Princeton partner Vincent E. Gentile wrote an article, “Four Ways Arbitration Can Teach ‘Continuous Improvement’” in Law 360 on how a company can translate the experience gained from an arbitration into improving its operations.
Vince says: “In effect, the arbitration process, especially the preparation and hearing of a complex commercial dispute, can be treated as another technique for ‘continuous improvement’ consistent with” the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM) and Six Sigma. “Thus, rather than simply savoring a favorable arbitration award or trying to forget about an adverse result, a party should take the time to develop a scorecard of pluses and minuses based on what the arbitration revealed about its operations, and consider how it may change its operations where appropriate.”
For example, the chronology of events and document review may reveal the need for more thorough capture and organization of information or better internal communication of costs or decisions. This can lead to opportunities to improve employee training and communication, to more effectively document actions, and to show employees how these things are instrumental to the bigger picture of the company’s success.