By: Aria Antonopoulos, Director of Operations, Buying Legal Council
For many law firms, negotiations have become much more intense as procurement professionals are playing a larger role in the selection process. In a recent Harvard Business Review article titled “How to Negotiate with Powerful Suppliers,” Petros Paranikas from the Boston Consulting Group introduces a framework for navigating the negotiation process.
He takes the view of the client who has to negotiate with suppliers, but his advice applies to both sides – clients and law firms. His insights will help you understand how procurement thinks, how to best work with procurement and other business people on the client side, as well as the do's and don'ts when procurement is involved in selecting law firms.
Paranikas highlights that it is important to have a clear understanding of the problem, the ability to work across functions, a willingness to try new things, and strong analytical capabilities that can reveal the organization-wide picture and generate useful insights. With these elements in place, what has seemed an impossible negotiating task becomes one that is mere challenging. In particular, Paranikas recommends:
Bring new value to your supplier – Redefine your relationship:
- Be a gateway to new markets
- Reduce the supplier’s risk
Change how you buy – Change demand patterns by:
- Consolidating purchase orders
- Rethinking purchasing bundles
To learn more about how procurement drives the sourcing process, join us in Chicago, October 19, at the Buying Legal Council legal procurement conference. The topic is Metrics & Benchmarking. Petros Paranikas and Dan Belz, from the Boston Consulting Group, will give insight into what negotiation approaches you might soon be facing.
The Buying Legal Council is the trade organization for professionals tasked with sourcing legal services and managing supplier relationships. Our conferences are open to all stakeholders in the legal profession. Learn more about the Buying Legal Council.