How Africa’s legal department of the year streamlines contracts with Juro
Takealot is the leading eCommerce retailer based in South Africa. It was founded in 2011, and is one of the companies that forms the Takealot Group - the other two being Superbalist, and Mr D. The Takealot Group is a market leader in online retail, fashion, and on-demand delivery.
The challenge: no standard process, no source of truth
The larger the company, the greater the contract volumes, in many cases - and this was especially true with the Takealot Group.
After Takealot acquired eCommerce fashion retailer Superbalist and on-demand delivery platform Mr D, combined headcount soared to over 7,000. This also meant an influx of contracts, but internal organizational processes didn’t grow in tandem.
The lean team of commercial lawyers often found themselves at the foot of a mountain of contracts, as Maryke Richards, Senior Legal Counsel at Takealot, explained:
“We didn’t have a standardized process; each team had their own way of agreeing and managing contracts. Legal would review and negotiate these contracts in lengthy back-and-forth email chains with the counterparty."
The existing processes involved manual drafting, contract versioning issues, delays in approvals, and difficulty tracking contract lifecycles.
“On top of that, we didn’t have a centralized contract repository. Signed contracts lived in inboxes, or on individual or shared drives. Pre-pandemic, we even had hard copies.”
Legal involvement from contract creation all the way to signature caused unnecessary delays to projects, according to Candy Musekene, Legal Counsel at Takealot: “it was time-consuming to the point where we were struggling to meet our turnaround times for the completion of contracts.”
The legal team wanted to find a solution that could help legal overcome the ever-growing workload more efficiently.
We ran minimal training sessions to get everyone up and running, and then teams were using Juro almost immediately
The requirements: what did Takealot need?
The Takealot Group needed a solution that could improve the delivery of legal services, as well as contract creation and management. They aimed to achieve this by prioritizing:
- Speed of implementation. “We’re a dynamic organization and didn’t want to wait 24 to 36 months to get value from a solution,” Maryke said. “I wanted a platform that would help us reap the benefits in the shortest amount of time.”
- Integrations. The legal team wanted a solution flexible enough to integrate with other key platforms already being used by the wider business, such as Salesforce
- Ease of use for teams beyond legal. “The majority of our users are business users - not lawyers. We wanted a platform that was user-friendly, and easy to tailor to each team’s requirements,” Maryke said.
Takealot’s subsidiary company, Mr D, was already using Juro at the time on a much smaller scale. “We saw the full potential of what we could achieve with Juro through Mr D, and decided to scale our use from there,” Maryke said.
Juro is great for collaboration and transparency into the contract lifecycle because everything lives in one space
The solution: business-wide contract collaboration
Takealot started using Juro to agree and manage contracts in July 2021, implementing a scalable plan with unlimited users. With Juro’s market-leading support team, and detailed training sessions, legal introduced a new way of working for the Takealot Group.
Unlike legacy CLMs, Juro was designed with the end user in mind, which meant an intuitive interface that anyone could use and customise. “We ran minimal training sessions to get everyone up and running, and then teams were using Juro almost immediately,” Maryke said.
“All our teams found value in the platform - including sales, marketing, supply chain, franchise, legal, advertising, and HR.”
The value added by implementing Juro was clear to see.
A flexible, scalable contracts platform: “we have approximately 20 different teams with unique workspaces in Juro. We’ve refined each workspace as we went through the implementation process. Every team’s workspace looks different, and each one caters to their specific needs,” Candy explained.
Enhanced counterparty experience: “we’ve had fantastic feedback from our counterparties’ legal teams, who negotiate contracts with us in real-time in Juro. They’re empowered to input directly to the document - before Juro we were chasing counterparties to get the right information into the contract,” Maryke said.
A unified workspace for contracts: “Juro is great for collaboration and transparency into the contract lifecycle because everything lives in one space. Everyone’s changes are tracked, negotiations are visualized, and it’s a live document so everyone is kept up-to-date in real-time,” Maryke said.
Integrations with core apps: “we’re currently building out a Salesforce integration for our advertising team. We looked at their workflows and wanted to enable them to agree and manage contracts within the systems they use every day,” Maryke said.
We have approximately 240 active Juro users - it’s fantastic to see the adoption within such a short period of time
The results: 10,000 documents a year generated in Juro
Since implementing Juro in July 2021, Takealot Group’s legal team has seen the impact of AI contract collaboration over the past two years.
The business created 10,000 documents through predefined templates in Juro in the space of a year, allowing teams to self-serve without involving legal.
“We have over 80 standardized templates in Juro - and not just contracts. People understood what Juro could do, and also wanted to use Juro to create and standardize repetitive internal documents and processes. We have various forms and internal documents in Juro alongside our contract repository,” Maryke explained.
“We have approximately 240 active Juro users - it’s fantastic to see the adoption within such a short period of time,” Candy added.
On average, the Takealot Group’s sales contracts are approved in two hours through Juro, which has enabled the legal function to focus on more high-value and high-impact work.
“We’ve created efficiencies through Juro which allow us to decrease headcount in our legal team and use our existing resources more efficiently,” Maryke said.
We do believe that our Juro implementation contributed significantly to us winning the award
A scalable award-winning contract process
The impact of a robust, dynamic contracts platform was evident at ALM / Law.com’s African Legal Tech Awards 2023, where Takealot Group’s legal team won ‘Legal Department Of The Year (large team)’.
“We entered the awards and detailed the work our legal team accomplished over the last 18 months,” Maryke explained.
Categories for success included projects the legal team worked on during the evaluation period; diversity, inclusion and empowerment; and effective use of technology - and that’s where Juro came in.
“We do believe that our Juro implementation contributed significantly to us winning the award.”
“One of the most important points in software implementation is the support you receive from your vendor, and Juro’s ease of use, implementation, and incredible support set us up for success.”
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