Time for change
In-house legal teams often feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. All consumed by high-volume low-complexity tasks, there’s no space to step back, strategise and improve how you service the business. So how do you focus more on forward-thinking and less on the day-to-day?
That was the challenge faced by Anna Lozynski, General Counsel at L’Oréal Australia & New Zealand. As the world’s leading and largest beauty company, L’Oréal is fast-paced and dynamic. With 26 brands in Australia and 19 brands in New Zealand, along with the corporate functions to support there was no space to step back. No time to really help the business move forward and the volume of legal work meant it was a struggle to understand how Legal could impact strategy and add tangible value.
“We really wanted to position ourselves as being able to run with the business capably. We wanted to support them in a legally robust and compliant way, while also giving them the flexibility in terms of how they access that support.”
The start of legal transformation
When L’Oréal launched a global directive to digitally transform the beauty industry, Anna Lozynski saw an opportunity to change the game by embracing technology to replicate the notion of automation and self-service that you see in other industries including Finance, Marketing and HR.
But even with the best intentions, change can be hard. “I was worried how the business might perceive it,” Anna admits. How would the clients react? “Lawyers also have a tendency to feel defensive and fearful of embracing technology because it is new and unfamiliar. And there aren’t that many examples of it in the legal industry.”
Anna looked to Plexus Gateway, the world’s first Legal Operating System. L’Oréal Australia and New Zealand has been able to put their best lawyer, on their best day, on every device in the company – handling the work that was once a burden to its A/NZ Legal Function. Through automation and contract lifecycle management, Plexus has allowed the business to ‘self-serve’ on routine legal tasks, yet involves the legal team whenever there is risk they should advise on.
Do more with less
The impact of using Plexus Gateway has been profound. Anna says it has completely transformed perception of the legal function, how the team works and how they support the business and stakeholders. It has freed the legal team to do more of the valuable work that advances strategy.
Data plays a big role in L’Oréal Australia & New Zealand’s continuous improvement. With Gateway, the team can easily access data across key areas of the business; how many agreements have been generated, how many rounds of negotiation is required per agreement, what contracts are up for renewal, and what contracts have a ‘change of control clause’ in them. Data revealed that it now takes 18 minutes on average for an agreement to be generated – before Gateway, the same task took an average of four hours.
So, it’s little surprise Anna’s CEO told her “it’s fantastic – do more of it.”
Which is exactly what Lozynski has done. As at late 2017, L’Oréal A/NZ is delivering exceptional value through Promotion Wizard for marketing compliance, an industry-leading influencer agreement app, NDAs and a confidentiality agreement app. And they won’t stop there. They are also building a services agreement app, an independent contractors advisory tool, an IT services checklist, and a salon agreement app. The results thus far have been transformative for the business.
“Plexus has really instilled a spirit of continuous improvement and an ingrained thinking of how we can embrace innovation in how we deliver legal services,” Anna explains. “It’s an exciting way to work.”
The impact of embracing innovation
But perhaps the most meaningful transformation is in the business’s mindset. Plexus has empowered Anna’s team to do more for less, lower external legal spend whilst increasing the business’ satisfaction with Legal.
“This fear around legal technology meaning you can’t have extra human lawyers is absolutely not true. It’s about how we build relationships as trusted advisers with the business and also an opportunity to showcase to the business that we are thinking differently, that we are creative, that we are solutions focused, that we can think outside the box and that we are there to support them.” Since starting this journey L’Oréal has received budget approval to increase headcount by 50%.