How Being Stuck on a Boat Led One Company to Contract Management Software

Home Chef optimized its contract management process after a fateful fishing trip

When you’re on a boat in the middle of a lake, you want to be fishing for your next big catch—not an important company document. 

But that’s what happened to Shane Mulrooney, Home Chef’s former head of Legal, when his afternoon in nature’s silence was interrupted by a cell phone ring a few years ago.

He was on calm Wisconsin waters when he got the call from his COO at the time. Suddenly, the vacationing lawyer for the Chicago-based meal kit company—which delivers more than 3 million meals a month to its subscribers—had to reel in his line. 

And so began a scramble to get the requested file from his remote computer desktop to someone on dry land in another state.

I was the only one that had that document, and there was no other way to access it,” Mulrooney says of the work emergency. 

“I didn’t really know what to do…I had to reach way back, jump through a bunch of hoops, and take an hour out of my day in order to find this document while this person was left waiting.” He adds with regret, “It just didn’t look good.”

We can all agree that PTO days are sacred. Nobody wants to spend their time off putting out fires, especially when you’re floating on a lake. But what started out as a frustrating “Ah!” moment for Mulrooney turned into an aha moment for Home Chef. 

One to learn from his experiences, Mulrooney knew he had to find a contract management solution to ensure that Home Chef’s contracts and documents were all stored in a single, safe, and accessible place. He needed to keep sensitive files secure, but also make them available in a shared location so that one person was no longer the sole guardian. 

While he’d previously thought of optimizing Home Chef’s contract management process, it was that fateful fishing trip that made him think, “Ok, this needs to start happening soon!”

So in the fall of 2017, the fast-growing startup went from what Mulrooney describes as “a complete lack of organization in terms of our company documentation”—think desktop folders shuffling miscellaneous files—to Concord’s cloud-based contract lifecycle management (CLM) platform. Contracts could now easily be tracked within the software system from start to finish. 

The change satisfied the legal department’s 2 main needs at the time: having a central repository to instantly find and follow all documents, and streamlining the contract negotiation process—from contract drafting to e-signature completion. Concord’s version control, shared access, and transparency has since equipped the legal team so that the contract management process is no longer “eating people’s time up.”

With more than 1,400 contracts in the all-in-one CLM software, Mulrooney says it now takes the Home Chef legal team “literally 2 seconds to find anything [it needs] in the company.” He describes the platform as “an intuitive, flexible system” that serves as a one-stop shop for Legal.

Home Chef’s adoption of an automated platform has not only led to a quicker contract turnaround time, it’s made legacy and new documents searchable through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology.

“Life without Concord is a very scary thought,” adds Home Chef Associate Counsel Bill Pipal. “I can’t imagine being part of a fast-paced business and not being able to access every single contract that we know exists.” 

The team’s ability to immediately source information about any contract upon demand—unlike Mulrooney’s experience in the story that started this all—has been a game changer. 

“As the legal department, we are expected to be the keepers of the contracts,” Pipal begins, “and being able to quickly pull up and know what our requirements are, and what the other side’s requirements are, is a huge benefit. It makes us look good.” 

The takeaway? Whether you’re clocked in or out, a CLM software platform is designed to make sure your contract management process—and ability to find any document at any time—never rocks your boat.

 

 

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in San Francisco, Concord enables over 200,000 companies around the globe to connect all their people, processes, and contracts in one place. Built with intuitive features—like online negotiation and editing, deadline alerts, and approval workflows, Concord gives users everything they need for the entire contract lifecycle, making growth and compliance synonymous.