Pangea3, a Thomson Reuters business specializing in global legal outsourcing, was recently named a 2014 Association of Corporation Counsel Value Champion, thanks to its participation in Caterpillar, Inc’s “Re-engineering Legal Support” initiative.

Like many of the other legal departments honored, Caterpillar made big strides in process improvement and smarter division of labor. The improvements first began in 2011, when Caterpillar was feeling the effects of the economic downturn. But the company’s attorneys still had too much work on their hands, so they responded by recruiting Pangea3, along with law firms Baker & Hostetler and Heyl Royster, to devise “lane strategies,” named for the lanes in the factories that make Caterpillar machines, to handle everything from contracts to litigation. The complexity of a task determines the lane through which it proceeds, so higher-cost resources aren’t being expended on tasks that could be done for a more reasonable price.

Since the initial phase of the project, lane strategies and LPO resources have been deployed to manage the review of contracts and purchasing documents. Caterpillar was able to increase the percentage of contracts reviewed from 50 percent to 100 percent; reduce turnaround times to less than two days in most cases; reduce the cost per hour of support by 37 percent; and reduce the average cost per document by 36 percent, all with the help of experts from Pangea3. And thanks to Pangea3’s help creating tracking and reporting databases for anti-corruption reports and data, the average cost per review was reduced by more than 85 percent.

Not only did these improvements save the company money, but Caterpillar’s attorneys ended up a lot happier because they could focus on work that was more strategically important to the business.

Read more:
Corporate Counsel: ACC Value Champs Tally Up In-house Savings and Efficiency
ACC article: Litigation “Lane Strategy” Leads to Happier Clients & Employees…Oh, and Value Too