General Growth Properties (GGP) is One of the largest Real-estate Investment Trust in the United States implemented a Contract Management System for use by its attorneys and paralegals. The contract management system leveraged the familiarity that the legal staff had with Microsoft® Word, and streamlined their tasks by using XML from the Intelligent Content Plug-In. GGP was able to streamline the contract preparation and management process for conformance with customer-specific requirements and compliance with regional requirements.
One of the nation's largest REITs, GGP owns, develops, operates, and/or manages shopping malls in 45 states, as well as Master Planned Communities in three states. GGP has ownership interests in and/or management responsibility for more than 200 regional shopping malls totaling approximately 200 million square feet of retail space. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, GGP has approximately 4,700 employees nationwide, and about 75 people in its legal department.
GGP had master contracts with its customers, and several specific contracts for each individual location. Each of the contracts for the specific location was to conform to the overall terms and conditions stipulated in the master contract. At the same time, state and local authorities had their specific requirements that needed to be taken into consideration when drafting a new contract.
As a result of these requirements, preparing contract was becoming a time consuming activity for the legal department. In addition, any errors that go uncaught in a contract could result in significant liabilities for GGP. GGP sought to remedy the situation by deciding to implement an IT system to automate and streamline the process.
Given the complexity of the business requirements, GGP first decided to implement a Proof-of-Concept. The proof of concept was to show that a contract drafting system could be implemented using Microsoft® Word that would meet the compliance and conformance requirements of GGP. GGP wanted to make sure that the legal department personnel did not need to learn a new editing system. They were all familiar with Microsoft® Word, and the new system was to incorporate Microsoft® Word as the primary authoring platform.
The project team developed a Schema for its primary contract and associated documents. The Schema defined the structure of the document and the fields that needed to be captured. The project team did this for the entire portfolio of documents including the following:
GGP used a CRM system from Goldmine, and it sought to bring information from the CRM system to the Contracts. Further, it used a JD Edwards ERP system, and GGP wanted to make sure that relevant financial information from the contracts was fed into the JD Edwards system. The Contract Management solution was seen as the bridge between the CRM and ERP systems.
With the Intelligent Content Plug-In, the project team enhanced the Microsoft® Word interface so that the attorney or paralegal was presented a first draft of the contract based on information provided. This saved a significant amount of time and reduced the possibilities of errors.
In addition, GGP deployed a SharePoint Portal Server to centralize the storage of all documents. By moving all documents to a single source, employees were quickly able to find the information that they needed. As GGP bought and sold properties, it was able to easily and efficiently review all relevant documents.
With a platform based on Microsoft® Word and Intelligent Content Plug-In, GGP realized the following benefits:
First Publication: September 2008