'On-demand' lawyers can afford to compete on price point, as they do without most of the trappings of big firms. While there may seem to be little opportunity to compete in this area, what smaller law firms can do is to bring down their business expenses such that it makes the client more compelled to turn to them.
One way to bring down expenses lies in the printing costs. Most legal firms scan, copy and print thousands of sheets of legal documents every week. For both small and big law firms, it is common to scan and print about 300-500 pages for each case alone. For a law firm, printing costs represents a significant business expense. In addition, firms need to keep a tight control on their print output by monitoring who is printing what, where and how, and ensure that everything is accounted for. Since printing costs are 'charged back' to the client, having a high cost per print means that the law firm is now more 'expensive' to hire. This directly reduces the competitiveness of the law firm. By adopting a robust, more cost-efficient print management system, smaller law firms will be able to take on the Davids in the industry with confidence.
Singapore is a highly attractive location for lawyers due to its strategic importance as a regional economic, political and legal hub and as Asia's leading destination for dispute resolution. Overcoming the time and resource-intensive processes that exist almost by default within the legal industry will give firms a significant competitive edge.
In an industry where information flow is rapid and unstructured, the challenge is making the best use of data on hand. The larger picture is about promoting a culture of innovation in Singapore, and such innovation is not always about chasing the newest technology that exists in the market. As Singapore strives to attain its Smart Nation goal, it is about designing better work processes and creating new business models that will deliver higher growth, more enriching jobs, and better services for Singaporeans.
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