The centralization of the procurement function within an organization, in which the purchase of goods and services is managed by a single department for all branches of the business, emerged in recent decades as a key operational strategy for increasing efficiency and reducing costs. This model makes it much easier for an organization to maintain policies and procedures that enable smarter buying across the company.
HBR recently held its annual Procurement Roundtable, an invitation-only gathering of 25+ law firm procurement leaders. In connection with the Roundtable, HBR surveyed the participants on a variety of procurement-related topics ranging from organizational information for benchmarking through current front-of-mind topics / priorities, including investment in procurement technology solutions. These technology solutions are a key tool that can help a procurement function on multiple fronts. They improve operational efficiency and, through controls, mitigate risk, as well as help with tracking, monitoring and reporting key performance metrics that can aid in promoting the procurement function’s value proposition.
Law firms are continuing to navigate and adjust to the “new normal” of the legal business environment. Firms are exploring a variety of strategies, including leveraging technology, reviewing alternative staffing structures and exploring new service delivery models, in an effort to make fundamental long-term changes. Each of these tactics not only requires a significant amount of time, but often a substantial upfront investment before the benefits can be fully realized.