A complex contract management use case calls for a unique solution

We’re delighted to continue our series of articles exploring how organisations solve specific problems with help from Docusign’s solution engineers. Here, Docusign Solution Architect Alex Ebiko shares a great example of how Docusign CLM has transformed processes for a major manufacturing company.  

Large organisations are complex beasts. Over time, systems and strategies are layered on top of each other, creating convoluted and very unique workflows. And designing solutions to automate or streamline these workflows can be tricky.

This was the case when we stepped in to help a Docusign customer in Japan. They knew they needed to fix their contract management process. They also knew that there was no other solution on the market that could address all of their unique requirements. So they approach us to design a solution that would iron out their existing processes and set them up for success. Let’s take a look at what was involved. 

Old workflow was time-consuming and error-prone 

The company’s legal department – which handles thousands of agreements every year, and had over 200,000 paper-based documents in its archive – wanted a better way to manage its contracts and agreements. From non-disclosure agreements to software licenses, memorandums of understanding to outsourcing agreements, all these contracts and agreements were all critical to keeping the wheels of business in motion.

Yet its existing process was messy, manual and time-consuming. The team relied on a mix of platforms and processes to prepare and manage agreements, and this mix led to errors and inefficiencies. Bottlenecks meant some agreements never saw the light of day, which reflected poorly on the team. In fact, they were spending more time trying to fix issues and find important documents than on delivering value.

To search and collaborate on agreements, the team was using keywords in Google Mail, which wasn’t entirely reliable. What’s more, the process was unscalable. They were using Google Sheets as a ledger to manage contracts, and it simply couldn’t scale with the business.

Old workflow:

Old workflow

Initially, the company selected a packaged solution to try and fix their agreement process. Yet they quickly realised that a one-size-fits-all approach wouldn’t work. Indeed, this was one of the key differentiators when Docusign came in to demonstrate how our CLM platform could support their needs.

Docusign CLM is anything but a one-size-fits-all proposition. Instead of forcing users to adapt their operations to the platform, we take the opposite approach, spending time discovering what the company’s needs are and then moulding the platform to fit. 

Our customer in Japan quickly saw the benefit of this. After convincing them to do a discovery project with us, we were able to show them how our unique implementation would meet their specific business objectives – now and into the future. 

Adding value at every turn 

Our first project was to consolidate three use cases: the contract submission process, file/folder access requests, and contract addendums. For each, we were asked to digitise and automate processes wherever possible, while maintaining status quo operations. Specific requirements included:

  • A request form to notify Legal and IP of new agreement requests
  • The application of attributes to contracts, to leverage the search-and-list capability – with the tool resembling the existing contract ledger 
  • Collaboration between Legal and IP, and line of business teams, via email – while being traceable in Docusign CLM 
  • Notifications and tasks should be executed when an attribute has changed (e.g. Contract Status, Request eSignature, etc.) 
  • An Action Button to request changes to Folder Security.
  • Ad-hoc, optional workflows to account for when communication via email or Slack may be required

Docusign’s Professional Services team and Solution Engineers worked closely with the company’s stakeholders to design a solution that would streamline their end-to-end contract management process. It was an extremely positive experience for all involved – with plenty of stakeholder buy-in and involvement, ensuring their requirements quickly took shape in a workable solution.

New workflow:

New workflow

Now, Docusign CLM is being implemented across the company to centralise contract management. The implementation process involves the digitisation and secure storage of over 200,000 documents that currently exist in paper and other formats. Once digitised, the company will have the ability to perform basic contract analysis on the fly, and quickly and easily generate and manage a wide range of business contracts. 

Looking ahead, there is scope to grow the solution to incorporate other use cases. Plus, there’s the easy ability to scale the existing set-up to account for many more envelopes. It’s a great example of how Docusign’s Solution Engineers and Professional Services teams can step in to not only solve today’s problems, but provide a platform that’s ready for tomorrow, too.

To learn more, contact us.

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