Tips from Intranet Benchmarking Forum: 12 Ways to Use Your Intranet to Cut Costs

Are you experiencing cutbacks in your intranet budget?  Perhaps you want to develop a new resource and are finding that your firm is tightening the purse strings?  How do you convince the decision makers that spending money on your firm’s intranet is the right thing to do during tough economic times?  If these questions sound familiar, you may find a new free paper from Intranet Benchmarking Forum (IBF) helpful. 

That paper, Twelve Ways to Use Your Intranet to Cut Costs, provides ideas and examples that should answer your questions.  What are the twelve ways?

  1. Build bridges with internal customers – develop relationships with your users
  2. Research user needs – don’t develop functionality based on what you think your users need
  3. Implement or expand self-service – make it easier for your users to help themselves
  4. Target further design, print, and distribution savings – reduce the costs associated with communicating within the firm
  5. Improve usability – make finding information easier
  6. Revamp HR content – improve access to this information
  7. Create content for customer facing staff – help them work with clients
  8. Create internal help-desk content – make answering IT questions easier to do
  9. Enhance the employee directory – provide more information about employees online
  10. Put senior leaders online – improve employee communications
  11. Leverage online meetings – use technology to reduce travel expense
  12. Measure savings – prepare to be able to answer questions from management regarding what saving the intranet provides

This is a great report that provides a lot of ideas, examples and statistics.  While not directed at law firms, it provides a number of ideas, etc. that law firms can use.  A few of the statistics include rules of thumb reported by The Intranet Portal Guide author, David Viney, regarding self-service:

  • e-expenses – can reduce processing team costs by 75%
  • overtime recording or time-sheeting system – can reduce team costs by 50%
  • room-booking system – can remove 100% of the support team looking after this
  • e-learning – can close down 50% of your training centres and reduce your in-house trainers by 25 %
  • e-finance solutions (e.g. a financial forecasting and budgeting application) – can cut the finance business support team by 10%
  • e-procurement solutions – can save 25% of purchase-to-pay processing teams and 10% of professional procurement
  • IT support online – can cut 10% of the team costs in levels one, two and three support

Other statistics that may prove useful in building a business case include:

  • HR staff spend nearly 80% of every day administering employee benefits and answering questions (2002 Forrester Research Study)
  • Employees spend between 30% to 60% of their productive time just searching for information to do their job (Ideas Magazine)
  • 21,000 employees wasted an average of six minutes per day due to inconsistent intranet user interface design and navigation (Sun Microsystems internal usability expert’s study)

I’m not advocating mass layoffs as a result of the firm’s intranet but these ideas can improve productivity while reducing the need to add additional staff which also works towards cost savings. 

~ Nina Platt


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