Modest choice of the most innovative in-house use of technology

Law Technology News honored Vulcan Materials with its 2008 “Most Innovative Use of Technology by an In-House Legal Department.” Vulcan Materials, an S&P 500 company with revenues above $3 billion, is the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates. The company used to receive 4,000 paper legal invoices each year from its more than 125 outside law firms but in 2007 it installed Bottomline Technology’s Legal eXchange.

A press release by Bottomline, which has 60,000 users and more than 6,000 law firms in its network, offers this explanation of the LTN award: “Since implementing Legal eXchange in 2007, Vulcan’s in-house legal team has been able to transform invoice management processes by establishing a centralized, electronic bill review for all legal invoices. The dramatic reduction in paper invoice volume has not only accelerated approval cycles but provided greater insight into overall legal spend. By building some of its billing guidelines into the process, Vulcan has been able to ensure greater compliance with pre-determined billing guidelines.”

To install an e-billing system is to join the crowd, Vulcan may have six to ten lawyers, and it doesn’t appear to have used the system innovatively, so this seems an odd choice on which to bestow a “best-of-technology” award.

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