Secret Escapes: Creating a unified workspace for contracts

Claire O'Regan, 18 February 2021

Luxury travel marketplace, Secret Escapes, wanted to automate their end-to-end contract workflow and enable self-serve across the wider business. Find out how they achieved this in our case study. 

Secret Escapes is a members-only travel marketplace, based in the UK. The business sells hotel stays and trips through its website and mobile app. Secret Escapes was founded in 2010 and operates in 21 countries worldwide.

“Every time I open Juro, I avoid having to review and amend a contract through Word and emails. Juro saves me a huge amount of time I would’ve otherwise spent in my inbox”

- James Russell-Jones, Head of Legal, Secret Escapes

The challenge: limited visibility

Secret Escapes regularly partnered with other notable brands, often in the media, to offer special perks and discounts to its customer base and deliver a personalized experience.

However, the teams handling both media collaboration and strategic partnership agreements faced several problems with the contract workflow through which they agreed them.

  • Manual and time-consuming. With contracts managed through a combination of emails and Word files, teams were wasting valuable time getting each document through the pipeline

  • Limited visibility. Legal often had no way of knowing whether contracts had been signed, and where they were stored post-eSignature, and had to chase other teams for information

  • No system of record. The business also didn’t have a single source of truth where contracts could live. Instead, teams stored contracts across multiple systems, making them difficult to locate and track

  • No self-serve. The media and partnership team had to rely on legal when creating and sending out contracts. Legal, on the other hand, wanted to spend less time on contracts and more time on high-value work

It fell on James Russell-Jones, head of legal at Secret Escapes, to find a solution: “The process for these revenue-generating contracts was a black box, with so many uncertainties. We needed a process that could help us mitigate the risk.”

The requirements: what did Secret Escapes need?

James wanted to implement a contract automation platform that resolved the biggest issue: visibility. “From the templates the media and partnership team used, to the platforms where they stored signed documents - legal had no visibility on any of it.”

It was also imperative that the platform was quick to implement and easy for employees outside of legal to adopt: “There are plenty of solutions out there, but some involved much more training, and much more implementation, before you can get any benefit from using them.”

“One of my colleagues needed 20 contracts, and he felt confident working in Juro, creating these agreements from a set template and adding in the relevant information from smartfields himself. Those were 20 agreements the legal team didn’t have to draft.”

The solution: frictionless, flexible, searchable

James and his team decided to implement Juro in 2018. Juro’s implementation specialists trained Secret Escapes’ teams and set up contract templates, and the business was using the platform to automate contracts within a week.

Faster contract turnaround

“Every time I open Juro, I avoid having to redline a contract through Word and emails. I can focus on tackling the issue straight away. Juro saves me a huge amount of time I would’ve otherwise spent in my inbox.”

Contracts live in one place

“We’ve been using Juro as a contract database, and uploaded around 150 signed documents through Juro’s Contract Reader feature.” This means contracts exist in a unified workspace, and legal no longer has to waste time digging around for static files.

Better data visibility

Legal can track contract metrics throughout the lifecycle, from creation to signature and beyond - thanks to Juro’s flexible data layer. “We have better insights into what’s in our contracts, and we’ve started tagging our PDF files, so everything is searchable.”

Self-serve at scale

With the right safeguards in place, anyone in the business can self-serve on routine contracts, such as strategic partnership agreements and media collaboration documents. “One of my colleagues needed 20 contracts, and he felt confident working in Juro, creating these agreements from a set template and adding in the relevant information from smartfields himself. Those were 20 agreements the legal team didn’t have to draft.”

The results: all-in-one contract automation

Before Juro, Secret Escapes handled contracts through a manual, unscalable process, involving multiple systems and limited visibility. Through Juro, James created a unified workspace for contracts, where the media and partnership team can self-serve on routine contracts.

Legal now has complete visibility over the end-to-end process - with searchable documents, both static PDFs and Juro contracts, living in a unified workspace. This meant James never had to worry about chasing teams for contract information.

“I would absolutely recommend Juro. We know whether our contracts have been signed, and we know where they’re stored for future reference. It’s incredibly helpful when it comes to due diligence exercises in the future, and mitigates the risk for us - it’s hard to put a price on how important that is.”

Want to enable self-serve on contracts? Find out how Juro can empower legal and business teams to work with contracts together in one unified workspace.

Topics: Contract magic

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