10+Use cases across 5 departments
6Month head start on contract negotiations
↑Increased cost efficiency
Genuine Parts Company got its start in 1928, with $40,000 and six employees in Atlanta, Georgia. Today, the $20 billion automotive parts distributor operates in 17 countries with more global growth on the horizon.
But when it came to managing third-party IT contracts, “GPC wasn’t acting like a global company,” said Keith McCarraher, special projects manager. “Everyone had their own processes, their own standards...and nothing was tied together."
The lack of standardization led to missed deadlines, licensing overspend and lost opportunities to negotiate better terms with vendors.
With years of experience overseeing large transformation projects, McCarraher came on board to streamline contract management globally—starting with the implementation of DocuSign CLM.
What started in IT evolved into a company-wide transformation that unified processes, enhanced efficiency and strategically positioned GPC for seamless global operations.
Transforming third-party contract management
Not having a centralized or automated process for managing third-party contracts created a slew of challenges for GPC. Contracts were scattered across SharePoint, Microsoft Access and email inboxes—and as they approached expiration, the only notification often came from vendors saying, “Hey, you're past due.”
Uniting IT teams with a global contract management solution led to a “night-and-day” transformation, McCarraher said. “We have a standardized process now. People are submitting their third-party contracts via a form, and everyone’s recording the same data so reports are uniform.”
The procurement process starts with users inputting important details in CLM—including contract type, vendor information and key negotiators—pulling data from PeopleSoft. Contract details, including start and end dates, total costs and renewal clauses, are captured during the automated workflow. The process kicks off with a click, assigning tasks and ensuring a smooth progression through internal and external reviews, risk assessments and signature collection.
With contracts in a single place, GPC can see how much it's spending with specific vendors and proactively manage renewals, terminations and other deadlines. And VPs receive bi-weekly reports with insights into contracts expiring in the next six months, enabling earlier and more strategic negotiations. For example, procurement teams can align contract end dates with a vendor’s fiscal year-end when they’re more likely to offer deeper discounts.
“CLM is paying dividends for us,” said McCarraher. “We’re saving money as a company because we’re negotiating so much earlier and getting the same product for less.”
Taking CLM global with DocuSign and Spaulding Ridge
To move from vision to value faster, GPC engaged in a strategic partnership with DocuSign and Spaulding Ridge.
Spaulding Ridge orchestrated the majority of the implementation heavy lifting, skillfully managing multiple rollouts simultaneously. With their global presence and project management expertise, the DocuSign Platinum Partner was essential in expanding the solution across Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America.
“We were so impressed with Spaulding Ridge and the work that they do that we signed a contract with them for managed services,” said McCarraher.
As GPC worked toward building a truly global contract management solution, DocuSign Professional Services configured Azure Single Sign-On for seamless access across the third-party apps teams work in. The unified authentication process minimizes risks associated with managing multiple credentials while providing a better user experience.
“We've had a couple of very difficult issues that we weren’t sure how to solve, and the DocuSign team reached out and grabbed experts from their vast pool—and even partnered with Spaulding Ridge—to come up with some solutions for us,” said McCarraher.
Amplifying impact across departments
CLM’s impact extends beyond IT procurement. The platform’s versatility and global reach allowed GPC to unify its approach, breaking down silos that existed between different regions and departments.
“Whether in Europe, APAC, the United States or Canada, we all speak the same language now when it comes to contracts,” said McCarraher.
Sales groups use CLM with Salesforce to simplify complex franchise agreements, which require specific clauses and legal language. Before, it was a heavily manual, copy-and-paste operation that required a lot of back and forth with legal. With CLM, it’s a guided process. Contracts are automatically generated based on answers to predefined questions, sent to franchisees for redlining and accessible in Salesforce.
After the success with sales and IT groups, CLM momentum surged among smaller teams that needed an efficient way to track their contracts. “We started with our marketing team and created a universal workflow that allows any department to onboard quickly,” said McCarraher.
In HR, the department uses DocuSign to streamline bonus notifications. Employee data and bonus details flow from Workday into DocuSign PowerForms before being sent for review. CLM takes over from there, capturing relevant metadata and storing signed documents for easy retrieval and reporting.
“The confidence level in CLM continues to rise,” said McCarraher. “With every rollout, we have more and more people saying ‘aha, this was the right way to go.’”