Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) combined
strategic division of work, cultural change and technology leverage
to create a plant-based legal department that could manage the
demands of the company’s first US location. Although HMMA
employs thousands in Alabama, the legal department consists of
only five attorneys.
When its Montgomery manufacturing plant began producing vehicles in 2005, the Hyundai Motor
Manufacturing Alabama legal team faced challenges common to a startup: quickly establishing
legal systems and controls from scratch with limited resources, including systems for providing legal
assistance, contract management, litigation management, outside counsel management and training.
APPLYING VALUE LEVERS
The legal department developed its own legal management software program rather than purchasing
an off-the-shelf solution. Adopting a startup mindset, the team designed an online system that offers
contract, litigation, outside counsel and workload management; and even delivers important just-in-time
legal training. Automation makes tracking and reporting performance to company executives easy.
The legal department worked with HMMA’s IT department and a vendor to develop a proprietary
technology-based solution: the Electronic Legal Management (ELM) online computer program. ELM
comprises the entire legal service lifecycle, from initial request to project completion. It provides contract
management and legal management systems that store documentation electronically for easy retrieval and
review. To reduce legal disputes, especially in employment, it also hosts legal training videos for viewing
by HMMA employees and tracks their completion rates.
The legal department also stores key information on all outside counsel in ELM. HMMA attorneys
complete “report cards” on outside attorneys quarterly; these reports allow the department to select the
best outside counsel for projects and facilitates with greater budget predictability.
• Recordable legal assistance provided increased by 44 percent.
• Number of contracts collected and stored increased by 61 percent.
• Employee training sessions increased by 123 percent.
• Employment litigation decreased by 20 percent.
• Outside counsel spend decreased by 48 percent.