Since its 2003 founding, HotelPlanner has achieved a global partner network of more than 40,000 hotels. As a leading travel technology platform, the company focuses its efforts on the group market to help clients choose the right property for their event, combining technology with a highly experienced staff of professional meeting planners to deliver outstanding service. HotelPlanner has a global footprint with offices in West Palm Beach, London, Singapore, and disbursed employees across the U.S.
As a leading hotel booking platform for individual, group, and corporate travel, HotelPlanner juggles a diverse array of contracts and legal commitments. However, managing contracts hasn’t always been a walk in the park. Leticia Piloto-Rodriguez, the company’s chief legal officer, found herself at the front line of this hustle as a one-person legal team.
A Challenging Contracting Process
Before partnering with LinkSquares, HotelPlanner had no centralized portal for contract drafting. Contracts were created and modified in Word documents, cobbled together from existing clauses. As Leticia puts it, “I had to go offline to create new paper and then take the time to manually modify it based on the need.”
This disconnected process made it challenging to track changes and follow the different versions of contracts. And, with an increasing number of agreements in various stages, it had become nearly impossible for her to get everything done in a timely manner. As Leticia describes it, “The sheer volume, the version control, and the tracking when we were negotiating terms with other parties was becoming very convoluted and time-consuming. There were a lot of hands on a particular contract, and it was just hard to track what was the most recent.”
Wayne Robbins, senior director of enterprise partnerships, further adds, “It was challenging before with respect to version control when changes were made.”
A Game-Changing Solution
The introduction of LinkSquares Finalize to HotelPlanner’s legal workflow proved to be a game-changer. This platform centralized their contract creation and management, making it easier, faster, and more productive. And it significantly improved communication between stakeholders while reducing time spent searching for contracts or tracking communication. “Once everyone was onboarded, they realized how much easier it was,” says Leticia. “I feel like all the communication has finally been centralized, making things so much easier for both me and them.”
With LinkSquares help, HotelPlanner has bolstered their competitive edge when it comes to executing simpler, revenue-sharing contracts. As the company has grown and added more sales staff and services, as well as new product types across the globe, they needed a much more sophisticated contracting system. Instead of building a system internally, HotelPlanner conducted an extensive review of providers and discovered that LinkSquares met most of its needs. And continual development has made the product even more effective.
The results speak for themselves. The company has saved hundreds of developer hours to focus more on core product improvement. HotelPlanner also made its sales team more self-sufficient by reducing legal review time, adding more controls to increase margin, and running productivity reports to assure the company stays on track. Importantly, this has improved end-to-end deal flow from sales team engagement to payment tracking and contract renewal.
"We’re so much more productive. Now, I don't really have to worry about creating a contract because it's all set up. I think our productivity has increased by 100% at least."Joseph Blakeley
100% Increase in Productivity
With LinkSquares, the team at HotelPlanner have significantly boosted productivity and reduced administrative burdens. Leticia describes the newfound ease in their operations: “People are producing more because of it. When something is easy to do, people do it more often.” Joseph Blakeley, mergers and acquisitions analyst, highlights its impact: “We’re so much more productive. Now, I don’t really have to worry about creating a contract because it’s all set up. I think our productivity has increased by 100% at least.”
And the three to five contracts per week that he’d have to run by Leticia, he can now execute himself. Not to mention, the ease of using custom templates has also led him to close more smaller deals that he normally wouldn’t have pursued. “If it was a small deal that was going to take two weeks of contracting, it wasn’t worth it to me,” he says. “But now, I can just pound it out, send an agreement, and it’s done in seconds.”
The platform has also impacted visibility. Their previous method of tracking changes back and forth on email wasn’t at all viable. Now, all these changes are right in LinkSquares, or they can put the agreement into a Word document to track edits and then upload it to Finalize from there. Joseph says, “Being able to track changes is massive because, before, details would just get lost in conversation, which slowed us down.” “It helps streamline,” adds Wayne. “I closed a deal one Friday and sent the contract to the client for review. His reply was, ‘This looks great, please proceed.’ And before I even had a chance to ping Leticia, she’d already sent the DocuSign.”
"I’ve had the time to have more strategic conversations with the COO and the CFO around building the business. My role is now much less burdened by everyday administrative work and more focused on collaboration with the C-suite team.”Leticia Piloto-Rodriguez
Its capabilities have also freed up more time for Leticia to be a strategic partner across the business. She states, “I’ve been able to reduce the time I spend reviewing standard contracts by 50%. This has given me a lot more time to have more strategic conversations with the COO and the CFO around building the business. My role is now much less burdened by everyday administrative work and more focused on collaboration with the C-suite team.”
Like Another Team Member
LinkSquares has undeniably become an essential tool for HotelPlanner, facilitating smoother contract management and freeing up time for strategic, higher-level work. So, how does Leticia describe it? Like another team member. She shares, “LinkSquares has been like a pseudo paralegal.”
With LinkSquares, HotelPlanner has transformed how it manages contracts while enhancing productivity and efficiency, thereby making life easier for the entire team. The result? A less stressful, more productive work environment and a company that continues to move forward at record pace.