• 50%

    Reduction in average contract completion time
  • 80%

    Reduction in contract drafting times*
  • 70

    Countries have rolled out the Smarter Contracting initiative

Unilever expands through innovation  

With more than 400 brands—including Dove, Lipton and Ben & Jerry’s—in 190 countries, every day 2.5 billion people use Unilever products. The company’s vision is to make products that are loved by consumers worldwide and friendlier on the planet we all share. 

As part of Unilever’s growth strategy, it is committed to constant innovation, allowing the company to stay at the forefront of the ever-changing global business landscape. 

One of Unilever’s key initiatives is a partnership with DocuSign. Unilever uses multiple products from the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, integrated with other Unilever systems. Across different business functions, Unilever uses DocuSign to help automate numerous processes. 

Upleveling Unilever’s procurement process with DocuSign 

Efficient and cost-effective contracting is key to the supply chain which underpins this truly global business. Before working with DocuSign, globally distributed teams at Unilever got agreements done with a mix of office applications, email, printing, scanning, faxing, and phone follow-ups. Given Unilever’s scale and its global scope, the cost and time necessary to do this work was significant. 

People would search their email inbox looking for the last email with a contract attachment, having to make sure it's the right one... We wanted tools and solutions that would harmonise, simplify and bring efficiencies.
Wei Ling Lim
General Counsel for Global Supply Chain
Unilever

To help digitally transform procurement contracting, Unilever collaborated with DocuSign. Using DocuSign CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management), Unilever was able to increase speed throughout the contracting process for spend portfolios that were previously not integrated into a contract management workflow. 

For example:

  • When a contract needs to be initiated, the requester can enter the deal’s key facts
  • Based on the requester’s input and additional pulled-in data, the contract is automatically generated with the correct clauses
  • Unilever leverages the DocuSign CLM workflow to route the review tasks to the right people
  • When the contract is ready for signature, Unilever utilises DocuSign eSignature for sending and signing in an efficient, user-friendly way

DocuSign CLM and DocuSign eSignature are central to Unilever’s Smarter Contracting initiative, a programme to not only save time and resources in contracting but also to make life easier on Unilever’s employees. Where before people needed to manually find, copy and paste the right information into contracts, it is now there for them. 

Unilever also uses DocuSign Click as part of its NDA process. Click provides a no-signature-required alternative for standardised agreements that simply require an acceptance. 

“We design everything we do around making sure the user experience is as good as it can be,” said Wei Ling. 

The Smarter Contracting initiative has been rolled out across more than 70 countries. The tool is set up to generate English, Spanish, Portuguese and Indonesia Bahasa language contracts. “The success of my team depends on our ability to support different languages and different countries across the value chain,” said Wei Ling. 

With Smarter Contracting, average contract completion time has been cut in half. And in an early pilot launched in India the Smarter Contracting platform reduced contract drafting times by 80%. 

More agreements, less paperwork

Unilever’s results in Smarter Contracting are just a part of the story. Many other groups at Unilever are using the DocuSign Agreement Cloud to bring greater efficiencies to agreement processes—allowing them to do business faster, more efficiently and easier for everyone involved.