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Marston’s, one of the UK’s premier brewers and pub operators, deal with a lot of contracts. Thousands of contracts in fact. Both Sales and Procurement have an enormous number of external commitments and each one needs a contract created, executed, monitored and managed.
Keeping “the paper flowing” is essential for Marston’s to continue their business moving forward.
More value-added activities through contract management
Marston’s implemented Scanmarket’s Contract Management module to start the process of better managing the organization’s external commitments. With widespread operations and a large supplier base, Marston’s had long faced a significant number of issues posed by legacy storage of contracts in hard drives, filing cabinets, etc. with no central repository.
In addition to limiting visibility to the organization’s liabilities, this situation required significant legal resources to manage existing agreements, resources that could be better directed away from administration to more value-added activities. The Legal group constituted the core team with the Sales team being the first external group involved. Results so far have been impressive. According to Sam James, lead of the Contract Management initiative, nearly all parts of the organization are on-board and they “don’t have to chase people any more; they upload the contracts themselves.”
DocuSign equals higher efficiency and more savings
Once the foundation was in place, Marston’s wanted to fully leverage the capabilities inherent in online contract management. Repository, workflows, transparency were all done through the Scanmarket platform. To get to the next level, they needed to incorporate the signature process into the online repertoire.
Even if you are managing all your external commitments through a central repository and reporting system, the requirement for a physical signature inserted delays, cost and complexity into the process. According to James, “(...) tons and tons and tons of contracts were coming in, going into a physical sign-off basket and each week, a director in the legal department needed to go through the pile and sign off the contracts by hand causing delays and missed opportunities. By moving to the DocuSign eSignature functionality inside Scanmarket’s Contract Management module, Marston’s legal team was able to process contracts and signatures much faster."
In addition to the efficiency and opportunity benefits, Marston’s was able to generate real savings through decreased paper, postage and even ink costs. These savings more than covered the cost of the technology. Contracts from as far away as Kazakhstan could be executed as easily as one down the street.
Successful implementation and no training required
The best implementation approach depends on each individual organization. For Marston’s a flexible approach, that relied less on mandates and training, worked best. Starting with the highest-volume contract team (Sales), Marston’s rolled out to over 200 people. Efficient communications programs, FAQ’s and user guides helped speed up the roll-out. The platform is so easy-to-use that no training was required. According to James, “It’s just so easy to use. A first-time user can work it out. We gave it to our Legal Admin and she just ran with it without any training.”
Marston’s are planning an aggressive roll out of DocuSign to the rest of the organization with a planned completion by Summer 2020. All this is accompanied by careful measurement of processes, efficiency and those cost savings in paper, postage and ink.
Marston's advice to other organizations
James’s advice to organizations new to DocuSign is pretty straight-forward: Use the resources available because they are plentiful. Everything you need is easily located on the website. As a project lead, serve as a resource for the rest of the business and let them run with it. And when determining how to “sell” the concept inside the organization, focus on the fact that everyone understands this is the future of contract and you’re headed there eventually.