Management of Client Relationships by Large Law Firms – Research Document

Independence, Representation and Risk: An Empirical Exploration of the Management of Client Relationships by Large Law Firms.

 

Claire Coe (Claire Legal Ltd) and Dr Steven Vaughan (University of Birmingham) research focuses mainly on the shift in the balance of power from law firms to clients and the pressure of firms to deliver “value for money” in a competitive market.

A number of these clients now transact with law firms via panel processes in which there is fierce competition for work and where appointments are often accompanied by detailed, mandatory sets of terms and conditions (also often known as ‘outside counsel guidelines’). These guidelines cover a variety of matters, from fee arrangements to secondments, IT security, conflicts of interest and much more.

The big question is: how far can a law firm go in the race of competitive alternative fee arrangements and still make a profit?

Knowing the client’s values, goals and challenges and differentiating your service and expertise will give law firms an advantage in acquire more customers. In addition, taking an innovative approach to staffing will be important to show value. By prioritising what the firm want to focus on to strengthen your position in the market, you can develop the right talent and have the right person at the right place to provide strong VFM.

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Creating a Better Business by Design – Webinar Recording

Creating a Better Business by Design – Webinar Recording

Good design and good business should go hand-in-hand. Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, 2014 AIA Architecture Firm Award recipient, have created an environment that promotes financial performance and design excellence.

Join Jenifer Nevard, Principal and Director of Finance at Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, to discover how your firm can build upon the ideas that have brought them such success.

Discover how to foster a firm with:

  • Shared core values
  • A solid business foundation
  • Lateral leadership with staff support
  • Transparent metrics
  • A culture of giving back

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Client Success Story – Norwegian Opera & Ballet

The Norwegian Opera & Ballet optimizes its people & locations with People Planner.

 

The key challenge of The Norwegian Opera & Ballet is to make sure the right people are on the right locations at the right time – every time. Deltek helps the Opera address this demanding challenge.

It takes a strong planning tool to orchestrate complex performances. “The overall idea scope of the People Planner solution is great – it’s a tool of genius” says Knut Brotnow, IT Manager at the Norwegian Opera & Ballet.

 

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Client Success Story – Local Studio Architects

Growing Architecture Firm maximizes Productivity and Profits with Deltek Vision.

 

Local Studio Founder & Director Thomas Chapman was struggling to manage staff time and cash flow resources and was reliant on Excel spreadsheets for time capturingreports,  project planning and financial forecasts. As the firm grew, it became increasingly difficult to make informed financial decisions on projects.

Champan’s research into industry-specific Project Management offerings, including Time and Expense software, led him to Deltek, which he chose because of its track record in delivering powerful cloud-based, tailored solutions for Architecture firms.

Local presence and support was also key to Chapman, which led to the appointment of Silversoft South Africa, a Deltek Premier Partner as his chosen technology partner.

 

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ELE Engineering Case Study – People Planner

ELE Grows amidst a tough economic climate with Deltek People Planner

ELE Engineering, a Technology Consulting Company that provides advanced services to technology-intensive engineering organizations, is one example of Swedish innovation.

Christian Fisher, IT Manager for ELE Engineering, explained: “Our mission is to enhance customers’ competitiveness by providing the engineering skills they lack, in addition to delivering superior solutions in our key business areas”. “Above a certain break-even utilization percentage, we become profitable. Deltek’s resource management solution People Planner has helped us improve our utilization rate by 3%, helping us focus on increasing and maintaining profitability.”

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7 Reasons to Adopt a Project-based ERP Solution

Project management excellence is a key component to delivering successful projects. But point solutions for resource planning and finance don’t provide everything that project-based businesses need.

Read our white paper, 7 Reasons to Adopt a Project-based ERP Solution, to learn why a project-based system provides superior capabilities to manage resources, handle project variation and adapt to complex client requirements. See why your firm can make better decisions with more visibility and control across all areas of your projects and broader organization.

Download this Whitepaper below

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ERP – Adapt or Customize?

By Jerry Lee

To adapt or to customize your ERP? This decision requires prudence when implementing an ERP system.

Often, business problems are tackled with a customization rather than evaluating if the business process can be adjusted to work within the base system design of the ERP. Businesses also often start applying customizations without fully understand any implications that may have an impact in the long run. There are times where custom functionality is needed and customization is great to get “what you want”, but what’s the catch? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons:

PROs:

  • It resolves specific required functionality not native to the ERP system. Even so, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, why customization?
  • We are living in a customizable world, in the era of new technologies allowing users to customize and personalize their own applications. Been accustomed to this flexibility, it becomes difficult for people to adjust.
  • Protect competitive advantages that have made organizations successful. This is what makes the organization unique from its competitors. Because it is unique, no ERP software is able to provide as an out-of-the-box functionality.

 

CONS:

  • Upgrades becomes more complex, costly, and risky because a special upgrade path will be necessary.
  • Help desks typically does not support customizations, this is because they do not have the knowledge of the customization.
  • Potential interference or incompatibility with future implemented modules if the customization is poorly designed.
  • Outdated (or zero) documentation is very common for customizations often due to delivery pressures.
  • Having to do your own testing extensively for every affected module in the ERP system, because you are the only one with this unique requirement.
  • The risk of customizing for the wrong reason. For every customization that has been identified, we need to ask if the customization is really necessary. It can be a possibility that the customization is required because the people does not want to adopt new business processes and software functionality. This could suggest that the organization should invest in change management to help people adapt to new ways of doing things rather than investing in customizations.

 

Customizations can be inevitable in organizations, the key is to understand the implications and find the right balance. And most importantly keep it simple because “Simplicity is a competitive advantage”!

 

Take Away: Applying Industry Best Practise

As feasibility allows, make efforts to implement the customization outside the ERP system. The customization can be either an interactive interface or a batch process as a standalone. This approach can be to your advantage over customizing your ERP in the long term. Having a standalone may mean not having a seamless interface but you need to consider the key advantages for adapting to your ERP:

 

  • Easier upgrade path allowing you to take advantage of the standard software upgrade releases with minimal upgrade effort.
  • Less time and costly to upgrade by eliminating custom functionality troubleshooting and debugging efforts.
  • Access to support documentation and knowledge-base because you are not the only one with the knowledge of the system’s functionality, information will be widely available.

Want to know more on ERP implementation? Download our ERP for dummies eBook below:

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How to win the War on Talent – Whitepaper Download

Ever wonder how much it costs when that key player on your team resigns?

Experts estimate that losing that top consultant could cost your firm upwards of R 1 million and more. Most firms can’t take that type of financial hit, so it’s no wonder that finding and retaining top people is the number one issue in Service Performance Insight’s annual benchmark survey.

Want to learn more about winning the war on talent? Download the Whitepaper below

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Leveraging Technology to Manage Talent – Webinar Recording

In this webinar, Silversoft Experts Kathryn Gordon & Nick Gordon will highlight the increasing war for talent. Organizations are struggling to stand out from their competitors in order to attract not only the top talent but, keep it.

Silversoft’s fifth educational installment in the series, Win the War for Talent, attendees will begin the journey to understand the talent management components that will help their organizations win the war for talent, including:

  • Making Technology the Foundation
  • Using a Unified Solution
  • Changing Behaviors
  • Demo of Deltek Talent Management

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