eDiscovery Daily Blog

Working Successfully with eDiscovery and Litigation Support Service Providers: Questions to Ask when Checking References, Part 3


Last week, we started and continued a list of questions to ask when you are doing a reference check.  So far, the list includes general project questions, questions about communicating with the vendor, questions about costs, and questions aimed at evaluating the quality of a vendor’s work. Today we’ll complete the list with questions about the vendor’s ability to meet schedule requirements, and questions aimed at assessing the vendor’s overall performance. 

Questions regarding schedule requirements, meeting deadlines, and flexibility:

  1. Did you establish a schedule with milestones and deadlines for the vendor?
  2. Did they meet your milestones and deadlines?  If not, why was there a problem?
  3. Did the scope of the project – in terms of volume – change after the project started?  How did the vendor handle that? 
  4. Did the vendor need to add additional resources to your project to meet deadlines?  If not, should they have?
  5. If deadlines were missed, how much advance notice were you given?
  6. Did you change priorities that required adjustments to work flow during the project?  If so, how did the vendor handle that?  Were they able to accommodate changing needs?

Questions aimed at assessing overall performance

  1. Will you use this vendor again?
  2. Are there changes you would make to the way in which you work with this vendor?  Or changes you would request regarding their services?
  3. Are there project thresholds under which you wouldn’t use this vendor (for example, not for a collection above a certain size, or not for a rush project)?
  4. What do you believe is this vendor’s greatest strength?  Weakness?
  5. What is the one thing you would change about this vendor if you could?
  6. How would you rank this vendor against other vendors you have used?  Are they on your list of preferred vendors for future projects?  Under what circumstances might you choose another vendor over this vendor?

The list of questions we’ve compiled in the last several posts should be a good starting point for you!  Remember, though, that a good reference check session will be interactive.  Some of the answers you get will prompt additional questions.  Don’t be afraid to do some digging to uncover what you need to know.

Do you get good information when you check vendor references?  What questions do you ask?  Please share any comments you might have and let us know if you’d like to know more about an eDiscovery topic.