Making lawyers more efficient means clients need to be tougher. I was therefore surprised to see one typically tough customer scale back on a recent innovation. 

The headline in (2/15/07) says it all: GE to ditch e-tendering to ‘deepen relationships’ in Euro panel review. In my post GE Expands Auctions to Acquire Legal Services (1/20/05) I argued that “as competition and pricing pressure increases, forward-thinking law firms will look more to technology to lower costs and improve their ability to deliver service.”

The article does not explain why GE is dropping the auctions. Presumably it found that auctions did not generate the mix of service and price it expected. I am glad that one big company tried an innovation, even if the new approach turns out not to have achieved success. Companies get kudos for trying new ways, especially if they evaluate results and move on when the new way does not work as expected.