Keeping complex contracts current poses a significant challenge for many companies. For one global theme park operator it required a five-member team working fulltime to stay up-to-date on pricing adjustments for the company’s sales channel partners.
The company’s channel partner contracting process involved gathering data from several disconnected and outdated systems using older tools, such as Microsoft Access, Excel and Word. Updating rates in a single contract typically required two to three weeks. Since contract terms changed frequently based on special promotions, new events or changes in product pricing, the delay in updating the contracts was placing the company at a competitive disadvantage. In addition, with hundreds of channel partners and new attractions coming online, the weight of the daily workload left little time for the small contract team to take a breath, let alone innovate.
The company’s planning and product implementation manager was well aware of the need for change. She articulated the problem in financial terms to the company chief financial officer (CFO), who hired Protiviti to help find a better way forward.
In assessing existing processes, Protiviti identified an underutilized resource, Salesforce, with both the capacity and capabilities to achieve the desired transformation. Protiviti proposed combining Salesforce with Nintex Drawloop DocGen® and an e-signature application to automate contract generation. The apps connect to Salesforce through an API interface to pull data from the company’s ticketing system and populate templates we constructed within Salesforce. This integration allows contracts to be populated with the push of a button, and no need for manual input of data.
By focusing on understanding the client’s real problem and applying our expertise in Salesforce to leverage the client’s ecosystem, we were able to create a solution design baseline and proof of concept and, ultimately, a fully functional contracting solution for their product and sales teams’ most complex use cases. This reduced contracting time from weeks to days.
— Joe Corrado, Associate Director, Protiviti Software Services
The solution accelerated contract development from two to three weeks to just a day or two, introduced automated workflow and electronic signature capabilities, and optimized existing platform investment to build a custom solution with minimal new coding required.
After a two-week successful proof-of-concept test, the company agreed to move forward with a full-scale implementation. As a result, the small contracting team transitioned from “all hands on deck, all the time” rewriting and updating contracts, to one person performing the bulk of the work by collecting data into Salesforce with the click of a few buttons, and the rest of the team supporting this process from quality assurance and execution standpoints.
In addition to the previously mentioned benefits, automation created opportunities for innovation. This was put to the test almost immediately as the company decided, near the end of the engagement, that it wanted to adopt dynamic ticket pricing. This increasingly popular industry practice allows theme parks and other ticketed venues to adjust ticket prices by day of the week or by season, according to demand.
This pivot from static to variable pricing, in real time, would have been impossible under the old contracting system. Not only was the new architecture able to adapt easily to dynamic pricing, but it allowed the company to establish a portal for partners to log in and export pricing tables — a benefit that increased transparency and contributed positively to partner relationships.