eDiscovery Daily Blog

Working Successfully with eDiscovery and Litigation Support Service Providers: Evaluating Price


When you are looking for help with handling discovery materials, there are hundreds of service providers to choose from.  It’s important that you choose one that can meet your schedule, has fair pricing and does high-quality work.  But there are other things you should look at as well. 

In the next few blogs in this series, we’re going to discuss what you should be looking at when you evaluate a service provider.  Note that these points are not covered in order of importance.  The importance of any single evaluation point will vary from case to case and will depend on things like the type of service you are looking for, the duration of the project, the complexity of the project, and the size of the project.

Let’s start with Price.  Obviously, costs are significant and the first thing most people look at when doing an evaluation.  Unfortunately, many people don’t look at anything else.  Don’t fall into that trap.  If a service provider offers prices much lower than everyone else’s, that should sound some alarms.  There’s a chance the service provider doesn’t understand the task or is cutting corners somewhere.  Do a lot of digging and take a close look at the organization’s procedures and technology before selecting a service provider that is comparatively very low-priced. 

There’s another very important consideration when you are comparing service provider pricing:  not all pricing models are the same.  Make sure you understand every component of a service provider’s price, what’s included, what’s not, what exactly you are paying for, and how it affects the bottom line.  Let me give you an example.  Some service providers charge per GB for “input” gigs for electronic discovery processing, while others charge per GB for “output” gigs.  Of course, the ones that charge for “input” gigs charge a lower per gig price, but they are charging for more gigabytes. 

Understand how a service provider’s pricing is structured and what it means when you are evaluating prices.  It’s always a good idea to ask a service provider to estimate total costs for a project to verify your understanding.

In the next blogs in this series, we’ll look at other things you should be looking at when selecting a vendor.

What has been your experience with service provider work?  Do you have good or bad experiences you can tell us about?  Please share any comments you might have and let us know if you’d like to know more about an eDiscovery topic.