How Branch Used Ironclad Clickwrap to Exponentially Speed Up HR, Sales, and Procurement Contract Cycles
With Ironclad Clickwrap, our NDA signature turnaround time was cut down from 26 days to just 2 minutes.
Contract management can be a cumbersome process for any organization, often saddling legal teams with compliance bottlenecks, archaic technology, and misalignment with other internal teams. That’s why global, Palo Alto-based mobile growth and attribution platform Branch, with its complex privacy policies and a growing list of partners, vendors, and customers, was quick to hop on the contract lifecycle management (CLM) software adoption train and implement Ironclad.
Eyes on Expansion
After successfully implementing the CLM platform and maximizing use of Ironclad’s workflow features to streamline their contracting processes, the Branch legal team set its sights on expanding its use of Ironclad. They wanted to make use of its full suite of products to further optimize processes, some of which lay entirely outside of the legal department, like procurement and people operations.
Championing this effort was the newly hired Legal Operations Manager, Daniel Michalek. Having spent years working in patent paralegal teams and leading legal operations at several startups, Michalek had a keen and well-practiced eye for identifying operational inefficiencies and using limited resources to fix them. Plus he had the added bonus experience of having implemented Ironclad at previous companies before.
The first problem Michalek set out to solve was the bottleneck created by non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Previously, Branch’s interview candidates would sign a physical NDA in-office, but with the pandemic making in-person meetings difficult, this practice dropped off, opening up the risk of their confidential information from being shared by interview candidates.
When they would come into the office, they would sign a hard copy of the NDA and it would be kept on file. But when we stopped having in person interviews and we went remote, that process of getting an NDA in front of a candidate also disappeared.
Michalek, being familiar with Ironclad’s product functionalities, suggested using Ironclad Clickwrap, which lets users sign binding, non-negotiable agreements with just a click as opposed to sending documents back and forth via email. Once the team implemented Clickwrap and successfully created a one-step NDA that interview candidates could sign online, Michalek knew it was time to roll the process out to other departments. His first two stops? Procurement and sales.
The other thing that I identified when we got our new procurement system going was, ‘What about NDAs for vendors? Why does the legal ops team have to be involved if we now have a fully automated process stood up? I feel like there’s a natural blend in what Ironclad can do and what it offers RS and procurement systems.
On the sales side, post-Clickwrap implementation, reps could now initiate the contract review process in Salesforce, and the billing, security, and operations teams would automatically looped in to the approval process in Ironclad through Workflow Designer. Legal could manage the entire approval process without having to reach out individually to teams. Plus, whenever sales reps needed to send a Clickwrap-enabled NDA, they had the direct link handy; there was no need to ask legal to spin up something new.
The feedback that we get is, ‘I don’t have to wait for legal to spin up an NDA, and I don’t have to go into Ironclad myself.’ It just makes the process go so much faster.
The Transformative Power of Ironclad Insights
After streamlining the NDA signing process and rolling it out across departments, Michalek shifted his focus to measuring impact. “Data tells a story. And data gets leadership and executives to buy in,” he said. To do so, Michalek leveraged Insights, Ironclad’s AI-powered analytics product. Ironclad Insights uses AI and data analytics to track the performance of contracts and streamline management by evaluating things like how long average sales contract cycles take, what percentage of all contracts are of a particular type, and at which points contract cycles slow down, and others.
Legal impact has always been difficult to quantify. But data is the new oil, and it's becoming a massive lever – and north star – for legal ops pros. Ironclad Insights gives us the data we need to make informed, impactful decisions based on contract data that was previously impossible to define. It's become Branch's secret weapon and is helping move the business forward in ways that simply were not possible before.
So Michalek poked around in Ironclad Insights, investigated where hiccups in deal cycles might be, and found explosive results: the NDA signature turnaround time had been cut down from 26 days to just 2 minutes, with 3000+ NDAs signed with Clickwrap. As an added bonus, Insights also provided Michalek with a true count of deals assigned to each team member. He and the team used that data to predict workloads for the next several quarters and successfully argued for additional legal headcount.
An Ironclad Future
Leveraging a number of tools in Ironclad’s product suite, Branch has transformed its contract management process, making it faster, more efficient, and more compliant. Ironclad Clickwrap and Insights have become an essential part of the company’s workflow, as has Ironclad’s Legal Center, which Michalek notes “is a real powerhouse for us” in streamlining the way they handle privacy policies. So, what’s next? As a self-proclaimed Ironclad super user, Michalek is very excited about what the future of legal work using generative AI, ChatGPT, and Ironclad together might look like. Luckily for him, that future is not only fast approaching – it’s already here.