eDiscovery Daily Blog

Working Successfully with eDiscovery and Litigation Support Service Providers: Keeping a Preferred Vendor Program Up to Date


In the last several posts in this series, we talked about evaluating and selecting vendors for a preferred vendor program.  Once that’s done, you still have a bit of work to do before rolling out your program.  You need to establish a mechanism for on-going evaluation of the vendors on your list.  This is an important component of the program – you need to monitor the work of the vendors on your list to ensure that they continue to meet your requirements and live up to your expectations.  Here’s the first step in developing this part of the program:

1. Determine evaluation criteria for each service.  The first step in developing a preferred vendor program was to create a list of the services that you’d like vendors to provide.  Go back to that list, and for each service, identify evaluation criteria that you can apply to every project moving forward.  There are some general criteria points that will probably apply to all services.  Some examples are: 

  • Were our deadlines met?
  • Were costs what we expected?
  • Were quality expectations met?
  • Was the vendor easy to work with?
  • Was the vendor responsive?
  • If applicable, did we receive timely status reports with useful information?
  • Were invoices timely and accurate?

For each service, there are likely to be specific questions.  Some examples are: 

  • For electronic discovery processing services: were load files formatted correctly?
  • For coding services: were coding rules applied consistently?
  • For electronic discovery processing services:  were changes in priorities in processing implemented smoothly?
  • For OCR services:  was OCR quality sufficient?
  • For use of online review tools:  was searching easy?  Did the tool offer all the search features we needed? 

Your goal is to compile a list – for each service – of easy-to-answer questions that will let you know if the vendor performed well on a project

Next week, we’ll go over the remaining steps in establishing a mechanism for keeping your preferred vendor program up to date.

Do you evaluate vendor performance after each project?  How do you do it?  Please share any comments you might have and let us know if you’d like to know more about an eDiscovery topic.