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CASESTUDY by pengxiuhui



The firm Robinson & Cole decided to
outsource office services – and saved.

Times have certainly changed when it comes to managing office
services at a law firm. Robinson & Cole LLP (R&C) is a Hartford-
based law firm with eight offices in the Eastern United States with
more than 240 attorneys. The firm recently came face-to-face with
the fact that it needed to modernize and consider outsourcing its
office services for the first time.
    Nancy Hayes is Chief Operations Officer at R&C. Hayes notes
that many firms have been outsourcing office services for years, but
her firm historically preferred to have full-time employees to handle
such duties as hand-delivering court documents, making copies and
mail routing. Over time, it was becoming clear that keeping these
services in-house was not really in sync with their desire to be an
efficient, cost-effective firm. “Robinson & Cole’s core business is the
practice of law. We were spending far too much time focusing on
the management of the support services,” said Hayes.

First, R&C lawyers were regularly traveling from one office to
another, so consistency across offices had become an issue. People
would go to another office and be faced with different procedures.
The firm wanted to create consistency across all offices so people
could be trained on one set of machines.
    Second, R&C does substantial litigation work and there was a
high demand for scanning large volumes of discovery documents.
The firm wanted to handle most of the copy, scan and print work
on-site rather than sending it to an outside vendor, which was
becoming very costly. Also, the in-house support services staff was
not trained to work with litigation technology, so the task often fell
to the IT department.

                           WWW.ALANET.ORG SEPTEMB ER/ OC TOBE R 2 01 0   53

Robinson & Cole’s total projected cost savings resulting from
outsourcing office services will be approximately 22 percent. The off-site
copy and litigation support spend had been substantial, and the firm expects that
to decrease      by 80-85 percent as they now have advanced copy, print,
scanning and litigation support services on-site.

                 Third, R&C’s copy center had difficulty handling        list was whittled down according to R&C’s evaluation
             the incoming workload. In the Hartford office, the          criteria. Mattern then put together an RFP and sent
             firm’s copy center is on the third floor of the building    it out to the short list of qualified vendors. Hayes and
             and the firm’s offices are in the 20s. Requiring            her team reviewed the RFP responses and chose five
             two elevators to make the trip, it was extremely            finalists to present at the Hartford office. The vendors
             inconvenient for staff to come down to the copy             were also provided the opportunity to tour R&C’s
             center with jobs. Departments or attorneys would            Boston, New York and Stamford offices, and meet with
             have to send someone down or they would need                the local office administrators.
             to wait until there was a mail run, which was only               In the final analysis, R&C selected Pitney Bowes
             a few times each day. Additionally, when the copy           Legal Solutions due to their market share, strong
             center was overloaded, the work was often sent              technology offerings and the benefits package
             down the hall to an overflow.                               the company would offer the people that would
                 Finally, R&C was using handwritten logs to track        be switching from the firm’s employ to theirs. The
             FedEx and UPS packages and required no recipient            employees derived some benefit from this transition.
             signature. Packages were sometimes getting lost             Not only did their salary and benefits plans remain
             after being placed on a person’s chair or desk.             intact, but they gained greater opportunity for
                                                                         advancement than what the firm could have
             SOLUTION                                                    offered them.
             R&C wanted to determine whether outsourcing its                  According to Hayes, “Mattern was a tremendously
             office services would solve these problems for them.        helpful resource because they understand the process.
             At the same time, the firm wanted to make sure that         Support services processes can be overwhelmingly
             the employees who had been doing this work would            complex because there are many pieces that need to
             be well taken care of if they became employees of           come together. They made it easy for us to wrap our
             an outsourcing provider.                                    arms around the project. And we could trust Mattern
                  R&C decided to engage support services consultants     because they are unbiased and do not have any
             Mattern & Associates to do an analysis to determine         allegiance to any particular vendor.”
             whether it would be cost-effective to contract with              R&C’s total projected cost savings resulting from
             an outsourcing company. Mattern’s specific expertise        outsourcing office services will be approximately
             is in best practices, technology, cost reduction and        22 percent. The off-site copy and litigation support
             efficiency, so their consultants were able to outline a     spend had been substantial, and the firm expects
             plan to maintain and improve the services in-house          that to decrease by 80-85 percent as they now have
             and project what an outsourced operation would cost         advanced copy, print, scanning and litigation support
             which included an analysis of the pros and cons of          services on-site.
             outsourcing these services. Based upon these unbiased
             findings, the firm concluded that outsourcing would         NEW TECHNOLOGY
             be advantageous for the firm. The Mattern consultant        On top of the cost savings, R&C also implemented
             drafted an RFI (request for information) that was sent to   brand new state-of-the-art technology that resolved
             about 15 support services management companies. The         several of its concerns.


              1. Electronic Job Submission System – This will                                  is delivered, an attorney or assistant needs to sign
                 make it more convenient and easy for people to                                for it. This should help to eliminate lost packages.
                 submit copy jobs without having to physically walk                            The system will also allow them to track, in real
                 them down to the copy center. R&C employees                                   time, the location of all accountable packages as
                 will be able to upload copy jobs to an automated                              they circulate through the building.
                 document system that instantly conveys the order                           4. New Multi-Functional Devices (MFDs)
                 to the copy center. The job queue is viewable                                 Including Color Printing – In addition to the
                 online so the center manager and end users can                                substantial cost savings, R&C now has the latest
                 track all projects from their desktops. In addition,                          generation of Canon MFDs, including at least one
                 on a large flat screen monitor in the copy center,                            color device on each floor. In the past, the firm
                 Pitney Bowes staff and the firm’s end users can                               only had a few color machines that were restricted.
                 get up-to-the-minute updates on the status of                                 Color printing allows the firm to print presentation
                 pending jobs.                                                                 materials on-site, which is more convenient and
              2. Litigation Support Work – Workers will be able                                less expensive than having items printed by an off-
                 to scan documents into a litigation database and                              site print shop. It will also allow practice groups,
                 can batch print e-mails using IPRO. The office                                such as R&C’s real estate and land law practices
                 service employees will scan documents in and                                  to print maps and plans in color right in its office,
                 create a load file on the firm’s own machines.                                instead of sending those jobs to an off-site vendor.
                 Now the well-trained Pitney Bowes employees will
                 be doing this work, which will free up R&C’s IT                                Robinson & Cole definitely benefitted from
                 staff to focus on their other duties.                                      outsourcing their office services, in terms of hard and
              3. Pitney Bowes’ Arrival System – Previously, R&C                             soft dollar savings, efficiency and new technology.
                 relied upon manual paper-based logs to track                               Hayes suggests, “For any firm that is still ‘on the
                 FedEx and UPS Packages. Now the firm will utilize                          fence’ about outsourcing, this may be the time to
                 a bar-coding system in place so when a package                             consider making such a change.” K

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