Transparency, control and speed of contract management transformed for Brazilian-based arts organization.
“Editing and validating a contract used to take 20-30 days. Now it takes just one or two.”
– Daniel Lourenço, legal analyst, Itaú Cultural
Itaú Cultural is a non-profit arts foundation based in São Paulo, Brazil. Founded in 1987 by the Itaú Bank, it strives to develop Brazilian culture through the organisation of cultural and artistic events, including concerts, festivals, exhibitions, and installations. Today, Itaú Cultural employs approximately 220 people and organizes more than 800 events every year.
In 2011, the city of São Paulo chose Itaú Cultural to manage the organization and bookings of all events taking place at the municipal 840-seat Ibirapuera Auditorium. The auditorium is used every day for classical and popular music, theatrical performances, films, classes, and concert recordings.
Itaú Cultural faced the challenge of generating and handling more than 1,200 legal contracts for artistic and business operations at the Ibirapuera Auditorium. This covered areas of business including photo reprint rights, copyright licensing, suppliers’ contracts, musical instruments purchases, and performers’ bookings.
The management of the contracts was complicated by the decentralized system and the lack of control over the data. Contract files and background information were mainly stored in employees’ email and personal document folders on the organization’s server.
The lack of a central system caused difficulty and delays when staff members needed to retrieve a particular document. “We wanted to be able to manage the contract flow, but the organization was confusing and time-consuming. It was particularly difficult to recover documents and information following a departure of an employee,” explained Daniel Lourenço, legal analyst at Itaú Cultural.
Itaú Cultural did have a business process management system in place at the time, but it couldn’t be extended to manage the auditorium contracts as it didn’t meet security standards. As Itaú Cultural is a branch of the Itaú Bank, it must comply with very strong data security requirements. Plus the fact that Itaú’s existing system was limited in functionality and flexibility.
Itaú Cultural needed a low-cost, flexible, easy to use workflow application. One of the company’s IT employees was familiar with Fujitsu RunMyProcess solutions, so proposed it to the legal department. Itaú Cultural approached Dedalus, a leading cloud solutions reseller in Brazil, for more information. Following a review, Itaú Cultural selected Fujitsu RunMyProcess, owing to its adaptability and flexibility.
After a training session with Dedalus and with their support, Daniel Lourenço was able to build a contract management and archiving solution.
The contract generation process is launched when an Itaú Cultural employee opens the RunMyProcess application and completes an online contract form with the supplier’s details, contract type, event dates, legal requirements, and budget. This draft contract is sent to the legal department and the user’s manager for validation. Once approved, the application transfers the file back to the legal department staff, which adds the full legal wording to the online form, and transfers it back to the contract requester. The requester then prints out the contract and sends it to the supplier for approval. A timer built into the application alerts the requesters that they have 30 days to get the contract signed by the other party (the supplier, performer, etc.) and returned to Itaú. Once received signed, the contract document is then scanned and added to the archives.
The contract management application was successfully implemented in July 2013 and improved the transparency, control and the speed of the legal contracts validation process.
All contract validation steps are now recorded and the contract data is available on the company’s server, giving Itaú Cultural more insight information into the process. Information records can be used by the legal department to organise the information on the suppliers and evaluate their offers.
This solution has also had time saving benefits for Itaú Cultural. “Editing and validating a contract used to take 20-30 days. Now the validation takes just one or two days,” remarked Daniel Lourenço.
The application can also be accessed via mobile devices, allowing the Itaú Cultural’s staff to generate contracts instantly at any location. “Fujitsu RunMyProcess brought Itaú Cultural mobility and agility for request approvals,” he added.
The application was very well-received by the Itaú Cultural team, who were especially pleased with the simple, intuitive navigation of the RunMyProcess interface.
Although it’s hard to calculate savings due to the decentralized previous system, the organization definitely is seeing productivity gains. Itaú Cultural enjoys more information control since data is now centralized and easy to find. “Information now belongs to the company and not to the employees,” Daniel concluded.
Itaú Cultural is now planning to develop a new contract management system for further departments of the company. It also wants to migrate its purchasing operations – which currently involve 30 employees – to the Fujitsu RunMyProcess platform.