Just Eat General Counsel James Sporle on How He Drives Alignment and Efficiency
What’s for dinner? A dreaded question heard in most households around the world that Just Eat, the world’s largest online takeaway ordering and delivery service, has been making easier to answer since 2001. A pioneer and leader within the online food and delivery landscape, Just Eat serves up the world’s largest menu to more than 26 Million active customers by providing an easy and secure way to order and pay for food from more than 100,000 Restaurant Partners, across 13 countries, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Millions of customers, thousands of partners, and subsidiaries across the globe catapulted Just Eat to the FTSE 100 in 3 years—Just Eat’s growth seems to be fueled by jet propulsion. Because a business’ ability to grow is directly dependent on their ability to ink agreements, their legal team had to create an agreements process that moves as fast their business does, reconciling speed and compliance, for an industry that never sleeps. How does the legal team keep up? James Sporle, General Counsel at Just Eat tells us how they leverage contract management technology to meet demands.
Talk about your process before implementing contract management technology. What the catalyst was to evaluating a contract management solution? “[Before] We were still using manual analog processes to store contracts and to execute them,“ James Sporle, Group General Counsel, at Just Eat says. “We used to do the typical: create contract, email, download, edit, and email or fax back-and-forth methods. Some of our vendors even preferred actual mail, which created bottlenecks in getting the signatures we needed quickly. And if you’re familiar with contracts, you know the issues this type of negotiation process can create, especially where compliance is concerned.”
When James says typical he means it. Around 90% of the world’s businesses are likely still manually managing their contracts and agreements process, resulting in inefficiency translating to time and revenue loss. IACCM estimates that revenue loss to be around 9.2% of the total revenue of an organization. What challenges specifically was Just Eat facing? “The two biggest challenges that we were facing…were time and e-signature,” said James.
It wasn’t all about the numbers, however. Aside from the business needs, James wanted to drive more impact across the organization and change the perception of the legal team. Knowing the importance of an agreement to the organization, he knew changing his agreements process was the way to do it. “Our main goal when we started was ultimately to change the perception of contracts and how we handled them at Just Eat. Contracts hold valuable information for the history of the organization and what’s planned for the future. If we can leverage that data we can make smarter, more strategic decisions—we’ll have more insight into more opportunities that fuel growth.”
In 2016 Just Eat decided to purchase a contract management platform, looking to increase scalability and remove compliance friction by bringing all their people, processes, and documents together in one place.
For those unfamiliar with an RFP process, it can be an arduous and time-consuming. To achieve their lofty goals of improving collaboration and accelerating the agreements process and negotiations, delivering more revenue and value to the organization and their customers, all while maintaining compliance, Just Eat sought out a robust, holistic solution that would empower them to manage every document, across all subsidiaries, all in one place. They needed to evaluate multiple solutions, and the search began.
In 2016 Just Eat found what they were looking for.
We chose Concord, James said, because, “Unlike other contract management solutions we looked at that take months to implement, Concord’s platform was up and running in a couple weeks. Aside from the quick implementation, Concord provided training throughout the onboarding and beyond. The platform was intuitive and simple to use, but the training was especially helpful for best practices when it came to setup and organization.” Initially on boarding 60 users across Legal, Marketing, and Contract Managers, in France and the UK, Just Eat has now successfully on boarded more than 500 people organization wide—Marketing, Finance, Property, Business Intelligence, HR, Operations, and IT—across multiple subsidiaries globally, and in less than 2 years.
What did this mean for legal team? What did it mean for the agreements process and how they were managing their contracts? “Before Concord, contracts were cumbersome and time-consuming, slowing down business,” Sporle said. “When we started using Concord it quickly became apparent how powerful the platform really was, and what kind of value we could see by implementing it company-wide. The visibility it’s given us into our entire contract portfolio has helped us accelerate growth while maintaining compliance, which is what we need to be able to be competitive in today’s business landscape. Coming into the search for a contract management solution Just Eat has met their goals for efficiency and delivering revenue. James continued, “Our time-to-signature has shortened drastically, and that’s largely due to the online negotiation Concord has. Our vendors appreciate the collaborative process, and [Concord] has helped us create stronger relationships with our preferred vendors as we’re able to better manage our contracts with deadline alerts. Ultimately we’ve improved metrics in time to contract creation, time to signature, and visibility across the board.”
Just Eat has been able to improve collaboration and accelerate growth across the globe and business units. “I wanted Legal to be innovative and seen as forward-thinking enablers. With Concord we can do that. The results we’ve seen from Concord are more time and more happiness in my legal team. It’s easy to help other departments get the approvals and signatures they need, faster. Legal has the control we need to ensure compliance while helping speed up other business processes. It helped us meet our goals and then some.”
So what does Sporle see for the future of contract management? “I think this is an entrenched trend now,” said James. I think law firms and in-house legal teams alike know full well that they need these tools to give themselves better control better visibility and better efficiency on how they’re doing business. So you’ve got to be using these tools or you’re simply not going to be as efficient as your competitors. Without a contract management platform it’s impossible to have those kinds of insights. Scattered information and documents make it difficult to focus on business strategy. Something like Concord has been needed for so long, and contract management will be key to driving business going forward.”