submit ideas to a core project team of four
people. Smith and the other Regional Counsels
participated in process and content input.
The Software AG team tackled the sorting phase
next, determining which matters they would
handle directly and which would be outsourced.
“We tried to make intelligent decisions about
how to spread the work, and onboarded
projects and cases based on sufficient people,
coverage and resources,” Smith says.
For the matters to be outsourced, the team
developed a bidding process: preparation of a
Request for Quote, invitation of certain firms
to respond, and establishment of a process
for selection. Law firms submitted their information using an external quote engine. In the
third phase of the project, the SAG team set
up project management guidelines and other
steps to onboard, manage and monitor outside
counsel and legal services providers; analyze
the completed project and deliverables; and
conduct performance assessment.
The result is a 100 percent increase in captured
ratings for law firms, which is not only important for quality management but is also relevant
for weighting a law firm’s quote.
The Software AG attorneys built the External
Legal Manager software application in just
three weeks. “It validated that the team could
do much of this work on its own, without
having to bring on outside consultants or
tools; and demonstrated the ability of the legal
department to stand up a digitized process
quickly,” Quade says.
Quade and Smith estimate that they have
achieved a virtual savings of more than 2. 9
million euros through the use of the application.
They arrived at the figure by comparing the
highest law-firm quote received to the quote
submitted by the firm ultimately engaged.
Budget predictability was increased by almost
50 percent, as was the use of alternative fee
arrangements. The department hopes to
monetize the application by licensing it to other
in-house law departments and is in talks with
several prospective clients.
Having learned how much they could accomplish by building custom apps, the Software
AG legal team picked up the pace, creating
more than dozen additional applications that
other corporate functions use. Expanding the
constituency for their apps beyond the legal
department raises the team’s profile internally,
Smith observes. “People see that your department is innovative and trying to offer solutions
• Very impressive cost reduction in percentage and pure dollars and innovative
use of process mapping.
• By including quality ratings in the RFP process, this project demonstrates that
it need not be a race to the bottom on price but rather a smart way to compare
value—a nice message to send to firms in today’s marketplace.