Getting contracts signed was a time-consuming process at Yates Construction. With 5,000 employees across 15 regional divisions, the company manages many large-scale construction projects, each involving agreements with subcontractors and outside vendors. Even after the company transitioned from sending out paper contracts via FedEx to sending them by email, the task of managing hundreds of contracts per project consumed hours of work every day.
“Each time we executed an agreement, I had to take the time to manually email it back to the other party,” recalls Jenny McMullen, Corporate Contract Administrator at Yates. “That one repetitive task took a lot of hours out of my work week.” And that was just one step in a lengthy process of emailing drafts, reviewing changes, and sending further revisions for approval – generating dozens of file attachments scattered across disconnected email chains.
Even worse, outside contractors often edited contract files to make the terms more favorable to themselves, without notifying Yates’s admins of the changes. As a result, McMullen and her team had to carefully read each version of every contract before signing. “We’re in a market where everybody’s negotiating everything,” she says, “so our email chains were getting clogged up with revisions, which made it hard to keep signing on schedule.”
On the internal side, meanwhile, Yates’s admins had no visibility on other teams’ templates or workflows. When a team member was out of the office, other admins lacked access to the agreements in that person’s drive folders, and had to start from scratch. What’s more, each regional office followed its own contracting procedures, resulting in fragmented signing experiences for contractors and vendors.
The admin team at Yates knew it was time to adopt a unified contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution – one that would serve as a centralized repository of contract data, provide a clear audit trail documenting every change, and still be easy to onboard across numerous divisions and job sites. “The main thing we needed was flexibility,” McMullen says. “We needed a contract management system that would adapt to us, rather than the other way around.”
Yates’s admin team began using Concord as a document repository, initially just to keep all their contracts in the same place, so they’d be easier to track. They found that Concord provided much-needed flexibility in terms of roles and access – enabling them to create multiple subsidiaries under their main company account, grant folder-level permissions to individual team members, and still give each division’s admins real-time access to contracts and templates created at Yates’s central office in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Concord’s automated sending functionality was also a welcome replacement for Yates’s legacy file sharing process. Instead of sending each contract version as a separate email attachment, Yates’s admins can simply click “Request signature” in a live contract in Concord, to automatically send emails inviting all signers to the same cloud-based document. “All messages and comments live right inside the agreement,” McMullen says. “Instead of five separate email chains with five different people, we’ve got everything in one place.”
And after each document has been signed, it continues to live in a cloud-based folder, where it’s easily accessible to approved team members – and secure from everyone else. Agreements can only be edited by internal admins, which means outside contractors can’t sneak in their own changes; and once a contract has been executed, it can’t be modified at all. But when McMullen and her team need to find a certain agreement, robust tagging functionality makes it easy to track down, and easy to share with internal and external viewers.
“Concord has saved us thousands of dollars every month in labor hours.” – Jenny McMullen, Corporate Contract Administrator
The first benefit McMullen noticed from Concord was a significant time savings. None of Yates’s admins had to manually send contracts as email attachments, or worry about version control, or scan every agreement for third-party changes. “When you think of all of the dozens of administrators in the company doing this on all of our projects,” she says, “that adds up to thousands of dollars every month in saved labor hours.”
Yates’s admin team quickly discovered that Concord offered other advantages, too. “We had one team member who had a family emergency and had to leave work,” McMullen recalls, “but since she’d set up access to her contracts in Concord, my team was able to jump right into her workflow with all the project information we needed.” Prior to Concord, McMullen says, such a lightning-fast save would’ve been “totally impossible.”
In fact, Concord has empowered departments across Yates to create streamlined workflows that have reduced signing timelines from weeks to mere hours. Instead of waiting for project managers to return from job sites to review stacks of contracts on their desks, admins can simply share drafts with those managers and get instant approvals, all within Concord. “A lot of subcontractors will refuse to go to work until they have a signed contract,” McMullen says, “so Concord’s approval workflow gets our projects moving much faster.”
And on a company-wide scale, this enhanced visibility has helped Yates standardize document workflows to provide consistent signing experiences across every branch. “If you’re a contractor working with our Nashville office, and then you come to work for us in San Antonio, you should feel like you’re working with the same company,” McMullen explains. Concord has enabled Yates to deliver that consistency, across all 15 of their regional offices.
“Concord has enabled us to be more efficient, to streamline our processes, and to gain better visibility into how our contracts work,” McMullen says. “It provides a lot of tools that enable you to use it the way you need to, based on whatever your business needs. I’d recommend it for all those reasons.”
Say goodbye to contract chaos.
Start your 14-day free trial of Concord.