What contributes to the success of LPO
July 24, 2010
LPO is not a new phenomenon, driven by the competition, temptation of lower cost and client’s preference to have quality work with lower cost led to the emergence of Legal Process Outsourcing in 1995. US based Bickel and Brewer was the first law firm to outsource its legal processes to India in this regard. Thereafter, many LPO’s got established and some of LPO’s were closed down as they were not able to get the projects and not able to convince the benefits what the LPO industry is offering for its clients.
As Mr. Sanjay Bhatia, head of operations for SDD Global in his recent blog “Starting Your Own LPO? Here’s How To Do It. And How Not To” states “The most common mistake LPO entrepreneurs commit is believing that in order to succeed, all they need is a good office, infrastructure, internet connectivity, a well-designed website, and a legal team”. In fact, even these contribute towards the success of LPO’s, there are many other factors which can really contribute towards the success of LPO’s.
Setting up an LPO and hiring the people experienced in Legal Process is not a difficult thing. Successfully continuing with the LPO industry, having LPO projects throughout the LPO process, and providing quality work to the clients who trust us really matters.
Law firms and in-house legal departments of the companies do not approach you for outsourcing their project unless you have established yourself as the good and competitive in the LPO industry or have established yourself good for the quality of the work.
In India, many LPO’s have been set up as part of the BPO division and many companies run their LPO division as their competitor runs the LPO division.
Today, many companies are running the LPO division with the loss and use the money generated in other divisions to run the LPO division.
In spite of all these, LPO industry still has a growth. Today’s outsourcing industry is the result of GATT/WTO. Non discrimination and the fair treatment are the main principles of WTO. WTO promotes the free movement of services and products in WTO member nations. As the many industries are witnessing globalization, legal industry will be liberalized and the LPO industry will witness the huge growth.
Delay in accepting the new change is common in many industries. When someone starts to utilize it and tells the benefit of it, gradually others will start to adopt it. LPO industry is the same thing in this regard.
Outsourcing a process to LPO does not depend on the single partner of the firm, all partners’ needs to have consensus. It may take some time to arrive at the decision. But one day, most of Law firms and in-house legal departments of the corporations will accept the new changes and utilize the quality of service which the LPO industry offers.
Going through the success of LPO’s in an LPO industry, many factors will contribute towards their success.
Management: The management of the LPO’s includes head of the Law Firm or partners of many international law firms, experienced lawyers of USA, UK, and India. They are the main contributors towards bringing projects to the LPO Division. They will also provide adequate training to the employees on their process. The work is also properly supervised by the US and UK Lawyers.
Marketing: Marketing is the backbone of every business. An important aspect of the LPO job involves finding new clients, developing and managing relationship with the clients. LPO industry cannot survive without clients or without any projects. Many leading LPO’s in India have got marketing professionals by the designation of marketing executive, senior marketing executive, assistant manager, manager, project manager, assistant business development officer, and business development officer. Most of the marketing professionals are from LLB and MBA education background having experience in International marketing and have got good communication and presentation skills. Even some attorneys act as the marketing professionals and get new clients to the firm. Marketing professional in the LPO will be having a clear understanding of legal procedures and working of LPO. Their main role includes looking for foreign law firms, in-house corporations who are willing to outsource their legal process to India. A marketing professional needs to introduce the company and its capabilities, needs to understand the company he is contacting, its history, partners, and directors. Then he shall discuss LPO services to such law firm or the company and discuss their pain areas or areas where we as company/LPO could work together and suggest Legal Outsourcing as a solution. Besides these roles and responsibilities a marketing professional needs to conduct extensive market research, shall be willing to travel, make cold calls, make presentation to the clients, conduct videoconferencing, teleconferencing, handle the client visits, requires to prepare a detailed business plan to sight goals and objectives, target markets to bring account to the LPO. He shall also be ready to spearhead the business development activities for the given region, willing to work as per regional timing and always look for expansion of the LPO business and lead to earn more profits.
Employee’s recruitment, training and salary: In many LPO’s one need to complete 3-5 rounds of interviews(written, oral and technical) to gain entry into the LPO. After the recruitment, a candidate needs to undergo project specific and other training for 3 months by LPO industry leaders, attorneys, solicitors and clients. Sometimes there will be an on job training.
