Employees in the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development were looking for a solution to optimize their contracts process. When new grants or incentives are approved, the Manager of Contracts and Policy, Jeffrey Van Hulten, manually imports them into a spreadsheet and uses a macro he has created himself to merge separate fields into a Word® document. The contracts remain in a spreadsheet and never reside in Salesforce, the organization’s CRM.
The manual method makes it difficult to track contracts and ensure that they are moving through the system. Van Hulten keeps track of contracts through 30 separate tracking sheets, and has to handle all reminders and outreach himself to keep the process in motion. This method can have inconsistent results, at times leading to longer contract cycles than necessary.
Another area of concern is version control. Changes are tracked in Word, but keeping track of which version an employee has, and whether it is the most up-to-date, is confusing and laborious. This is further complicated by the fact that sometimes users change file names or forget to track their changes. This happens about 25%-30% of the time, so that when Van Hulten gets contracts back, he has to go through each page manually to be sure it doesn’t have a missed change.
Contract management in its current state is a manual, time-intensive process, taking as much as 35%-40% of Van Hulten’s time. This is not an effective use of a highly skilled, high value employee. Additionally, it is difficult for the Contracts Department to keep up with the administrative work load: “We’re always in triage,” said Van Hulten.
There are also security and compliance concerns, with sensitive contracts being kept in a folder on a shared drive. The department must undergo an annual review to ensure that its security measures are adequate, which has been in question under the existing system.
The Governor of the State of Utah instituted a mandate for all state offices to improve efficiency by 25% to save tax payer dollars, and the contracts department saw this an opportunity to improve contract management processes. Initially, employees shopped some of the other major contract solution providers on the market, but found them to be beyond budget and requiring too many user seats to match up with their needs.
Employees in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development had a long-standing, well-established Conga Composer implementation in place and a solid relationship with Conga. Conga’s Redlining product, launched at Dreamforce 2016, first drew their eye, and when they learned that Conga was developing a Contracts solution, they jumped at the chance to implement it.
The version control features in Conga Contracts for Salesforce® were a major selling point. The ability to track versions and maintain them in Salesforce automatically eliminates the manual processes and potential errors of the prior system.
An improved, streamlined contract process will benefit the Manger of Contracts and Policy directly, who will no longer need to spend a third of his time on administrative tasks: “I can start doing other elements of my job,” Van Hulten says. Benefits will be felt by everyone downstream, as well. Employees will be able to locate contracts wherever they are in the process, track their status, and move them along more quickly with the dashboard. Continuity and compliance will be ensured by having all contracts in a centralized, secure repository.
Contract drafting will also become a cleaner process. The Conga Contracts for Salesforce® clause management feature will house pre-approved legal language and clause versions for solid contract drafting automation.
Analytics capability in Conga Contracts for Salesforce® will provide insight into whether specific contract types, teams or departments are causing slow-downs. This insight can provide the basis to improve training, forecasting and processes for future optimization. The ability to track contract language will also benefit employees, as statute changes can affect language that appears in multiple contracts, and these can be quickly located and updated with changes.
Employees of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development are looking forward to the benefits of having more accurate contract data. Analytics will enable Van Hulten and his team to quickly access information relevant to a given policy and help determine whether specific programs are successful. He says: “If you can make a data-driven decision, the policy that comes out will be better and tax payer money will be spent more efficiently.”
- Ensure better version control and tracking
- Expedite contract processes
- Gain greater insights for better forecasting and optimization