Like many companies, CDI began by managing its contracts in a home-grown system consisting of a shared drive and an Excel® spreadsheet. As the needs of the business grew, so did the spreadsheet—to dozens of columns and thousands of lines of data. All with no tracking and reporting features to manage it.
As CDI realized its need, their internal teams leveraged the company’s Oracle® CRM to house and track contract data. However, many of the key concerns remained. Visibility into important contract data for internal stakeholders in sales, finance, recruiting, operations and CDI’s executive team was still elusive, requiring that even operational questions like payment terms or servicing terms go through the contract management team. Tracking down answers consumed much of the team’s time, slowing them down, and becoming a significant bottleneck for the teams serving CDI’s clients.
CDI began researching contract management systems, and quickly narrowed to a handful of potential providers. Ultimately, the selection of Conga Contracts came down to important features needed—including searchable contract repository, scheduled reporting and workflows, and an easy user interface. “Conga Contracts was more intuitive than the others,” says Dena Cicero, Director of the Contract Management Office at CDI.
Since implementing Conga Contracts nearly two years ago, CDI has seen significant time savings and improved control over contract processes. “Conga Contracts has helped reduce the strain on the contract staff’s time by reducing the number of requests received from the sales team and other groups,” says Cicero. The system provides instant access to the contract itself and a summary of key contract terms, for approved users. Now, when a contract is fully executed, the contract team highlights the most important terms and data points in Conga Contracts, making them both trackable and searchable.
During the contract negotiation phase, which previously took place across multiple emails, we had constant version/revision control challenges. Now, the team uses the messaging function in Conga Contracts, keeping revisions and comments together. “We make fewer mistakes and have better control over our contract process because Conga Contracts ensures we use the most recent redline,” says Cicero.
The sales teams find the system easy to work in and enjoy a significantly faster and easier to use contract request process. “Previously a salesperson would need to fill out a Word® doc form to get started—but now it’s built into the contract request,” Cicero says. “The sales team says it’s faster, easier… we’ve heard nothing but positive feedback since we launched Conga Contracts.” CDI has also integrated DocuSign electronic signature, to further streamline the sales process. “Setting up the integration was simple—we just added a special email address as a Conga Contracts user.” Contracts are now sent directly from Conga Contracts, and then automatically returned and stored in the system once they are finalized.
With Conga Contracts Workflows, the contract management team initiates some key tasks. They make sure contract statuses are kept up to date, and automated scheduled reports—monthly, quarterly and annually—go to the right people on the right dates. As for implementation, Cicero says it was very smooth. “Our implementation manager did a lot of the initial work for our launch, and once I learned how to use the Conga Contracts system, I can now do almost everything I need to do by myself. Conga Contracts makes it easy.”
Director of the Contract Management Office