A major law firm engaged Harbor to help it significantly reduce its vendor expenses and implement sustainable vendor governance processes.
Improving governance processes
An Am Law 75 law firm with over 15 offices throughout the United States sought to enhance its procurement processes and reduce recurring non-salary expenses across technologies, facilities and operations to free up funds for other budgetary and growth opportunities.
With Harbor’s help, the firm implemented more than 18 agreements across key vendors with estimated savings of more than $5.6 million over the next three years. null, null at null
The firm engaged Harbor to help it achieve $1 million in annual savings in recurring vendor expenses by identifying and leveraging opportunities to consolidate and streamline accounts across offices and vendors for better pricing and service levels.
It also sought to enhance account management to improve overall service, performance and reporting and improve ongoing monitoring of price compliance and savings realization on an ongoing basis.
Harbor extensively reviewed the firm’s operating expenses and key vendor partners, then conducted an in-depth analysis to identify savings opportunities and develop a strategic negotiation strategy. Harbor actively participated in vendor discussions. Its sourcing expertise and industry knowledge were instrumental in streamlining analysis, helping the firm develop key messaging, assisting the firm with proposal requests and ensuring that vendor pricing and services were competitive.
Harbor assisted the firm in leveraging existing vendor relationships to maximize service and pricing. In some cases, it recommended consolidation strategies that resulted in significant pricing and financial incentives.
To drive incremental savings, Harbor also recommended demand management strategies, such as product consolidation and the adoption of standardized services across offices.
Harbor's assistance in managing vendor communications and change management ensured a smooth transition.
Performance and reporting improvements
Harbor played an integral role in developing standardized business terms and negotiating key commercial terms, account management and service level requirements. Standardized and enhanced business terms were memorialized across the firm’s agreements, along with clear service level commitments and penalties for levels not met.
In addition to defining account management expectations, it was critical to track adherence and compliance. Harbor helped the client establish detailed electronic reporting on a regular basis and validated that the reporting provided the firm with necessary visibility into line-item activity and costs.
During the firm’s implementation of these changes, including the new agreements, Harbor provided extensive project management and facilitated the rollout of services and pricing, including internal communications, coordination with the vendors and pricing verification. Harbor helped lead internal change management, guiding behavioral changes through internal communications, ongoing monitoring and continued operational enhancements.
Following implementation, Harbor monitored spend levels and resolved any pricing noncompliance or account issues directly with the vendor. Harbor tracked realized savings and reported monthly to the firm’s stakeholders and will continue to track and report vendor performance against agreed-upon service levels and report any service improvements to the firm’s stakeholders and leadership.
With Harbor’s help, the firm implemented more than 18 agreements across key vendors with estimated savings of more than $5.6 million over the next three years.
The account synergies, standardized terms, enhanced account management and regular reporting, will ensure that the firm can continue its vendor expense management in the future.
Results and benefits
With Harbor's help, the firm has reaped the following:
- $2.5m in year one savings
- 18% average cost reduction
- $5.6m savings over three years
- Ongoing vendor governance processes to ensure sustained expense management
This engagement was executed by HBR Consulting, one of the companies that merged to form Harbor.
30 Mar 2020
- Contract management
- Cost & spend management
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