Many firms make the decision to outsource their back office support, then find themselves in a sea of options. The industry is full of companies that seem similar. How are administrators and partners supposed to figure out which one is the right fit to move their firm forward? Here are our thoughts on finding your way to right outsourcing company:
As much as everyone involved would like to think cost isn’t the deciding factor, it often is. We all have bottom lines and budgets to consider. By all means, look very closely at the proposed monthly fee, any expected increases, and services or work that might add an extra cost onto your bill. However, also pay attention to the practices of each company you are vetting. Are they emphasizing saving you money and making your operations more financially efficient? Can they show you examples of how they’ve done this for other firms?
A couple weeks ago we wrote about bench strength. This refers to the quality of the employees on your team. Their expertise, work ethic, and commitment play an important role in the bench strength of your back office. Some outsourcing companies focus more on training while others focus more on experience. Both can play an important role when it comes to bringing in high quality staff. It’s also important to keep in mind exactly what tasks and skills you’re looking for in a team. If it’s a lot of copying, scanning, and mailroom work versus litigation and discovery support the necessary skill sets and experience levels will differ.
Actions speak louder than words. What does their service record look like? Keep any eye out for the perfect, glowing service record as well as one marred mostly short-term work (unless that’s exactly what you’re looking for). Pay special attention to their experience in the legal field. How many other law firms have they worked with? Your work is unique and often demands certain organizational expertise. Working with a company that has experience in your field will be beneficial. This is also an area where referrals and references make a big difference. How do other clients talk about the companies you’re considering? Do they praise or blame? Do they respond enthusiastically or halfheartedly? Listen carefully to the experiences of others.
What other areas would you take into consideration when vetting new back office support?
photo by Jakub T. Jankiewicz