Unite Your Enterprise with Scalable Contract Collaboration

For organizations of all sizes, uniting disconnected and disparate teams to collaborate and execute contracts efficiently is one of the most common and daunting challenges to achieving growth and scale.

For one, legacy and modern cloud-based systems often have trouble speaking to each other. In addition, the contracts themselves may have layered complexities that require redlining, negotiations and continuous updating to meet an ever-evolving regulatory landscape.

On top of that, the organization’s corporate structure and global presence can also have legal and regulatory implications that affect the use of contracts.

Despite all these complex factors, organizations often have shared goals to grow revenue, accelerate sales cycles, increase contract value and reduce risk.

How do successful, growing organizations unite across functions and departments to effectively collaborate on contract management and achieve outstanding results?

Flowserve scales cross-departmental contract collaboration 

Flowserve is an enterprise that’s familiar with these types of challenges. As a leading global supplier of industrial pumps, valves and seals, Flowserve generates $4 billion in annual revenue, supported by over 18,000 employees across 55 countries. Dundi Thompson, project manager in legal operations at Flowserve, shared her secrets of success at Docusign’s Momentum 2023 conference.

Before implementing Docusign CLM in its operations, Flowserve had an inefficient, manually intensive contract workflow that consisted of multiple emails and phone calls. In addition, no single individual or department maintained ownership or oversight of the contracting process.

“We had a very complex, third-party paper-based workflow for most of our sales contracts,” Thompson says. “We also had an issue with managing our expired contracts. A lot of times, they would expire and we’d just keep working off of the same pricing. That caused us to lose out on a lot of opportunities to cover costs and enlarge our margins. We also had a very manual process, where everything was done through email and phone calls, and we had a lack of ownership. Nobody really owned anything.”

After implementing an automated workflow with Docusign CLM, Flowserve now uses a single repository for all contracts, resulting in greater transparency and the ability to view contract status in real time. Contracts are now keyword-searchable and reportable, saving hours previously spent searching for specific clauses and verbiage. In addition, Flowserve now receives timely, actionable reminders for renewals, expirations and other key lifecycle moments, and the process is fully integrated with the company’s CRM system, Salesforce.

The automation journey began with one simple contract type

Thompson and her team didn’t elect to tackle the entire contract ecosystem all at once. Instead, they started with paper non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), a commonly used and relatively simple contract type, to bank some quick wins.

By fully automating this one contract type, Flowserve achieved some powerful results, helping the company drive growth while delivering a seamless customer experience. The CLM tool tracks changes and only triggers legal review for certain predetermined changes. All other NDAs were routed to appropriate business users and third parties for negotiation and signatures. This streamlined workflow ensures that the legal team sees any changes to specific clauses before signature, regardless of when and by whom the changes were made.

In addition to NDAs, Flowserve digitized supply chain, sales and IT procurement contracts, expanding negotiated profit margins to 30%—while seeing a 20% year-over-year increase in the number of agreements completing legal review—helping the company achieve more favorable revenue-generating agreement terms.

Flowserve is also enjoying 40% faster legal reviews, speeding up the sales cycle to achieve quicker time to revenue.

A key to Flowserve’s success has been its ability to achieve adoption across its key workgroups. It accomplished this by delivering training through the enterprise’s learning management system as CLM was rolled out to each workflow.

“We made the training mandatory, and we put it in our LMS platform,” Thompson says. “This way, managers understood who was taking the training and who wasn't. And this helped us get people on board—we wanted to make it easy for them to use.”

Ease of use is critical so that users experience the benefits of the new process right away. To further drive adoption, Flowserve also implemented a clause library using a Docusign Word plugin.

“The clause library helps keep all our clauses consistent, and it drives adoption of the same language across all of our reviewers, no matter where they sit in the world,” Thompson says.

Lastly, instilling accountability into the process was critically important. Thompson held global office hours to help drive adoption and ensure that users were supported. Flowserve also provided users with enhanced visibility and reporting through CLM’s built-in dashboards. 

“By using the system, we make sure that all contracts come to legal through Salesforce and into CLM, creating accountability and visibility for end-users and managers through reports and dashboards in real time.”

Maturing and improving processes throughout the enterprise

Once Flowserve had automated its legal review processes for NDAs, it sought opportunities to scale these efficiencies across the enterprise. According to Thompson, one key to successful scaling is getting individual teams to own their processes.

“When you have a successful implementation, you need to tell your coworkers in different divisions about it,” Thompson says. “And that really helped. Once we had two successful workflows, word started getting around and people started coming to us for help because they wanted the legal review to be quicker for them as well. And they were willing to own part of the process. They brought people and they brought resources, and we were able to work with them to create something that worked for them.”

It's also important to keep iterating and improving automated workflows to ensure they’re continuing to work effectively and providing the best results. For Thompson and her team, this has meant retrofitting workflows to obtain more data along the way, routinely checking for bugs in the process, and engaging with Docusign through monthly meetings for at least a year following initial implementation. Thompson also took user feedback seriously—quickly fixing any issues so that users felt heard.

In terms of what’s next for Flowserve and CLM, Thompson is looking forward to tackling the contract workflow within Channel Sales.

“Channel Sales has long wanted to get on CLM, and so we're excited to be able to bring them in and build on the success of our sales workflow,” Thompson says. “It’s a highly manual process right now, and we're using outdated technology internally to support it. So, we're glad to sunset that and move to something much more flexible and innovative. One of the truly interesting aspects is we have so many different languages we need to support, and this is going to allow us to do that more easily.”

How to succeed with CLM adoption at scale

Growth comes with challenges—including increased contract volume and complexity. An automated, scalable contracting process can help improve efficiency, maximize legal resources and accelerate revenue.

Successful adoption is a byproduct of creating a sense of ownership in key stakeholders, achieving better data capture through the active use of transparent, easy-to-access reporting. As you begin your CLM implementation project, follow Flowserve’s lead: engage key stakeholders early and leverage experts and professional services from inside and outside your organization.

Why Choose Docusign CLM?

Read this whitepaper to learn how automating steps across the contract process can have a profound impact on your business.