A large, full-service casual restaurant chain operating in North America specializing in gourmet burgers and brews. With well over 400 individual corporate-owned restaurant locations needing to engage vendors for everything from food to lawn care services, the company faced an unruly contract process laden with unnecessary burden and risk. A lack of clear policies on contract review led to confusion regarding approval and risk tolerance. The General Counsel, new to the position, envisioned a seamless solution of process and technology that would be developed, tested, and implemented in less than a year.
Our team worked closely with the client to categorize contracts by risk and type, define the approval process, and create a terms library of good/better/ best provisions. Elements of the process were automated with a custom-built management software platform that centralizes contract intake, tracks status, monitors key provisions and deadlines, and captures metrics. Among other features, the system automates approval requirements based upon triggers set for contract size, type and duration.
Where inconsistency in contract processes had created confusion, delays and in some cases less than optimal contract terms, advanced workflow solutions now provide assurance. The business units like the clarity of the new system. It provides accountability and risk mitigation as well as greater certainty of the value for what they buy. The legal department’s redesigned processes generated outstanding compliance levels. Now, over 95% of contracts are executed on time, and 100% of high-impact contracts follow the approved process.