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Getting Started With Legal Spend Management — Fast Implementation, Immediate Benefits

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Do you find the prospect of implementing a Spend Management system intimidating or time consuming?

Join CSC’s experts Rich Casper, Product Management Director, Andrea Jonaitis, Product Manager, and John Bloxom, Vice President of Product Management, as they review the benefits of automating your legal billing process and how quickly - and easily - CSC can get you up and running, saving you considerable time and expense.

Webinar transcript

Disclaimer: Please be advised that this recorded webinar has been edited from its original format, which may have included a product demo. To set up a live demo or to request more information, please complete the form to the right. Or if you are currently not on CSC Global, there is a link to the website in the description of this video. Thank you.

Caitlin: Hello, everyone, and welcome to today's webinar, "Getting Started with Legal Spend Management, Fast Implementation, Immediate Benefits." My name is Caitlin Alaburda, and I will be your moderator.

Joining us today are Rich Casper and Andrea Jonaitis. Rich is a product manager director in the Corporate and Legal Solutions Group at CSC. He joined CSC with over 15 years of experience in enterprise legal management. Rich works closely with business stakeholders, product teams, customers, and prospects to identify market needs, define product requirements, develop new features and functionalities, and define long-term product strategy for CSC's matter and spend solutions. Andrea is a product manager in the Corporate and Legal Solutions Group at CSC. Since joining CSC in 2017, Andrea has specialized in global subsidiary management and entity management, working with prospects to present an accurate and clear scope of services, including helping subsidiaries stay in compliance as well as demonstrating CSC Entity Management.

And with that, let's welcome Rich and Andrea.

Andrea: Hi, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us today.

Rich: Thanks, everyone. Our agenda today is going to be key benefits of spend management, success factors for projects, project documentation, how to get started, introduction to CSC Spend Management, and quick Q&A at the end.

Let's start by reviewing the overall benefits of CSC Spend Management. CSC Spend Management solution allows you to more effectively manage your billing process by leveraging a number of automated workflows and validations which add efficiency to all stages of the invoice life cycle. Here are just a few of the key benefits.

Time savings by centralizing and automating law firm invoice submission and by shifting outside counsel vendor support to CSC. Next is workflow automation. We fully automate the invoice routing and review process while enforcing compliance with your internal business controls. Reduced costs. All invoices are validated against your approved timekeeper rates and any custom rules that we have developed in accordance with your official outside counsel billing guidelines. And last is better reporting. CSC provides an easy to use report builder, which allows you to create and run reports to monitor both your billing process and your legal spend.

How it works. Let's start with an example of the steps involved in the typical invoice life cycle. The process starts when outside counsel submits their invoice electronically through our secure vendor portal. Next the invoice is automatically validated. Then it is routed to the appropriate in-house staff for review. Once it has been reviewed and approved, it is transmitted to AP for payment.

As you can see, our solution brings efficiency to a cumbersome, manual, and error-prone process. Invoices are submitted 100% electronically and routed to approvers based on your department's invoice approval rules, with review links sent via email. Invoice calculations, negotiated billing rates, and compliance with billing guidelines are automatically checked. In-house staff can easily adjust, reject, or question disputed charges. Upon approval, accounts payable receives invoice details via its email or secure data transfer. Outside firms benefit from quicker receivables and real-time visibility of approval and payment status.

Now that we understand the benefits of spend management, let's discuss what it takes to implement and how CSC can make the process as efficient and painless as possible. CSC's approach to implementation is based on standard project management methodologies and best practices. Elements of both will be reviewed in subsequent slides. But first let's discuss a few of the things that contribute most to a smooth and successful implementation.

First is identification of appropriate resources. It's always important to identify key project resources early on and to secure their availability for the upcoming project phases as needed. Prime examples would be the project lead, billing administrators, and any technical resources required for development and testing accounts payable integrations.

Next is agreement on project scope and timeline. It is also important to clearly define the work that must be done over the course of the project. This allows for more effective project planning, identifying resource requirements, and ensures a more accurate estimate for go live.

