A “disruptive” services procurement platform that allows small and medium-sized businesses to put out tenders to an expert community and manage them, all via the cloud, is set to enter the legal market.
Blur Group, which claims to run the world’s largest creative services exchange, is looking for hundreds of commercial firms and lawyers to sign up to its new legal exchange. Though there is no cost to join or pitch for work, Blur takes 20% of the quoted project fee as commission.
Once enough lawyers have signed up, the exchange will go live. Founder and chief executive Philip Letts said he was confident that this would be this year.
The group’s creative services exchange has generated over $11m (£7.1m) of project briefs since 2010, with 800 briefs from 400 businesses – mainly from the UK but also the US and elsewhere – being sent out to expert communities of nearly 20,000 specialists from 135 countries.
Mr Letts said the platform also work as a social exchange, allowing lawyers to build networks and market their credentials even if they are not successful in bidding for work. “We can help lawyers build a community, reduce the cost of business development and provide a platform to more efficiently service their clients,” he said.
Mr Letts argued that his business is “an industry changer”. He explained: “The success of our creative services exchange has shown this, and now our intention is to disrupt practices within additional industries, changing the way companies do business, by building powerful global services exchanges.
“We have proven that expert sourcing, cloud-based platforms and streamlined processes bring demonstrable benefits to both buyers and sellers alike.”
The exchange enables companies to run the entire procurement process – from brief and sourcing to project kick-off, delivery and payment – in one place online, although they are not required to run the project through the system once a pitch has been accepted.
Once a brief is published, the technology and the exchange support team whittles pitches down to a top three for review and selection by the buyer. The pitches have to include a proposed fee, which is paid through the exchange 50% on acceptance and 50% on completion.