Records Management

This case study focusses on a large international legal client that had significant records management spend (stationery and print) in central London.  The client hadn’t reviewed this spend for a number of years and wanted to fully explore and challenge their current records management strategy and approach including e-records management and to also ensure it was ‘fit for the future’. In addition, the client wanted to ensure that they were working with a ‘best-in-class’ partner, had a relevant and appropriate records management policy and they were receiving maximum value for money.

The Challenge

The client was a large and prestigious international law firm with over 500 lawyers worldwide.  As their firm was enjoying continued success and growth there was an increasing challenge on their supplier costs which were also continuing to grow and records management was a good example of this.

The client was utilising the services of a ‘managing agent’ who sub-contracted the records management service to an established records management company.  Aside from this being a potentially unnecessarily convoluted supply chain it also potentially prevented the strategic development of the account by both the end supplier (i.e. the market expert) and the client.  The lack of integration and lack of co-strategic thinking had led to the challenges that the client was continuing to experience in this category including the lack of a relevant and right-sized document retention policy, the lack of a retentions process which led to thousands of documents being held potentially unnecessarily.

In the initial meeting with the client it became clear that the client encouraged us to challenge all areas of this category in terms of service and cost in conjunction with both the incumbent supplier and ‘best-in-class’ suppliers from the supplier market and was particularly focused on whether it would be more appropriate to e-archive as opposed to hard copy archive as per the current approach.

A comprehensive category review was required to conclude with a market leading records management company being appointed that could take the client forward into the ‘digital archiving future’ whilst meeting all current service requirements and of course whilst having specific legal sector experience.

The Challenges

  • Records management hadn’t been reviewed for a number of years
  • ‘Management agent’ incurring unnecessary margins
  • Inadequate retention policy and associated processes
  • Client was not receiving value for money

Our Strategy

Key to the development of the category strategy was bringing together the thoughts of the client, our thoughts, the view of the incumbent supplier and the wider experience of suppliers from the records management companies and in particular from the legal sector. With this in mind, we facilitated a number of meetings to develop a conceptual way of thinking with the emphasis on challenging the current strategy.

Once the general approach to the review had been agreed, we initially focussed on gaining a full and clear understanding of the current position in terms of the service deliverables and the associated costs of the service.  This included storage volumes, records retrieval service options, security of documents and timescales involved in retrieving documents. This involved an extensive element of data analysis but by conducting this very detailed piece of work at this stage it ensured that the foundations of the review were firmly in place.

Once we had a clear understanding of the strategic options available and the benefits/risks of each in conjunction with a clear understanding of the current service we agreed with the client a high-level strategy which would evolve from hard copy storage to digital over time. However, the key to the delivery of this strategy was partnering with the right strategic partner who could take the client on this journey.

In terms of the tender itself, we embarked upon an extremely rigorous review which involved us engaging with 3 market-leading providers in addition to the incumbent supplier.

This tender process directed suppliers to provide a today solution and a future solution (‘born digital’) based upon the research we had undertaken to fully appreciate the market recommendation.

Upon receipt of the tender responses, a detailed category report was drafted by ourselves for the project team and sponsor which led to subsequent presentations being held which we fully facilitated to ensure the client has every opportunity to explore all key components of the supplier’s proposals.

Ahead of the presentations we developed and pre-agreed with the client an evaluation criteria which was used by all presentation attendees to ensure we all consistently reviewed the key elements (e.g. company profile, service quality, digital journey, innovation and risk, and costs).

The Strategy

  • Appoint a leading records management company and have a direct and integrated relationship
  • Challenge the current way of thinking
  • Review the current document retention policy
  • Maximise value for money

Our Solution

Following a comprehensive tender process the category solution agreed with the client was to award a 5-year contract to a leading records management provider who could take them on a category transformation journey.  The solution transitioned the client away from continuing to add storage and costs ongoing and instead to partner with a supplier on solutions which would provide mutual benefits.

Following the award, through the implementation period, a new retentions policy was created in line with the GDPR agenda of the firm and in addition, the client saw a strategic shift in thinking in addition to significant costs savings being achieved.

From a cost savings perspective, the savings to the clients were in the region of 15% on like-for-like storage volumes without incurring any associated costs of change.  These savings were purely delivered from the reduction of storage and services charges.  Further and more significant savings were identified by (1) not storing documents which had no need to be stored and (2) investing in the digital transformation journey to stop adding to the storage volumes.

The Solution

  • Award a 5-year contract to a leading records management provider
  • Partnered with a provider who could increase service levels and reduce costs
  • New retention policy developed and implemented
  • Significant costs savings initially achieved (15%)

Business Benefits

One of the key success factors for this review was the realisation from the client from the outset that there could be a potentially different way of managing this category.  This level of strategic thinking was complimented by our approach in terms of ‘turning over every stone’ and investigating all opportunities. The client was delighted at the conclusion of the review and was particularly pleased with the integration of ourselves into their firm and fully appreciative of the value we added in the review.

Aside from the significant benefits mentioned in the solutions section of the case study we also led the drafting of the supplier contract to ensure that all commitments made by the supplier were captured including the service specification, the service level agreement, and the key performance indicators.

A key service benefit was the increased focus on where the supplier could add value and one of these areas was clearly in increased transparency and involving the supplier in discussions early in the process if service changes were being considered.  With this in mind a refreshed suite of reports was developed to assist the client in managing their spend.

In terms of costs whilst a 15% saving was identified this will be added to in the fullness of time with further sustainable savings being achieved by the client and supplier working together for common long-term goals.

The Benefits

  • Sustainable and significant cost savings
  • Further savings to be added through the implementation of a digital strategy and tighter management of document retention
  • Increased transparency through MI & pro-active account management
  • Significant return on investment on the Oculus fees

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