Agent Benchmarking
Law Firm

What does the Agent Benchmarking Service mean

One of the major challenges facing businesses with multiple trademark or patent registrations is maintaining a clear view of the costs and risks associated with maintaining those registrations.

How do you know that you’re receiving value for money from your agent network?

How can you clearly compare what happens in one country with what happens in another?

We all understand that better systems will save money, but how do we know where the weaknesses in our systems are?

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Brandstock’s agent benchmarking service gives you this clarity of vision. In a world where companies are increasingly cost-conscious, but where quality is more important than ever, it’s vital to understand how your investment is working, whether that’s investment in outsourcing or in internal resources.

The agent benchmarking service has five main strands. First of all, Brandstock assesses all official fees quoted by the clients’ agent network and compares them against its own, independently-verified fee schedule for each jurisdiction, producing a report to highlight any differences. This ensures that the client can easily identify discrepancies between the official fees it is quoted by agents and the actual fees charged by the office.

This process provides ‘quick wins’ for the client, since a system can be put in place to ensure the official fees charged in the future are always the correct official fees, potentially achieving significant cost savings in the process. Brandstock constantly monitors these official fees and so, if they change, the agent network and client can adapt to new fees immediately.

Alongside this first strand, Brandstock also undertakes an agent fee comparison. This involves assessing the fees charged by the agent network and comparing them against two benchmarks: the lowest possible fee available in the jurisdiction for the work; and the average market cost in the jurisdiction for the work.

This enables the client to assess whether it is paying too much for its agent network and also to help with stage three of the process: establishing cost targets for future work.

Once you’ve established the market rates in a given jurisdiction, Brandstock will work with you to set target fees for your agent network. This is where you can really start to save money and increase efficiency in the system. Because Brandstock processes far larger volumes of work than a typical individual company, it is able to leverage that size to suggest much lower fees than you might expect.

Once you’ve established the target fees, Brandstock will then conduct negotiations with your agent network on your behalf to save you money. After these negotiations have taken place (4-6 weeks, typically), you will receive a report demonstrating the savings achieved.

Now you know how much you can save, the challenge is to embed those savings in your day-to-day practice, and this is where the agent benchmarking service really helps. The fourth element to it is consolidation of the agent network. It’s possible to make significant savings, and to increase efficiency and take out some of the stress of managing multiple agents by consolidating within a particular jurisdiction to ensure you’re working with people you can trust to do a great job at all times.

This may mean you end up using international agents with hubs in different countries so that you have a single point of contact for multiple matters. Or you can vary the work you give different agents, perhaps using one agent in a country for particular types of simple work, and another for the more technical, highly sensitive work such as complex litigation. Having a partner that can identify where you can make these judgments while minimising risk is crucial.

Finally, once you know exactly how you wish to move forward, the agent benchmarking service helps you deliver the concrete efficiencies you’re looking for. Brandstock can manage and implement Service Level Agreements with your agents, either through a standard form or by working with you to create bespoke agreements covering everything from official fees to timelines to contacts for particular work.

At every step of the way, the benchmarking service is monitored, so you have not just the satisfaction of saving money and time, but also the confidence that the work you need to be done is being done in an efficient and effective manner, and with the data to prove it for when you need to justify these decisions to a company board of finance department.