65%Agreements completed in <1 day
37%Agreements executed within 1 hour
1,200Hours in manual effort saved annually
From electric vehicles to solar and wind renewables, copper is at the heart of the energy transition. Headquartered in Germany, Wieland is one of the largest suppliers—with a global footprint that includes over 30 facilities in the US and 80 worldwide. From prototype to series production, the manufacturer develops solutions for automotive, electronics, refrigeration, air conditioning and other industries.
In 2021, the company established a Digital Transformation Unit to oversee company-wide transformation initiatives, including the digitalization of administrative processes, customer touchpoints and manufacturing.
Until recently, Wieland faced a number of efficiency challenges of its own—including a heavy influx of agreements that involved printing, scanning, emailing and storing in large stacks of folders. These manual, disconnected workflows led to long waiting times and increased administrative effort while slowing down sales, procurement, HR and other processes.
“We were looking for the best solution for digitizing our contract processes,” said Michael Krupka, manager of digital transformation. “DocuSign not only accelerates time-to-signature, it streamlines the entire contract flow for increased efficiency, cost and time savings.”
Accelerating transformation with SAP + DocuSign
Like many companies, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated Wieland’s digitization trajectory. “We had a high number of people working from home, and we needed a way to enable processes that require signatures—quickly and efficiently,” said Jörg Heinen, vice president of digital transformation. DocuSign’s market recognition and partnership with SAP made it the top choice for digitizing contract processes.
Wieland had been using SAP cloud solutions in various parts of its business for years. With SAP® Signature Management by DocuSign, the company was able to transform a lot of manual steps into a seamless, cross-departmental workflow—bringing speed and visibility to the agreement flow in just a few weeks.
“For us, DocuSign means streamline, digitize and optimize. In a word: process simplification. It enables us to connect the entire contract process and make it more efficient and transparent,” said Krupka. Now, employees can send documents out for e-signature and track their status within DocuSign. “That’s an incredible advantage for a global company like us that deals with a large volume of agreements on a daily basis.”
Seamless digital workflows across legal, sales, finance, HR and procurement
Since most employees were already familiar with eSignature from using it in their personal lives, the transition to SAP® Signature Management by DocuSign was seamless. “We chose DocuSign because it’s the market leader,” said Krupka.
Wieland saw a quick ROI:
- Turnaround decreased from several days to a few hours
- 37% of all envelopes are completed within the first hour of shipment
- Human effort was slashed in half, from about 60 minutes per agreement to 30-40 minutes, resulting in a time savings of 1,200 hours annually.
“We’ve not only increased efficiency—we’re also saving resources with our ever-growing usage,” said Heinen. “A great example of how digitization and sustainability go hand in hand with DocuSign.”
The legal department was an early adopter, taking advantage of templates and pre-approved contract language to accelerate processing times while enabling users to initiate agreements—including NDAs and a variety of other internal and external contracts—with just a few clicks.
“Initially, we planned to introduce eSignature only in the legal department—but we quickly recognized the potential benefits of using it in other areas of the business,” said Krupka. That includes sales, finance, employee onboarding, and even purchasing, where DocuSign simplifies hedging and metal dealer contract workflows as well as purchasing contracts, automatically sending executed agreements to SAP Ariba for storage. In the US, HR teams are seeing the positive impact of using DocuSign for new hire processes—leveraging templates to streamline contracting while providing a fast and seamless experience for employees.
Growing with DocuSign
Krupka calls DocuSign a key enabler for digitization, explaining that the greatest value of integrating eSignature with SAP is in the efficiency and risk reduction gained by transforming everyday processes into a digital workflow. “It’s not just a signature tool—it’s a workflow solution that automates the entire contract process from start to finish,” he said.
Within the traditional metal manufacturing industry, Wieland stands out as a digital pioneer. And with several wins in phase one, the manufacturer is set to roll out more use cases in other locations. “We’re very happy with the success we’ve seen so far—and we want to make processes even smoother going forward,” said Krupka.
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