In a previous post I discussed a number of characteristics that could help General Counsels (GCs) cull the list of LPO vendors. One consideration at the top of every GC’s list is security. The importance of information security and the related disciplines of confidentiality, integrity and availability of information cannot be overstated. CGs should require that LPO vendors choose an applicable standard, implement it rigorously, and subject their operations to periodic testing by an independent third party. Some uses of LPO will be less critical with regard to the information security (e.g. general contract management), but for corporations intending to use multiple LPO vendors or to outsource work requiring heightened security, (e.g. M&A doc review, litigation) a single standard will be easiest to evaluate and monitor over time.
I recently presented a webinar entitled Evaluating Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) Providers. (A copy is available at www.RedBridgeStrategy.com.) During the presentation, I described a process with the following major steps:
- Analyze the appropriateness of globalization/LPO for a given buyer;
- Design an applicable service delivery model;
- Select vendors or plan for shared services (“captive”) operations; and
- Implement with a governance model and manage the transition.
As part of vendor selection, buyers typically select a set of vendors from whom they request responses to an RFP or RFI. Given the explosion in the number of companies offering LPO services, we are often asked which companies should be included in the “universe” of vendors to whom to send the RFP. The number of vendors to include will vary with the buyer’s familiarity with the industry, the time allowed to evaluate RFP responses and resources of the buyer, but we generally suggest between six and twelve. So how does a buyer cull the universe to between six and twelve?