations that aren’t flexible enough to cope with this rapidly changing operating practice will find it increasingly more difficult to attract and retain the right talent.
Technology. Huge advances in PSAs, legal disclosure tools and artificial intelligence systems are disrupting the traditional speeds at which legal advice and professional assignments can be completed. Clear strategic thinking is required as to how firms can quickly adopt, implement and mobilise these technologies to serve more clients at a lower cost, whilst significantly increasing value to them.
Keeping your Nerve. Global reach as a UK-based service industry is outstanding, but it comes with a lot of ‘noise’ as to where and how quickly firms can expand. The biggest perceived challenge is finding a clear pathway in all of the noise, setting clear objectives and holding your nerve.
Culture. It has been a key consideration for a few years now, ever since the ‘millennial’ workforce has become ‘a thing’. It’s important for everyone, not just millennials, that a purposeful culture is ‘real’ and not just talked about. People will often then make that culture part of their own, having seen it operated by leading from the front. Your team will reflect this culture from the top down by providing much better services to your client base.
Legal and Consulting Firms Competing with One Another. Larger consulting and legal firms have been gradually increasing their capabilities in each other’s professional disciplines. In other words, eating each other’s lunch. It is perceived that consulting organisations are more likely to be a bigger threat to winning legal work from established law firms, than law firms will be winning consulting work from established management consulting organisations. Consultancies have, inherent in their cultures and DNA, significant skills in lead and work generation, whereas it is perceived that law firms do not; reflecting the more conservative approach of law firms generally. It is not just technologies that law firms will have to adopt, but rather a fundamental shift in culture in both lead and work generation and changes in employment practices.
Law Firms Need to Accelerate Changing their Pricing Models. Although there has been a slight movement into value based pricing, most law firms do not operate in this manner; larger consulting firms do and are prepared to take the risk on any under-assessment of work required. Risk and value based pricing is endemic in most consulting firms, whereas in many law firms it is not. A big change in culture, approach and implementation of technologies, that can automate more routine tasks, is required from senior leaders in law firms. They also need to adopt new pricing models if they are to have any chance of competing against consulting firms trying to eat their lunch.
Winning Over In-house Legal Teams. Clients are becoming far more empowered, thanks to more agile legal services and significantly greater transparency being provided by consulting firms that have moved into the legal services sector. If legal firms are to compete, it is important they reflect much greater transparency to in-house teams and work alongside them as ‘partners’.
Clients demanding more effective service models. With consulting firms providing clients with much better and transparent access to intelligent technologies, clients are now expecting this from their legal partners. New levels of collaboration are expected to be introduced, with firms becoming more transparent about their offering. Automation and artificial intelligence systems will be vital to driving these efficiencies and savings across the whole client lifecycle.
What stage are you at in your Strategic Supplier Relationship?
You’re procuring or contracting and you need it to work really well.