Zumba Fitness turn to DocMoto's cloud service to manage its mountain of legal agreements
Zumba Fitness

Zumba Fitness turn to DocMoto's cloud service to manage its mountain of legal agreements

How does a company manage its legal agreements with licensed instructors in over 185 countries around the world?

Zumba Fitness Concert - Orlando

That's what Zumba Fitness, the largest branded fitness concept in the world, has to do. The scale of the organisation – with classes in over 150,000 locations worldwide every week and 15 million participants – presents Zumba's Miami, Florida-based legal department with a considerable challenge.

Headed up by Chief Legal Officer, Scott Chitoff, the legal team's responsibilities go beyond the conventional activities expected of an in-house legal department. In fact, their role is highly complex in the handling of licensing and regulatory schemes for Zumba instructors worldwide.

Outside of the USA, the legal team has to manage Zumba's relationship with its subsidiaries in the UK and the Netherlands plus independent contractors and distributors across many other countries.

As Scott Chitoff says: “It takes some co-ordination to protect the company legally, while supporting the entrepreneurial business model that Zumba Fitness has.”

Adopting Apple as the computer of choice – and managing documents

The strong brand and marketing focus of Zumba lent itself to a particular preference for using Apple computers.

Similar to other departments in the company, the legal department favoured Apple's low failure rate above PCs. However, it needed to find a Mac-based document and file management software system capable of handling the company's requirements.

Scott Chitoff - Chief Legal Officer

When Scott and his team took over responsibility for Zumba's legal department in 2012, the historical document management system was only rudimentary:

“The department had been using Apple's built in filing system, which offers a very basic way to track documents. There was no document management system in place,” said Scott.

“We had to employ external contractors – both legal and IT – to organise and track the obligations and deadlines for each contract, as well as creating a naming process for documents and folders.

“For any company this is essential, as without a well-organised storage system for legal documents it's possible to miss obligations, lose track of who has the rights to use your brand in a particular jurisdiction or even continue with unsatisfactory contractual relationships longer than is necessary.

“As our company grows it can't take those risks and our job as the legal department was to remedy the previous situation.”

But finding a suitable document management system for Mac within the legal department was proving so difficult the company almost scrapped the use of Apple computers in favour of PCs. After eight months of trial and error, and the determination of the legal team to stick with Apple, Zumba found DocMoto.

Zumba's document and file management “mountain” and DocMoto

Zumba's legal department documents are now stored and managed using the cloud-based version of DocMoto – valuable for a company with a worldwide presence and headquartered in a hurricane zone where any extreme weather causing power outage could limit access to the system.

The files in DocMoto include all contracts, employee agreements, insurance documentation, numerous non-disclosure agreements with other companies, along with regulatory and tax documents from all over the USA and the e-commerce subsidiary in Europe, covering 28 countries.

This equates to a vast multitude of documents with different requirements, including important deadlines for obligations that need to be met as well as expiration dates.

Legal Department Supervisor, Darah Rivera, has highlighted the most compelling capabilities of DocMoto enjoyed by the team:

  • User-friendly – especially when accessing documents from multiple locations.
  • Storage – storing contracts plus the email messages exchanged regarding agreements. This means Zumba can track exactly how an agreement was formed.
  • Security – the ability for an owner of a document to stipulate who, and who cannot, have access to that document.
  • Automatic calendar input – when filing a document in DocMoto, the relevant deadline or timeframe is automatically entered into the calendar, without having to do it manually.

Scott Chitoff adds: “The DocMoto team handles all the system maintenance and data back-up, and we have had virtually no downtime at all.

“The reliability of connectivity it provides is a huge selling point, as is the ability to retrieve all documents if necessary.

“From where we were with document management in 2012, we're now in good shape with DocMoto. And, for the level of features and sophistication the programme offers, the price point is very reasonable.”

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