Axel Springer SE is Europe's largest media company. They have more than 16 000 employees, achieved total revenues of about € 3.1 billion and an EBITDA of about € 630 million in the financial year 2019.
A big media company such as Axel Springer is always facing fierce competition and challenging demands from its customers. Therefore – the company has deployed lots of initiatives to drive the digital transformation. As an example of this investment in new technology, we can relate a success story from the Legal Department. The Legal Department provides legal services and advice to all group companies and subsidiaries across several countries. They are also responsible for corporate governance.
The Legal Department consists of around 50 employees of which approximately 30 are in-house lawyers. They were struggling with high total legal costs and bottlenecks to serve the business. They had a need of working more efficiently and started to look for some digital solutions to help them with a digital transformation allowing the business to create their own legal contracts in a self-service portal.
– Axel Springer wanted to standardize the way we worked with contracts across the organization and free up time for the legal team for more complex matters, says Dr. Konrad Wartenberg, Group General Counsel at Axel Springer.
– We had to find a solution that was easy to use for the non-lawyers in the organization so they could create their own standard contracts without having to stand in line for in-house lawyers or external lawyers, says Dr. Susanne Stollhoff, Head of Digital and Data Law.
The legal team looked at some other solutions before choosing Pactumize but found that no other tool was really designed for non-lawyers. Also, looking at the investment no other solution could match the price/performance and also deliver the user-friendliness so it could be rolled out across the organization. The IT department was also involved and wanted to make sure that the chosen solution was secure.
After the decision was made it didn't take long for the first contracts to be configured so tbat they could be used by the business users who could start testing the solution.
– Another important factor in our digital transformation has been working closely with the Pactumize team. They have been very responsive to our requests and always delivered what they have promised, says Susanne Griem, M. A., Assistant Digital & Data Law, who has coordinated all the work with the Pactumize team.
Pactumize has increased efficiency and sped up the business due to the contract automation. The contracts used are the ones that the Legal Department has chosen. This ensures compliance with all clauses that the business users can use since they are pre-approved by the legal team. It also helps to handle peaks with new regulatory changes. An example is the implementation of GDPR. Suddenly there was a need to roll out new contracts to several parts of the business. The business users could create hundreds of new contracts themselves every month without taking time from the legal team.
– We now recommend all business users to use the Pactumize solution instead of calling a lawyer in the legal department. It saves us a lot of time that the non-lawyers can create their own contracts and we can focus our time on supporting the business in more complex matters, says Dr. Stollhoff.
– We have the highest customer satisfaction possible, says Susanne Griem.
We wish the legal team at Axel Springer good luck on their ongoing voyage to innovate, digitalize and continually improve legal operations and will support them by doing our part: constantly improving our solution.