To automate contract generation, provide a negotiation tool to business managers and improve risk management by using standard clauses.
ContractExpress is used as a cloud based contract generation and negotiation tool. ContractExpress streamlined the contracting process and continues to save time, reduce the cost of contracting, and has become an essential resource for business users.
Copenhagen Airport is the main international airport serving Copenhagen, Denmark, the entire Zealand, the Øresund Region, and a large part of southern Sweden (not only Scania). It is the largest airport in the Nordic countries with 25.6 million passengers in 2014 and one of the oldest international airports in Europe. Furthermore, it is by far the busiest airport for international travel in Scandinavia.
In 2012 Copenhagen Airport (CPH) decided to centralise and streamline the work of its Legal Department. Effective contract creation and management at a corporate level was a major focus as there had previously been little standardisation. Peter Balling Teisen, Senior Legal Counsel at CPH: “Before we implemented ContractExpress we were drafting all our contracts by hand. This meant that wording depended on which lawyer drafted it”.
CPH’s Legal team wanted their internal clients to use an approved set of “fall-back clauses”, so that all contracts generated would be standardised and risk free. They also wanted to spend less time creating contracts and provide their contract negotiators with a go-to negotiation tool that included an overview of all the approved parameters and clauses they are able to negotiate. Peter: “In the past, business managers would come to see us and say ‘Look, we’ve negotiated this contract’ and the feedback could often be ‘That’s a no-go’”. Instead of banging their heads against a brick wall all the time, the Legal team decided to make sure a set of standardised clauses was available to the business, allowing the legal team to focus on other legal aspects.
Having achieved this level of standardisation, Peter quickly recognised the need for a contract management solution: “It is always important to improve and get better working processes. It also came naturally from having a centralised Legal Department”.
The Legal Department looked at a range of options with ContractExpress emerging as the winner as it was the most intuitive and easiest to use for the Legal department as well as business users. Peter: “They understood it straight away as a better negotiation tool, including a catalogue of fall-back clauses.” In order to get them started, Business Integrity came in to lead a two day training program on how to implement the functionality of ContractExpress into their templates. Peter: “Once that was done, we finished off our templates pretty quickly and the roll out process for our business users has been easy because they could see the advantages of using a system like this from the beginning”.
CPH decided to start off by testing ContractExpress on their lease agreements, since these make up the largest volume of standard contracts. Peter: “Pretty fast we saw that this was giving the Legal Department more time to focus on the more important legal work, rather than the endless re-use of standard clauses”. As it stands, they have expanded the use of ContractExpress into their Procurement department and most recently in their Asset management department and planning on further expansion across the rest of the business.
Peter works with ContractExpress to create the automated templates that the business users then interact with to create their contracts. Peter: “In the beginning I thought that creating these templates might be a bit tricky, but after spending some time with ContractExpress’ Authoring tool I realized it is actually really intuitive. Compared to the other products we evaluated, it was by far the most easy to use”.
When it comes to maintaining the templates, the Legal Department is able to handle all the changes themselves. Peter: “Before I started working with ContractExpress, I didn’t really know what was even possible. It has been a great way to improve communication with internal clients on what they can and cannot negotiate. It has also made it really easy for a new employee to come in and become a business user straight away”. ContractExpress is used as a kind of learning tool, as it gives the business users a full overview of all the possible contract clauses, how they work, the consequences of choosing one over the other and the framework they need to work within from the beginning.
Peter: “Because we are saving a lot of time for the Legal Department we can focus on the legal work that really creates value.” ContractExpress is also benefiting the business users, Peter: “We now have a much better product in our contracts and it is a great negotiation tool for our business users.”
Some business users were initially resistant to the idea because they thought they were being given work that the Legal team should be doing; they soon realised however, that it is actually saving them time as well. Before ContractExpress, Business Managers had to fill out a static Word instruction form and send it to the Legal department for drafting into a separate contract. Today, these details and agreed terms are entered straight into the contract by the business user. Peter: “Our business users’ stay within the universe we have created for them on ContractExpress and if they create a standard contract, it will be ready to go when they’re done just by entering the necessary details into an online form.”
On working with the Business Integrity team, Peter: “We are now using a kind of “hotline” with Business Integrity where we give them a call whenever needed, and it has worked really well.” Whether they need to discuss features and advice on using the tool there is someone there to talk to. Going forward, Peter and his team are keen on expanding the use of the ContractExpress tool across Copenhagen Airport. Peter: “In some areas this kind of tool should work very well and some it won’t. We have seen for those where it works well, that have enough volume of standard contracts, it becomes an essential part of everyday work; the process for creating and negotiating contracts.”
Because we are saving a lot of time for the Legal department we can focus on the legal work that really creates value.Peter Balling Teisen