It was in 2009 when Kellogg Company began exploring new options for a contract lifecycle management tool. That decision, however, got put off as the company pursued a major acquisition opportunity. This turned out to be fortuitous, because the combination of the acquisition process, integration of the new business and the increase in our volume all served to highlight the need for a more robust CLM. It also helped formulate and focus our list of CLM requirements and priorities.
I got to discuss this process in detail during the recent Determine webinar, How General Counsel & Procurement Are Leading the Adoption of Contract Lifecycle Management, which also included a presentation by Prashant Dubey of The Sumati Group.
Some background first. For a large multinational, Kellogg Company has a fairly small legal team – 55 lawyers globally, with 18 at headquarters in Battle Creek. Even so, our process was decentralized, a situation probably familiar to any organization seeking a CLM.
Any of our lawyers worldwide could receive a request to work on a contract; contracts were being created globally on a variety of templates, then stored on people’s hard drives or in desk drawers. Approvals were being sought by scheduling face-to-face or email or phone meetings. Multiple contract versions might exist due to internal hand-offs; and there was limited access to our repository.
Getting buy-in at the most senior levels was critical, so we created a comparison chart of how we were doing contracts versus how we should be doing them. We wanted a go-to CLM that would help us drive process, a tool that:
- Brings users outside of legal into the contract process with controls and risk management in place
- Facilitates corporate expansion without necessarily adding headcount
- Allows lawyers in any office around the world to feel like they’re just down the hall in headquarters and can bounce ideas around
- Everybody could use and have access to, whether it be a clause library, a template library or past negotiations
- Includes all the work that’s been done by Kellogg lawyers around the world
- Facilitates adoption, since use is mandatory
Process efficiency from a CLM is one of our key requirements. We don’t want legal to be perceived as a business prevention department, but as a proactive and empowering group that reduces cycle times and speeds things up. It was important to the General Counsel that the CLM also be a tool that everyone was going to use, not just lawyers. We didn’t want this to be only about buy and sell contracts, but applicable across the organization; how HR thinks the tool could benefit them or what the sales force thinks it could do for them.
Because of that, it made sense to brand the CLM within the company. That’s why early on, after we chose Determine as a partner, we named our internal tool TIGR — Transaction Information Global Resource. This was an obvious nod to our iconic Tony the Tiger, and turned out to be a key move in publicizing the tool as we built up to a phased roll-out launch.
We spent the summer of 2015 with the Determine team, having them listen to what our needs were and what we wanted our process to look like. Then began the journey of customizing the version of their tool into TIGR for phase one of the launch in North America in December. When we went through our RFP process we worked very closely with procurement, letting them run that process just like any other RFP. Even though legal is the “owner” of the CLM, procurement was very engaged and heavily involved in all of the build-out and the testing.
That made sense, because the initial rollout of the tool is for the buy-side, with phase one including non-disclosure agreements and procurement documents. Once we’re up and running with that functionality, we’re rolling it out to Europe, followed by Latin America and Asia Pacific. Phase two will bring in virtually every other kind of document that we use — real estate documents, the sell side of which is mostly broker and distribution agreements; product, licensing, promotion agreements that our advertising teams use; etc.
Now everybody knows when they hear “TIGR is coming” that it’s a new way of dealing with contracts in the creation stage, the approval stage and the management stage going forward. One of the first questions people ask is, “Is this something that TIGR could help us with?”
To me, that’s a good sign that bodes well for the success of the launch and beyond.
* Don’t for forget to watch my presentation. Determine, Prashant, and I talk about how general counsel and procurement are leading the adoption of Contract Lifecycle Management.