The financial resilience shown by the legal sector throughout Covid was impressive, with many recording strong results for 20/21 and 21/22. But that buoyancy has subsided in the face of more familiar challenges, with PwC in their Law Firms’ Survey 2022 citing macroeconomic uncertainty and the inability to recover inflationary costs through pricing as two key concerns for the sector as we have moved into the post-pandemic era.
Taking back some control is always a great counter when faced with global geopolitical or economic forces over which you have no control. You can always do something, and no switched-on firm will ever intentionally waste money or leave money on the table.
With things situated as they are, with inflation still at its peak and the cost-of-living/cost-of-doing business stretching people and organisations to the absolute brink, sweating the small stuff counts for double, treble even. Anything that saves money or gives you more return from your investment, without compromising the quality of your professional service, has to be high on the priorities’ list right now.
Let’s get the ball rolling with three ‘food for thought’ smart moves that are top of our clients’ thinking for 2023:
Think about alternative resourcing models
When it comes to legal systems, high quality development and project management talent is hard to find and expensive to keep. Paradoxically, such talent may not even be needed 100% of the time as it’s often only required for a major system upgrade; while any in-life changes are such that the situation doesn’t require full-time headcount either.
To get that optimal fit, one that always aligns resources to need, why not explore the managed services concept? This gives firms a highly cost-effective, predictable way to access expertise – it’s scalable, flexible and configurable to the requirements of the day and you’re dipping into broad and deep pools of legal technology talent maintained at someone else’s expense.
Look for fixed fee options
If you have projects, especially with a deadline that cannot be pushed beyond a certain timeframe, and you are concerned by the cost implications or consequences of not meeting the timeline, opt for a short-term resource with the certainty of fixed fee arrangements instead. For example, TRE is sunsetting the EDG 2.6 Framework this year, thereby enforcing an upgrade to 3E Templates. To simplify things as much as possible for those firms in this scenario, Pinnacle has put together a fixed fee template upgrade offering. So now firms have the answers to those two key questions: how long and how much.
Focus on the cash
Cashflow always matters. The PwC report highlighted ‘cash collections’ as a top priority again for this year, having started to stutter after strong performance during the pandemic. But collections performance has dependencies, not least of which is the enduring challenge of WIP and lock-up. Carrying the ‘overhead’ of unbilled work has always had a price, and with the current cost of borrowing, that price has the potential to be painfully acute. The situation throws into further relief the fact that ineffective time recording or poorly managed time recording policies drive up operational costs. Pinnacle’s Time Policy Manager cleverly and subtly promotes optimal time recording practices: speedy submission and specific narratives, driving up the billable hours, driving down the billing queries and delivering the cash promptly into the business.
There are plenty of more smart moves where they came from. If you’d like to discuss how Pinnacle can help extract extra value or deliver additional savings, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.