You are in the market for business intake software to streamline, automate, and improve your firm’s processes. That’s great news! Undoubtedly you must know Frayman Group as we have been around since 2007 and are considered the leading vendor both in terms of our expertise in the area of law firm business intake, but also because you may have firms of similar size who is a customer of ours already and they may have told you about their positive experiences about us.
Whether you represent IT or Risk or some other department at your law firm, you know the right thing to do is to do your research, and compare all solutions in the market to ensure you do not end up with a product that is going to be a short term fix for a long term nightmare. Business Intake and Conflicts for a law firm is serious business and you want to make sure the firm makes the right investment with an at least 10-year horizon on that investment.
Here are some pointers for those of you in the process of selecting the right vendor to partner with:
- Get all stakeholders involved in the process: It is important for you to get all stakeholders from the firm together to take a close look at the product and its capabilities. For business intake and conflicts, these would be folks from risk department, finance, marketing, IT and the “end-users” so representation from attorneys, partners, secretaries are also key.
- Mandate the agenda for the vendor presentation: Make sure to gather the feedback from all stakeholders and create an agenda for the vendor to not only address all technical and business questions, but also demand a detailed demonstration of the software for the stakeholders to ensure everyone is on board with the product, its capabilities and how it addresses the firm’s needs.
- Do not buy on future promises to implement today: Make sure you demand a demonstration of what is available today and make your purchasing decisions on what you can see and touch. Many firms have been burned by buying on future promises. Choose a vendor with a product that you can deploy today, with the features available today.
- Ask for references: Business intake for law firms is not “shrink-wrapped software”. It not only requires a great product at the foundation to address all the technical needs in terms of workflow, forms, and integration to firm systems, it also requires a knowledgeable vendor who can properly capture the business needs of the firm and appropriately guide the firm to the finish line with their product, leveraging their domain expertise and knowledge in the area of business intake, laterals, conflicts etc.
- Do not merely buy on price: ”Free” is a dream that will turn into a nightmare. Be cautious of vendors who offer “free software” or “free software for many years”. Do a 10-year calculation on what the firm’s return on investment will be with any product you are considering and make your decision based on that data.
- Avoid “custom”, aim for reusability: New Business Intake (NBI) “applications” that are “custom-built” for your firm, usually mean you are tied to that vendor for all future changes and customizations, which almost always translate to significant development effort. Try instead to find products that provide you with the right tools to create and manage process maps, forms and integrations without any development effort. Consider products that can do more than just fix a single problem; e.g. consider purchasing a business process management platform the firm can utilize for all of its processes, instead of a custom NBI application that has no reusability beyond its very specific purpose.
- Buy from a vendor with proven experience: With all things being equal, choose the vendor with more deployments, references and deep domain expertise over newcomers. What looks like 4 simple processes easily add up when you start considering Know Your Client initiatives, Anti-Money Laundering regulations, Alternative Fee Arrangements, Matter Maintenance and many other critical elements that touch and play a significant role in your NBI implementation. Pick a vendor who’s “been there and done that” to tap into and leverage their expertise.