Tips for Establishing a Consultative Relationship with your eDiscovery Managed Services Provider
When done correctly, there is a true partnership between a legal department or law firm and their managed services provider. With so much at stake when dealing with data, a provider must be an extension of your legal team to ensure each project is done defensibly, on time, and on or under budget.
So, how is this relationship created?
Establish Open Communications
Relationships cannot flourish if communication is one-dimensional. Therefore, it is imperative to establish a regular cadence of communications with your sales contacts and project management teams.
Below are five tips on how to open lines of communication:
- Listen to everyone’s voice. Make sure all members of your team can provide feedback about what they believe works and doesn’t work regarding the service offerings from the managed service provider.
- Inform your managed service provider about your goals and plans for growth. With this information your provider can proactively offer ideas and information about new tools, technologies, and offerings to help you achieve your goals.
- To the extent possible, identify a point person who can be the voice of your organization. Being able to provide a unified, consolidated message to your provider will allow you identify areas of alignment so they can adopt, deploy, and track success on the same scale.
- Share as much as you can. Withholding information or metrics will limit the success and value you can gain from your provider.
- Encourage the professionals to offer ideas on how work can be done more efficiently, and/or with less risk. Let them know you want them to bring ideas and solutions they have gained from other engagements and relationships to the table. Ultimately, you must be comfortable with the path chosen but encouraging knowledge sharing will benefit everyone involved.
Partner in Growth
As the integration with your managed service provider continues to develop, your organization’s goals and challenges will evolve as well. A provider’s achievement is based on your team’s success – so charting new growth together will lead to the ultimate success. Here are ways to best partner with your provider to attain the most growth:
- Inquire about new technologies, ideas, and processes that you believe will improve your client’s experience using your managed services. Present your managed service provider with emerging challenges to your business, engage with them on developing proactive solutions before these challenges materialize into threats to your client’s success. Even if you do not know what technologies are available, if you explain your goals and challenges, your provider may be able to bring solutions you were unaware of to the table.
- Partner with your managed service provider to focus on delivering your clients the best possible customer experience. Focus on your team’s value proposition to the organization and client success stories.
- Position and treat your managed services provider as an extension of your team rather than a third party. Doing so will help positively influence how others in your organization perceive them and will also create stronger engagement and satisfaction for the individuals working for the service provider on your behalf.
Leverage Sales, Marketing, and Education Resources
Every interaction with an internal or external client is both an opportunity to teach and to learn. To do this, take advantage of the resources available at your managed service provider to help grow your team internally with marketing, and educate your team and client to close knowledge gaps across your organization. To do this effectively:
- Look for opportunities to have your managed service provider host CLE’s or other educational programs to share information on new laws, technologies, and processes that will drive innovation within your business.
- Take advantage of national and global sales resources to champion your team’s mission in satellite offices.
- Work with your managed services provider to develop collateral and playbooks for your organization. The managed services professional can be yours eyes and ears, helping your team ensure process and procedures are promulgated and followed.
Viewing and treating your managed service provider a trusted partner can benefit your organization in so many ways. It allows for the sharing of new ideas, new technologies to be brought to the table, and increases your breadth of experience without any additional costs.
For more information on Epiq’s eDiscovery managed services, click here.
By Richard Pachella, Solutions Architect. Rich is a solutions architect in the eDiscovery managed services and legal solutions group with over 20 years’ experience in the eDiscovery space. He specializes in developing efficient, cost-effective electronic discovery workflow strategies that involve multiple discovery scenarios in complex litigation and regulatory matters.