ACC-doelegal-booth-crewThank you to all of the visitors to Booth 141! We were excited to sponsor #ACC2019 to both listen and learn from you, and also to share the latest from doeLEGAL. As the booth team, we heard a lot about how ASCENT has helped your legal departments meet their goals.

You shared some keen insights about your legal management challenges, and how you’re addressing them. In fact, we heard some common themes and trends around how you’re using technology and process change to solve some of these thorny problems, which were also present in some of the “Client Success Stories” we shared in the booth. Since so many of you are wrestling with similar challenges, we’ve assembled a collection of insights so we can learn from each other.

Here are the Top 5 Strategies for ELM Success from ACC 2019:

#1 Stop using software not designed for ELM.

Many of you expressed frustration with using software that wasn’t specifically designed to handle your legal management needs. It’s no wonder many of you are struggling with project, matter, and legal spend management!  The root cause for using existing tools varies (e.g., resistance to bringing in yet-another-new-technology, no budget, etc.), but keep in mind, the benefits of a dedicated ELM system are well-documented.

We shared the stories of other clients who learned that it’s only an ELM system, not Salesforce or Excel, which is capable of efficiently handling the most critical legal management tasks such as automating billing guidelines, managing of budgets, sharing information inside and outside of the legal department, and scoring outside counsel. Read more about what these legal departments learned.

 

#2 Get involved early in the ELM selection process.

You told us about your purchasing process, and what surprised us was how late into the process Legal was brought in – often well after vendors were being considered. Legal teams should be brought into the purchase consideration journey far earlier than that to properly evaluate the solutions being reviewed against the requirements which were identified at the beginning of the project. The most successful ASCENT clients built diverse teams that were brought in at the beginning of the project to evaluate and test technology throughout the buying journey.

We heard you loud and clear: bringing in legal and other involved business units at the beginning helps avoid missteps. Our Client Success Stories echo this: when Legal is involved early in the process, buy-in and adoption increase company-wide. Read more about how clients used their teams.

 

#3 Use one full-featured, integrated system to increase efficiency.

Many of you shared how much time you waste bouncing between systems to get something done. Some of you must access 2-5 different systems (not counting Outlook, where you spend most of your time) to accomplish a simple task like approving invoices and submitting for payment. You told us that using one, integrated environment to handle all of your tasks efficiently and effectively would make you much more productive.

We hear you loud and clear: the ASCENT development roadmap is informed by clients and industry trends to meet the evolving needs of a modern legal department. So we developed a way for ASCENT to handle all these functions in a single, integrated environment without needing to switch between programs, including Outlook. Clients report increases in their legal productivity by up to 65%. Read more about the client boosts in productivity.

 

#4 Choose a partner, not a vendor.

You shared that when purchasing a new solution, you base a large portion of that decision on the support you receive. If it’s a non-configurable solution with no training or support, you are more inclined to walk away. You told us that your most successful implementations are using software that is standard yet highly configurable, from providers who aren’t simply software vendors but who partner with you as legal software and process experts. Through a strong belief in working as a partner with clients, doeLEGAL works as your in-house guide throughout the relationship.

Our Client Success Stories share experiences about how much time and money was saved by our expert staff handling training, outside counsel on-boarding, expert walk-throughs, ongoing training, and custom report writing as part of their included packages. These stories also show another important way we help clients succeed: our dedicated team of experts remaining with you throughout the process to ensure that every client receives expert care that guides improvements throughout the partnership. Read more about the client success stories here.

 

#5 Organize and simplify your data feeds to accelerate decision-making.

You shared that having reliable data delivered when and where you need it is a top priority. You said that this is a key to legal department efficiency by giving you the ability to make great decisions quickly with real-time data available to support each decision.

You also told us that having a system analyze the data is important, but that the ability to take the information presented, make a decision, and take action quickly is even more important. Ensuring the most important insights are presented in a simple to understand, organized dashboard enables teams to act quickly decreases the time to act, which is a key measurement for any legal department. We shared many case stories about clients decreasing their time to take action. Read more about clients accelerating decisions.