Case Study

Thomson Reuters & HARTMANN

Driving digital Transformation

Healthcare company HARTMANN is one of the leading European providers of professional medical and care products and associated services. For two centuries, HARTMANN has focused on channeling its clinical and medical expertise into smart solutions that are accessible to everyone. 

HARTMANN recently undertook a digital transformation of its legal department, bringing to bear the power of Thomson Reuters Legal Tracker and Thomson Reuters HighQ. Markus Warmholz, Head of Commercial Law for HARTMANN, tells us about the journey—and why solutions from Thomson Reuters were the key to its success.

Where did you start your digital transformation journey?

When Warmholz began investigating how to start the department’s digital transformation journey, he didn’t start with a blank sheet of paper. When benchmarking the department against industry norms, he identified spend management as a key priority. 

“Our process was very manual. So, we couldn’t easily do any ad hoc reporting. As we operate in 36 countries, with a legal team spread across nine locations in 6 countries, we needed to ensure some consistency across jurisdictions.” His team doesn’t spend a huge amount on external counsel. And that was part of the issue in gaining visibility and asserting some control over rates. 

“We have a lot of law firms we are working with, but we are a relatively small client for most of them. We wanted to choose a system that our lawyers were already using for their other clients so that onboarding wouldn’t be an effort. That’s why we chose Legal Tracker. The implementation all went very well. And we were right about the onboarding—the acceptance by law firms was good, and they didn’t see Legal Tracker as a burden.”

Which stakeholders did you involve and how did you get buy-in?

Markus knew he would need to get his procurement and accounting departments on board and, to achieve that, the system must be capable of reducing their workload. For procurement, he needed to provide them the assurance they needed that they would get the reports they want from the system and enable the legal team to manage the spend effectively without their direct input. “One of the things we like about Legal Tracker is that it can operate both with and independently of our enterprise solutions.” 

On the other hand, accounting’s main concern was around compliance with and reassurance regarding invoicing processes. “Legal Tracker would not be changing that process but improving it in terms of providing added security. For example, we have far fewer canceled invoices now.” 

“We wanted to get them involved and enthusiastic. We could show them the benefits of getting all invoices that looked like they came from law firms to us, and how we can send it through the system and capture the spend.”

The legal department’s teams aren’t using all the functionality available in Legal Tracker yet, such as the accruals and budgeting functions, and those are things they are keen to explore. “The system has a lot of opportunities to help us to get more from it.”

What ROI have you seen?

“The main ROI has been transparency and the actions we can now take, having had that transparency. We could have got some of that with a bit of effort through our AP system, but now we can see a geographic slice of our matters, for example, M&A, litigation, etc. Before implementing Legal Tracker, we couldn’t see our matters in that level of detail.” 

This degree of transparency is informing the legal department’s sourcing strategy. “We can now track the types of legal matters we are spending on and for what types of projects. So, we can make better ‘make or buy’ decisions. We can identify where we might need more training and create business cases for insourcing or outsourcing, which was difficult before. For example, if we see an increase in a competition or regulatory law issue, that could show us it would make sense to insource.” 

A more obvious ROI has been identifying discrepancies in rates charged, often by the same firm for the same lawyer, in different jurisdictions and matters. “Having this data puts us in a better position to negotiate discounts and discuss framework agreements and other collaborations.”

Another benefit has been efficiency. “Before we had an issue with law firm invoices which came in addressed to different people. We have now included a ‘four-eyes system’ so someone from both legal and business is assigned to jointly approve any invoices before the final invoice is sent to our enterprise invoicing solution. This has created better efficiency as, before Legal Tracker, invoices sometimes circled around until you knew to whom it belonged.”

Transforming matter management through highq document automation

Next on the list for digital transformation for HARTMANN was contract automation, legal intake, and matter management using the power of HighQ. Markus is clear on what this program is focused on achieving long-term:

  • Making legal work easier to manage for the lawyers, and making the legal department easier to interact with
  • Getting more consistency and visibility around how the business negotiates contracts
  • Introducing a guided process by enabling internal clients to self-serve with automated templates and explanatory notes through a guided process to reduce the number of simple, repeatable requests

A key plank of this strategy was automating HARTMANN’s contracts with HighQ Document Automation. The team was keen to solve the issue of templates being inadvertently amended and changes not being captured. 

Both the lawyers and internal clients use the automated documents, with clients serving themselves through the portal. “The system doesn’t just tell the user to complete all the fields; it captures other data fields to populate other documents. We also have drop-down menus, for example, for jurisdiction, and the template selects the right governing law clauses.”

Internal lawyers will use the system to compile and negotiate more complex contracts with workflow tools supporting the process. “We’re using automation in a sophisticated way so that not all alternative drafting is made available to business colleagues but will be just for the legal department.”

What are the benefits of adopting a legal intake system?

Markus sees the matter intake system achieving two main goals: first, to create a KPI base to have visibility on the number and type of requests received and, second, to support resourcing around how those requests are distributed. This visibility is informing the next phase of the automation project.

“We are creating a system that is easier and faster than calling me and sending me an email. The user thinks: if I type three words, I can get an answer. We want to move away from 30-page handbooks to quick answers like Google. The aim is also to reduce the spontaneous calls and emails. If you spend a lot of time on this stuff, or are interrupted every 10 minutes, it’s difficult to do strategic work.”

Why did you choose another thomson reuters product?

Following HARTMANN’s positive experience with both the operation and implementation of Legal Tracker, they felt  confident in choosing HighQ for document automation to fuel the next stage of their digital transformation. Mindful that the legal department often can’t rely on the sort of first-level IT support of some of the more customer-facing functions, the need for solid customer support was key. “With Thomson Reuters, I feel confident that they will fix it if something goes wrong because with their large customer base, they will no doubt have resolved this sort of problem for other customers before. So, you have less risk if it goes wrong.”

What lessons have you learned through this process?

Markus acknowledges that the legal tech market contains many interesting solutions. However, he notes that it’s important to stay focused on the immediate problems that need solving for the business and not be distracted by more tangential solutions. He advises:

  • Not only have the right stakeholders on board, but set realistic expectations on what is reasonably required for your needs.
  • Before you start, your whole process should be consistent. Many people think the tool dictates the process, but first you need to have a good process and then see what tool you need and where you need it to connect.
  • Start small—if you implement too much at once, you can lose the benefit.


The HARTMANN GROUP is one of the leading European providers of professional medical and care products and associated services. Every day, healthcare professionals and patients rely on HARTMANN brands in the segments of Incontinence Management, Wound Care, and Infection Management. Founded in 1818, the company sells its products and solutions in 130 countries around the world. To learn more about the HARTMANN GROUP, visit:

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