Most of the successful LPO’s in India employs more than 100 employees consisting of Attorneys, solicitors and paralegals.
The salaries in the most of leading LPO’s ranges from 20k to 25k for freshers and 25k to 35 for one or two year experienced professionals. Besides these, health insurance facility, free club memberships, cab facility are provided to an employee.
Most of the employees in LPO sector work for 8 hours per day, they also work in shifts as the many LPO’s in India work on 24X7 basis. Employees will be having two days weekly off and other leave benefits.
Quality: ISO 8402-1986 standard defines quality as “the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bears its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs.” Quality refers to Measure of excellence or state of being free from defects, deficiencies, and significant variations. The services what we provide for the clients must be free from errors. LPO shall provide the quality beyond their client expectation. Many LPO’s adopt Six Sigma methodologies in their quality process.
Client relationship management (CRM): As the getting new client is difficult thing, maintaining the proper relationship with the client is also a difficult. A proper client relationship must be maintained when we provide quality of services to the client and when they are more reliable on us. It also involves attracting and winning a new client, retain the client, entice the former clients back into the fold.
Infrastructure and security: Many successful LPO’s in India has secured infrastructure includes owned office place, secured FTP servers for uploading and downloading data, high speed broadband internet connectivity round the clock. Telephonic calls including conference calls, online meeting, Encrypted emails, secured VPN technology, Citrix web access, Web accessible secure online databases, Extranets, FTP sites, Access via Firms collaborative document sharing and database applications, Uninterrupted power supply and backup.
Many LPO’s have got physical security including video surveillance, security guards at all important locations, adequate fire protection.
Data security and Confidentiality: In many LPO’s employees need to sign non disclosure agreement and the employees are provided with unique user accounts and password, and passwords are changed periodically. Every computer and folder is password protected. Surveillance cameras or closed-circuit security cameras are fixed to track the employee’s movements. Personal communications or data recording devices, such as mobile phones, handbags are not permitted anywhere in the working premises.
It is not possible to access the work of team by the other team. All incoming and outgoing mails are monitored on exchange server, and all attachments are filtered.
Social media internet: Social Media is the latest networking tool for LPO’s and Attorneys. It is the great tool for capturing new clients. Many LPO’s in India have got their own Blog page about LPO and they are in touch with many of leading news papers of the USA and UK to give an insight on LPO sector.
Attorney of a law firm, and lawyers of in-house corporations, are increasingly reading blogs and participating in social media these days. They will be interested to find latest information on the industry within less time
According to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 report, the number of American blog readers grew to 60.3 million in 2008
Many leading LPO’s in India have got their company profile in Linkedin. Many companies and attorneys use Linkedin, twitter and facebook. Social media can help LPO’s to understand individual client personalities. LinkedIn is a powerful professional network, with members from each of the fortune 500 companies. LPO’s in India can effectively use social media for its growth.
Back office operations: Many of the LPO’s In India acts as back office for many departments of corporations and Law Firms abroad.
LPO website: Having well balanced web presence is the best tool for developing the online marketing which attracts the clients. The website shall have proper design to attract clients; it shall capture the attention of clients in seconds. Website content can increase LPO’s search engine ranking, educate and qualify prospects, and enhance LPO’s credibility. Once potential client arrive at LPO’s Web site, the content must win him over and move him to make a call to an LPO. Most of the successful LPO has the features like search within the website, news on LPO, sitemap, work samples, management and LPO team member’s profile. A well crafted online video made available on LPO website or you tube also can help LPO’s to connect with more clients and promote an LPO.
SAARC: SAARC is not the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in LPO term. It refers to Speed, Accuracy, Availability, Reliability and Cost (SAARC). While the Speed refers to the time taken to carry out any of the service functions, Accuracy ensures the completeness in carrying out the communicated function with respect to a reference level, Availability refers to the likelihood with which the relevant components of the service function can be accessed for the benefit of the customer at the instant of request, and Reliability refers to the probability that the service function will perform within the specified limits for speed, accuracy and No information is to be supplied to an unintended party, nor can information be changed by an unintended party. Finally, the cost is the major factor in outsourcing the LPO projects and it involves performing the work in decreased cost compared to the work performed in US and UK. It involves cost saving upto the 70%.+