Next clearly defined requirements. Documentation of detailed requirements for each business process allows us to fully understand the time and effort required to complete your build to avoid scope creep, and it gives us the best chance to deliver and finish the product on time.

Last we've got frequent and effective communications. Frequent communications via scheduled status meetings, working meetings, and project documentation ensure that all project team members and stakeholders are aware of overall project status, deliverable status, and any risk items that may be affecting the timeline and completion of the project.

Now let's take a look at a typical project timeline. This timeline represents an average 12-week implementation. Some projects may be shorter or longer based on requirements and complexity.

As you can see, the project is broken down into phases, which would begin following the project kickoff on September 5th, ending with a go-live on December 1st. Let's review each of the phases.

First is requirements and planning. In this phase, we'll meet with the appropriate subject matter experts to work through and agree on all requirements for the build. The goal here is to document and sign off on all requirements for items, such as user accounts and security, data to be captured, law firm billing guidelines, and approval routing. We will also identify and document any data migration or integration requirements, such as API development for transmitting invoices to accounts payable.

Configuration and development. This is the longest phase of all of the project phases and where the bulk of the work is done. Once we fully understand and have documented all of the build requirements, our implementation specialists will begin configuring the system, mapping any necessary data for conversion, and working with your integration teams on any accounts payable integrations.

The next phase is testing. Nearing the end of the configuration and development phase, we'll begin testing the system configuration, invoice validations, and approval routing. We will also ask you to validate any custom matter templates we have built and identify any issues or last-minute changes. You may notice the overlap at the end of configuration and development into the testing phase. This represents a short remediation period where we address any changes as a result of testing.

Next is training. As part of the requirements and planning phase, we'll have already discussed any custom training requirements and will have scheduled training for this week for your system users.

Next is vendor onboarding. This is the week we will begin working with and training your vendors for invoice submission. They will be asked to verify their vendor record data and enter their timekeeper rate data as well.

And the last phase is cutover and go-live. Go-live actions may include any final cutover activity, such as switching on user access or sending announcement to users and vendors letting them know the system has gone live.

Next we'll take a look at how we document progress and communicate status. This slide shows a sample of a typical project plan. Some of the key information we track throughout the project will be the current project phase, task owners, start and due dates, and task status. During each status meeting we will review all assigned tasks, including any overdue tasks that may pose a risk to the project timeline. New tasks will be assigned as dependencies are met and as we progress through the various project phases. This frequent status review ensures task accountability, helps identify risk as early as possible, and keeps all the team members aware of whether the project remains on schedule.

Now that we understand CSC's approach to implementation, let's discuss how best to get started. Most of these items are not so much CSC specific but go back to the project best practices mentioned earlier in the presentation.

To guarantee a successful and efficient spend management implementation, we recommend starting with the following. Get stakeholder buy-in. Getting buy-in from stakeholders is very important to ensure everyone is working towards success. To garner support, make sure your stakeholders understand the issues you're trying to solve and the ways in which a new system will benefit them. This helps keep everyone in the loop and aware of their potential involvement in the project.

Next secure required resources. Once you have stakeholder buy-in, you want to identify any resources necessary to complete the project and confirm their availability. Without the necessary resources, projects are often not started, stalled, or drag on indefinitely.

Next discuss data and reporting requirements. Talk with members of the various practice groups within your legal department to fully understand their business processes and to identify the key data they may want to capture. How does each group report spend, by group, by department, by cost center? How many practice groups will be using the system and will they have different data requirements? How are each group's invoices handled? Having these discussions early on can provide useful context, raise awareness of the project within the department, and help you better understand potential scope prior to kickoff.

Next finalize your outside counsel billing guidelines. Having a finalized set of outside counsel guidelines can help fast track the development and configuration of invoice validation rules and the overall build versus trying to develop and finalize a set of guidelines during the implementation.

And last, identify any data conversion requirements. Do your best to identify any existing data that will need to be migrated to the new system and ensure that the data can be quickly and easily accessed and provided to our project team when required.