The September 2016 issue of Harvard Business Review is a good read for lawyers for many reasons, one of which is Mohanbir Sawhney’s article “Putting Products into Services“. In his article, Sawhney outlines steps for professional services firms to use product development as a way to increase profitability and gain a competitive edge.
One of the examples he cites is Littler Mendelson’s CaseSmart-Charges™. He notes:
This offering helps HR professionals and in-house attorneys better manage employee discrimination claims and complaints by combining software, project management tools, and the skills of flextime attorneys (FTAs) and data analysts…Littler uses a dashboard that enables clients to track discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The dashboard provides data-driven insights to proactively address business risks, which in turn lowers legal costs and speeds up the process of managing pending cases. In some instances, this can help prevent the cases from escalating to litigation.
You can learn more about this and other Littler programs at their website.
Sawhney also states that law firms must prioritize innovative projects due to limited resources. I would add, however, that even solo practitioners can take advantage of turning basic services into products that they can sell online. The costs of technology are incredibly low, and solos and small firms can move much quicker than large firms that have a long, drawn-out approval process and a lower tolerance for risk.
You can read the full article here: https://hbr.org/2016/09/putting-products-into-services.
Image Credit: Harvard Business Review