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BlueScope Case Study

Situation

Serving many companies in the Fortune 500, BlueScope is a global leader in coated and painted steel products. Headquartered in Melbourne, BlueScope operates more than 100 facilities in 17 countries, from Australia to Asia to North America. All told, BlueScope employs more than 14,000 people.

One of its subsidiary units, BlueScope Buildings, has a legal team of 18 people spread over seven countries and multiple time zones.

Challenge

With a geographically dispersed department, General Counsel Sean Power said he relied on “bullet point emails” to stay apprised of the company’s legal matters. This often provided an incomplete picture of the team’s workload and made it difficult to prioritize.

“I wanted more visibility and insight into the entire portfolio of matters, with an interest in making sure people were spending the precious limited time of in-house legal resources on the right projects,” Power said.

Strategically, Power said, he wanted to direct the legal team to focus on proactive projects that may not be deadline-driven, but that were closely tied to legal or corporate strategy.

“I wanted the ability to statistically map out and identify places where we could automate work or stop doing things that were low-impact,” he said. “But I couldn’t figure out a way do to that by email.”

Approach

Power wanted to identify software that would deliver quality metrics and information without adding new time burdens. He ultimately chose Xakia for two reasons: ease of use and robust reporting capabilities.

“Business people think in charts and graphs; lawyers think in blocks of text,” he said. “I needed a way to translate our narrative into charts and graphs that show how and why the legal team spends its time – not only for my decision-making, but to track over time the busyness of the department, the priorities and time commitments. Xakia had the perfect package to satisfy that goal.”

Result

BlueScope has used Xakia for a number of years (and through a corporate reorganization). Power routinely uses the charts and graphs automatically created by Xakia in PowerPoint presentations and other communications to the C-suite and board.

“Business people like dashboards,” he said, “so I use Xakia to populate two-thirds of a dashboard that is used to communicate with the chief executive and other stakeholders.”

Why does Xakia work for a large international team?

“When you have an organization the size of ours, you end up with a large volume of matters. You can’t really spot trends or sort matters easily by looking at lists or emails or Excel spreadsheets,” Power said. “Something was needed to categorize those matters and show what they meant from a time commitment standpoint and relation to legal strategic goals or company strategic goals. Xakia was able to do that in a way where the output was far worth the tradeoff of administrative input.”

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