I have been thinking about legal e-billing and spend management for a long time now. My partner and I implemented the first really successful e-billing systems in corporate legal back in the late 1990’s. At that time, corporations were dealing with invoices the size of phone books from their outside lawyers. They were simply too big for busy inside lawyers to review.
The goal with our product was to identify waste. Everyone knew the waste was there. They knew that their invoices were too high. They also knew this was not because the firms were cheating them but because no one was reviewing the invoices for mistakes made by their firms.
Many of the Fortune 500 were the earliest adopters of the technology and the earliest success stories. We designed our product with their requirements in mind. We developed big hairy systems to get invoices electronically from law firms to their corporation customers. We wanted to help them save time and money and eliminate waste.
We at Onit are in the process of developing a new e-billing system that will work for BOTH small and large corporations. One of the first things we learned was that scale matters. Smaller firms and workgroups have very different problems and barriers to adoptions than the largest corporations in the world. Trying to implement software designed to squeeze pennies out of every line item will not work for you unless you have lots of line items.
We have a philosophy about how, why and when you should adopt e-billing and spend management systems and this collection of blog posts, I hope, will articulate some of that philosophy.