• 80%

    decrease in time taken to create documents
  • 90%

    improvement in transparency of internal processes
  • 2 days

    Reduced turnaround time for contracts

GROHE is a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings. Since 2014, the business has been part of the strong brand portfolio of LIXIL, a manufacturer of pioneering water and housing products. To offer “Pure joy of water”, every product is based on the brand values of quality, technology, design and sustainability. GROHE operates in 150 countries, has five production sites, and employs more than 7,000 people. 

Robert Mehrhoff, Head of Legal, and Veronika Reinhardt, responsible for Legal Operations, work at GROHE's headquarters in Düsseldorf. Together, they have spearheaded the Europe-wide introduction of Docusign Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM). Both are tried hands with the various document management tools that have been proven to facilitate business processes at GROHE and CLM is one of them.

Standardisation and digitalisation of company processes

"When the coronavirus pandemic broke out, we had to switch from manual to digital processes very quickly," recalls Veronika. Colleagues working from home needed to be able to obtain electronic signatures as easily as possible using Docusign eSignature. According to Veronika, the aim of implementing Docusign CLM was to map, manage and efficiently design the entire contract lifecycle of documents in a standardised system. 

"After our positive experience with eSignature, we put our entire document management process to the test. The decision was ultimately made in favour of Docusign's Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution." An important requirement was that the chosen solution could be used company-wide, i.e. in EMEA, the USA and Asia. However, the different local processes and legal requirements in the respective regions were a notable challenge during consolidation.

Portrait von Veronika Reinhardt von GROHE
In EMEA and the USA, processes have already been standardised and digitalised through the implementation of Docusign CLM. The transparent storage of contracts and the automation of contract workflows were successfully implemented in both regions.”
Veronika Reinhardt
Legal Operations

The benefits of implementing Docusign CLM

Standardised platform for contract management and electronic signatures in numerous regions  The implementation of Docusign CLM has created a single source of truth for archiving all company documents. A considerable number of documents have already been stored company wide. This improvement has led to optimised document management, which has increased both accessibility through simple searches and the security of company information.

Automated contract workflows and reduction of manual processes The number of user activities registered in CLM has increased significantly since implementation, demonstrating a high level of user involvement and interaction with the system.

Fast and efficient creation, negotiation and signing of contracts  In some markets, the time required to create the documents was reduced by 80% by configuring a bulk upload for condition agreements.

Reduced contract risks, improved compliance The transparency of internal contract review and signing processes has improved by 90%, leading to improved control and management.

Accelerated contract processing and shortened contract cycles The average turnaround time for checking and signing contracts has been reduced by 60%, down to 2 days, indicating a drastic increase in efficiency that increases productivity and reduces costs.

Docusign CLM supports "almost unlimited use cases"

With the help of Docusign CLM, GROHE has already been able to consolidate and standardise some of the many different document management processes that exist in individual branches. Docusign CLM offers a wealth of workflow functionalities for "almost unlimited use cases". Veronika explains: "We have already mapped some contract workflows and can now send condition and bonus agreements as well as non-disclosure, quality assurance or data protection agreements via CLM for internal and external review." Smart Rules within Docusign CLM can also be used to create regular reporting workflows and automatically prompt colleagues to process and submit these reports.

The division of the project into individual phases was crucial for the successful implementation. As GROHE was just starting out with the automation of document management, the first step was to collect small successes step by step. Right at the beginning, this included setting up a central archive for all company-relevant documents. 

The second step was to connect Salesforce to CLM to integrate sales. In the next step, purchasing was also to be connected to CLM via the SAP Ariba connection. "The key was to pick up all stakeholders regularly and explain to them where we stood with the project and what advantages the functionalities offered in day-to-day work with documents," says Veronika. "In addition, the 'minimum viable product' approach enabled us to achieve greater acceptance among employees, as existing processes were evaluated individually and then transferred to CLM.”

Even colleagues who have no specific IT knowledge can now create their own workflows. This was made possible by the training and courses offered by Docusign. "This has given me a good basic understanding of the system and taught me how to map workflows and adapt configurations," says Veronika

The modern and user-friendly Docusign format

Veronika talks us through other key components of Docusign CLM that are essential to GROHE: "Docusign offers a modern and up-to-date setup with which we can establish digital processes throughout the company. In addition to the electronic signature, we can centrally manage the company documents that are important to us, which saves time and resources. Automatic notifications and the tracking of work steps help to increase efficiency. The simple navigation was another key decision criterion. Thanks to the cloud-based nature of the system, colleagues can access and edit documents from anywhere, which promotes and simplifies cross-border collaboration."

Looking to the future with artificial intelligence

For Robert, Docusign CLM is a key component of the legal department's digitalisation strategy and an important building block in the transformation of the legal department into an agile and proactive business partner. At the same time, CLM helps strengthen governance, risk management and compliance:

"On the one hand, the seamless integration into the relevant stakeholder systems significantly increases the acceptance and utilisation of Docusign CLM. On the other hand, the introduction of far-reaching AI functions in Docusign CLM will accelerate automation, which will further increase the focus on the value-adding activities of the legal department. AI-powered functions will be able to easily search through large volumes of legal documents and find relevant information faster and more accurately than manual methods. AI will also analyse contracts, identify risky contractual clauses and determine whether they comply with company guidelines. Legal department employees will therefore be able to focus on validating the results. This makes it easier to recognise errors and inconsistencies, which reduces the risk of legal problems in the long term. Finally, the automation of routine tasks also leads to significant cost savings, freeing up space for other investment decisions."