Of course, costs control is still key in the current environment. With how organisations might gain efficiencies in spending being on everyone's minds at present, it's worth understanding how the development of legal operations could bring about additional key benefits and identify opportunities for improvement on a broader basis.
DWF Mindcrest's Legal Operations Consultancy specialists have seen how this pressure in the consumer and retail sectors to re-structure and re-define the resourcing of the legal team and other key business functions (such as compliance & risk, regulatory support and procurement) leads organisations to explore different routes to success. As many organisations explore the need to consolidate their legal teams with these other key functions, it's becoming clear how much more there is to be gained from applying the legal operations mind-set to these new organisational structures. In fact, one might argue, it becomes critical to apply the benefits of legal operations to these more closely aligned teams, to ensure they're finding the best ways of working better together.
Fundamentally, the world of legal operations is about applying business processes to ensure legal teams work in the most efficient way possible – taking the lessons from other industries or sectors, and applying them to find new ways of tackling old problems.
Often an entry point into the world of legal operations is via the new shiny technology toys that can present an exciting new solution to many long-standing gripes. That's the case if the key objective is simply a matter of ensuring everyone is accessing documents from a single repository of contracts; improving accessibility by managing the intake of new enquiries from across the business into a single front door; looking to take things to the next level by enabling automation of workflows and documents; or applying AI functionality to review tasks for greater speed and risk management whilst removing the mundane and low risk tasks from specialists' desks.
Mirroring the ways in which the consumer sector has seen its customers shift to digital over recent years, the move to document and workflow automation and process efficiency through technological development is key to how we transform the way in which organisations can achieve their goals internally. The transformation of how legal and procurement support the needs of a consumer and retail business needs to keep up the pace with those customer-facing elements of the organisation.
However, key to guaranteeing the long-term success of any new technology adoption is ensuring the right degree of scrutiny and improvement design has first been applied to the existing way of working across the organisation. Often this is where we see a degree of frustration kick in. It can be hard to feel like there is the need to take a slight pause from that instinct to simply purchase the next big gadget in technology tools and, in the first instance, ensure that the people, process and data components have been considered in detail to ensure the right factors are driving those technology purchasing plans: