Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG), the largest full-service Canadian-based law firm, engaged Harbor to help provide better visibility into firm-wide spending patterns and assist with streamlining and nationalizing their procurement and third-party contracting functions.
Lack of centralized spend management
Outside of a limited number of central functions, such as information technology, BLG had been managing purchases and supplier relationships at the local office level across their various Canadian offices. With an increased focus on centralizing the procurement function, the leadership team needed to find a way to quickly access data on upcoming contracts and spending, which historically had not been readily available.
SpendConnect has allowed us to fully nationalize our contract and spend management for the first time. The platform is highly intuitive and well designed and having the ability to link contracts, spend actuals and budgets is invaluable. Jules Cranwell, Chief Administrative Officer at Borden Ladner Gervais
A service-focused approach
To address the specific reporting needs of BLG—across spend analytics, budget reporting and contract management—Harbor worked with BLG to implement multiple modules of SpendConnect. This software-enabled service enriches and solves critical data challenges for law firms.
Taking a service-focused approach, the Harbor team worked with BLG’s leadership and individual department and office stakeholders to collect the firm’s active third-party contracts. Next, the engagement team partnered closely with finance to collect the necessary payables and budget data, allowing Harbor to create a consolidated dashboard, including contract renewals, budget goals and actual spend data to deploy to key stakeholders.
Unifying vendor data
To address concerns about the misinterpretation of data due to disconnected platforms, Harbor identified three areas needing improvement.
Firstly, using SpendConnect as a single repository for all contracts, it centralized third-party contract data. With proactive user alerts and real-time reporting capabilities, SpendConnect reduces contract auto-renewal risk and allows for proactive planning throughout BLG’s contracting cycle.
Next, it created interactive expense reporting using the enriched data SpendConnect provides across key categories and vendor relationships. With intuitive, easy-to-use reporting capabilities, the solution allows BLG’s procurement team to identify cost savings opportunity areas, measure successes and instantly analyze reports for stakeholders.
Finally, it streamlined the budget reporting process. Dashboards were designed to provide key stakeholders with instant access to budget data, allowing them to continuously monitor budgets, make better real-time decisions, and support BLG’s project management office with project-based budgeting and planning.
Better workflows, improved timeliness
Since the start of implementation, BLG has continued to identify new SpendConnect use cases that validate the immediate benefits of the solution. Across the firm, users now have access to spending data, budget performance, and key contract details at their fingertips.
As a result, BLG has experienced more efficient workflows with SpendConnect, greatly compressing the time it takes BLG to report on project budgets.
It is also realizing increased value with procurement now able to generate real-time vendor profile sheets, which stakeholders have seen as a value-add. The creation of spending statistics across key categories of spend has also added value to the firm.
The firm also benefits from greater visibility, with contract owners proactively alerted by SpendConnect of upcoming contract renewals. Users can also leverage a dashboard pipeline to collaborate on opportunities.
“SpendConnect has allowed us to fully nationalize our contract and spend management for the first time,” says Jules Cranwell, Chief Administrative Officer, Borden Ladner Gervais.
“The platform is highly intuitive and well designed, and having the ability to link contracts, spend actuals, and budgets is invaluable. The outstanding reporting facilities allow us to easily generate KPI reports across spend cycles and within categories across our offices and functions.”
About Borden Ladner Gervais
As Canada’s law firm, BLG provides high-value advice and advocacy to address our clients’ business challenges and problems. We go beyond legal to anticipate, consult and advise in a rapidly changing digital world. We have extensive experience acting in specialized and complex deals and disputes. We harness technology and innovation to offer our clients exceptional service and value.
This engagement was executed by HBR Consulting, one of the companies that merged to form Harbor.
20 Jul 2017
- Cost & spend management
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