“Gatekeeper has made the contracting and vendor management process more visible across the business and has made life considerably easier for those involved.” - Jessica Helmka, Executive Assistant - Legal & Compliance.
Business Name: Missouri Employers Mutual (MEM)
Location: Missouri, United States
Description: MEM is the leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance across Missouri. Since 1995 they have been working hard for employers in Missouri, proving their commitment to helping its policyholders save lives and money by promoting safe workplaces across the state.
Key Stakeholders for Gatekeeper: Legal and Compliance Team
MEM’s reliance on manual processes for managing their contracts and vendors was increasingly becoming a problem across the organisation.
Not only was it time-consuming and inefficient, but it was also preventing the business from being able to manage contracts and vendors in a strategic fashion.
With contracts often being stored in hard copy or in separate online repositories, there was no clear aggregated view of all of the company’s agreements and obligations.
After a thorough selection process, MEM picked Gatekeeper as their contract management solution due to the breadth of its offering, its usability and interface, the level of support offered by its dedicated Customer Success Team and the range of comparable businesses that Gatekeeper already counted as customers.
Since implementing Gatekeeper, MEM has experienced faster approval processes facilitated by automation, close support from the Gatekeeper team and a much greater focus and awareness generally of the business’s contracts and vendor relationships.
MEM’s internal stakeholders have been able to elevate the discussion beyond simply the processes and procedures of contract management and instead focus on improving the quality of the contracts and vendor relationships they have.
- The breadth and depth of Gatekeeper’s product and in particular how well it matched up with the extensive list of desired features that MEM was using to assess potential solutions against.
- Usability. The clarity and simplicity of Gatekeeper’s interface was a big selling point as company-wide adoption of previous processes had been low.
- Onboarding, Implementation and Support. Gatekeeper’s commitment to supporting customers on an ongoing basis and particularly through the initial setup phase stood out against the competition. Dedicated Customer Success Managers work as an extension of the internal team to ensure Gatekeeper is configured exactly how the customer requires it to be and to train all the relevant stakeholders.
- The credibility of Gatekeeper’s current customer base. MEM wanted ideally to see evidence of comparable companies and use cases being successful using Gatekeeper. Further points were given if these companies were in the same or similar sector.
The Full Story
Missouri Employers Mutual contacted Gatekeeper in late 2018 with a familiar story; as their business has grown, their longstanding manual processes were no longer fit for the purpose of managing their contracts and vendors effectively.
Their concerns focused in particular around:
- The amount of time being wasted trying to track where contracts were in the approval process, often caused by internal miscommunication
- General misunderstanding and lack of clarity across the business over the exact contracting processes
- The potential risk that the business was being exposed to by not being able to track all of its contracts and vendors at every stage of their lifecycle
- The lack of scalability of their current manual processes, such as relying on wet signatures, maintaining tracking spreadsheets and the physical storage of contract documents
None of these issues were new to the business. Having previously been aware of the problems caused by manual processes, the team at MEM had invested time in internal training and education. However, this ultimately hadn’t succeeded in improving awareness and adoption.
As a result, the team decided that they needed to look for a software solution that could function as a central contract repository, that would increase their visibility over all their contracts and vendors, that could automate their processes and provide an easily-accessible and auditable record of all their contract activities.
MEM’s selection process was incredibly thorough; from an initial longlist of 40 suppliers they initially narrowed it down to eight and then to a final shortlist of four.
Their extensive list of requirements for their expected solution, included:
- Drafting/redlining capability
- A document repository with an audit trail and versioning control
- E-signature capability
- Workflow capabilities
- A user-friendly experience
- Email integration
- Mobile device compatibility
- Integration capabilities to reduce time for transitioning
- Acceptable security measures
- Ease of implementation and maintenance
- Ease of training users
- Reasonable cost
Gatekeeper was the eventual and logical choice, based on four key areas:
- Its overall capabilities against the above list of requirements. Gatekeeper could tick all these boxes and more, giving reassurance to the MEM team that they would be able to achieve all that they wanted to.
- The ease of use of the system. Knowing that previous attempts to engage their stakeholders with the contracting process had been difficult, the MEM team wanted to make sure that their chosen solution was clear and straightforward to use.
- Training and support. The thoroughness of Gatekeeper’s onboarding and implementation process was impressive and it gave reassurance to the MEM team that they wouldn’t simply be left to set the system up themselves
- The range of customers Gatekeeper was already servicing in the Insurance and Financial Services sectors gave further reassurance to MEM that they would be in safe hands and that the Gatekeeper team would be familiar with their challenges.
Having selected Gatekeeper from the shortlist, the two teams got straight to work with assembling documentation for categorisation and import. As with other customers, this initial process of gathering information was reasonably labour-intensive, as legacy contracts needed to be located and in some cases scanned for upload.
“The Gatekeeper team was very responsive and helpful during this process. We were very happy with the assistance that was provided.” said Jessica Gasperson, Executive Assistant - Legal & Compliance.
Having imported their contract and vendor data into Gatekeeper, MEM was then able to take advantage of automated workflows to help refine their internal processes and to maintain compliance with desired procedures.
The positive impact of having Gatekeeper in place has been apparent in a number of areas:
- Significant time-savings throughout the contracting process, particularly at the signature stage with electronic signatures and automated workflows removing much of the manual work. Turnaround times on contract approval and signature have been much quicker. The process for storing contracts is now much more straightforward too requiring little to no administrative input.
- Increased visibility of vendor relationships throughout the company, and decreased risk that comes with better communication regarding vendor relationships
“The more we can communicate internally about vendors and the more transparent we are with our expectations and security measures before we enter into a contractual relationship with them, the less risk we are exposed to as an organisation, which ultimately helps save the company money.” says Jessica.
- A noticeable difference in higher level conversations about vendor relationships and increased communication amongst stakeholders regarding due diligence and contract viability.
The team at MEM was also extremely pleased to see highly relevant product enhancements delivered during the initial months of the relationship that have helped them further embed the solution across their business.
Two in particular, relating to electronic signatures, were ones that other customers had also raised. These were delivered following consultation with the Gatekeeper Product Team, who were flexible enough to deliver them swiftly for mutual benefit.
“We’re always looking for customers to feed back on their experiences of using Gatekeeper and how they think it could be improved. We build flexibility into our product roadmap to incorporate suggestions from customers that we expect to benefit multiple users.” says Patrick O’Connor, Director at Gatekeeper.
The team at MEM is continuing to optimise their internal processes and remain closely engaged with the Gatekeeper team over future product developments.