The EDD Commodity Pricing Attraction and Myths

The EDD Commodity Pricing Attraction and Myths

2/13/2011

Theoretically speaking, e-discovery services should be easy to market. However, despite the fact that vendors have been offering standardized pricing, a lot of lawyers still say that e-discovery continues to be out of their financial reach.

According to George Socha, an attorney and e-discovery consultant based in St. Paul, Minnesota, “Consumers push hard for commodity pricing, assuming vendors will do the same tasks the same way for the same price.” He further added, “But we’re not talking a commodity like a bushel of grain. Almost all of the pieces of the e-discovery process defy commoditization.”

There has been a dynamic debate over the past couple of years regarding whether e-discovery services may ultimately become a commodity, meaning a service with uniform pricing models for industry standard practices.

Many of the e-discovery vendors do what has presently turned out to be a repeatable, commodity process. Some areas of the discovery process, such as, loading data, eliminating duplicate copies, as well as document production, have become routine.

It turned out, however, that e-discovery services pricing is not easy to standardize.

In the past, commodity pricing was regarded as some sort of a universal remedy or solution. It offered a clear business model that would eliminate the ambiguity and difficulty of the process. But it has been found out that simplified pricing does not really appeal to everyone in the field.

Bill Speros, a Cleveland-based e-discovery consultant, said that he would have thought two years ago that commodity pricing would be the end game. “But even if there is a pricing model commoditizing e-discovery services and processing, I realize that I don’t want to work with a commodity provider,” Speros said.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com