This is the first in a series on Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions’ Total Spend Management solution set. This post introduces the concept of Total Spend Management—what it is, why it’s important, and how it helps legal operations professionals drive value for their corporate legal departments (CLDs).
CLDs are now much more than just teams that manage legal matters; they’ve become epicenters for driving value within their respective businesses. C-suite executives are asking (or, in many cases, requiring) the legal professionals who work within these departments to directly contribute to their companies’ bottom lines.
Many of these professionals are using e-billing technologies to manage spend associated with outside counsel, and for good reason. E-billing has proven to be a foundational technology that increases productivity and cost savings.
However, billing guidelines have become increasingly nuanced and complex, making them difficult to manage—even with the help of traditional e-billing tools. In addition, some outside counsel partners still submit paper invoices. These either need to be manually entered into the e-billing system or managed offline, which reduces visibility into all of the spend.
In short, the technology CLDs use to manage and control spend needs to evolve so that they are better equipped to handle these challenges. Fortunately, it has—with the introduction of an approach we call Total Spend Management.
What is Total Spend Management?
Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions’ Total Spend Management approach introduces an innovative way to gain complete control over legal spend. Total Spend Management melds innovative technologies, including artificial intelligence and data analytics, with foundational e-billing solutions to create an entirely new and more effective means to manage spend.
This unique offering helps legal professionals supercharge cost management, gain complete visibility into spend, and have access to better data and visualizations. It is a powerful, innovative, and holistic approach to controlling and overseeing legal spend—and a crucial step to the big-picture thinking the C-suite increasingly expects.
What challenges does Total Spend Management address?
Despite changing expectations and responsibilities, most legal operations professionals remain beset by an age-old set of challenges. For example, invoice review is still laborious and time-consuming, sometimes resulting in billing discrepancies and appeals. The good news: AI-enabled bill review can ensure consistency, increase billing guideline compliance by 20 percent, and lead to cost savings of up to 10 percent.
Paper invoices slow down the CLDs that still receive them, especially since they’re not sent in a Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES) file format—meaning clients will need to enter them manually, if they do so at all. But with AI-enabled invoice conversion, CLDs can see and manage all invoices within their e-billing systems, whether submitted electronically or by paper, while receiving the cost savings benefits of electronic invoice processing.
Old-school approaches often leave legal operations professionals with very little time for the crucial strategizing that adds value to their organizations. On the occasions that they do have time, they are often not making the most informed decisions with regard to spend, as they simply don’t have access to all of the data required to make those decisions. Total Spend Management addresses each of these challenges with the power of AI, legal experts, and advanced analytics and reporting, including integrated dashboards with industry benchmarking for better and faster decision-making.
What does Total Spend Management include?
- LegalVIEW® BillAnalyzer (AI-enabled bill review)
- LegalVIEW Analytics (detailed reporting and dashboards)
- Passport Office Companion (Microsoft Office integration)
- Intelligent Invoice Conversion
Be sure to be on the lookout for the next post in our Total Spend Management blog series!