A case study prepared by Bridgeway describes the past five years of Rockwell Automation’s implementation of matter management systems. In addition to a chronology of a successful project, the study offers a few specific points I would like to emphasize. If you would like to see the seven-page paper, write me.
Doug Hagerman, the company’s General Counsel, aspired at the start to create an “information-enabled department.” A nice phrase, that, with a more practical sense than “knowledge management.” Effective matter management software became a central pillar.
A second point gives historical perspective on how far we’ve come. As long ago as 2006 the law department told almost 150 law firms to submit electronic bills and “only one firm refused.” Those days are long past when a US law firm can decline to invoice a client electronically.
As to the best time to kick-off e-billing, Rockwell Automotive recommends a “big bang” start on the first day of a company’s fiscal year. That date avoids stub year data.
Finally, the five principles Rockwell stood behind during the software journey make sense. (1) “Provide clearly written technical instructions about submitting e-bills.” (2) Carefully validate the firms’ timekeeper information before you go live. (3) Stick with basic hourly billing while you get your feet wet. (4) Train firms on your guidelines and how they fit with the billing system, especially if you use UTBMS codes. (5) Absorb the costs of the e-billing system rather than pass them through to your firms.