Shell Philippines fuels dealer partnerships with Adobe Acrobat Sign

Image of a Shell Philippines gas station.

The Philippines is a nation of more than 7,500 islands, spread across more than 300,000 km². This makes the logistics for transporting fuel and retail merchandise a challenge for Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (Shell Philippines), which has operated in the country for more than 100 years and currently partners with about 1,100 fuel stations nationwide.

Historically, managing the company’s many business contracts was also quite complicated. Contracts needed to make a round trip by courier from the Shell Philippines Manila headquarters to retail locations for signature by a station owner as well as various territory and district managers, and then back to the corporate office. The process could involve multiple outer islands, as signers were often not located in the same place. Delays and mis-deliveries were common, with document parcels sometimes left at a fuel station and not received in a timely manner, or at all, by the station owner. Contracts could take 90 days or even much longer to complete.

While reviewing contracts for Shell’s mobility division, mobility operations manager Tabbee Bagadion saw the problems with the contract process firsthand, including just how long contracts took to be returned and that some sent contracts were never returned at all. She went to the contracts and procurement team for a solution. After evaluating the options, they determined Adobe Acrobat Sign was best suited to address the company’s challenges, while adhering to Philippine compliance requirements.

Compliant, trusted, and easy to implement

Acrobat Sign not only meets Philippine government standards for legal, enforceable digital signatures, but also offers the backing of the trusted Adobe brand, inspiring confidence among contract process stakeholders and participants.

Implementation, including training, took less than two months. To send out a partnership agreement for signatures, Bagadion’s team now just adds a few pieces of basic information like names and addresses to a contract, then clicks a button to send.

“We don’t want to risk operators moving to alternative suppliers due to our contracts expiring,” says Mario Bunag, lead procurement manager, Shell Philippines. “With Adobe Acrobat Sign, we can eliminate signature delays and continue securing long-term relationships with our retailers.”

Streamlined for savings

The easy-to-use electronic signature application has been adopted readily and is now used for more than 3,000 Shell Philippines documents per year. With a digitized workflow, the company’s teams no longer need to print, bind, mail, and then scan fully executed paperwork. In the past, Shell Philippines had five staffers focused just on these efforts, with extra help brought in during peak processing times.

“The ROI from Adobe Acrobat Sign is significant,” says Bagadion. “It saves our team approximately 1,000 hours annually in manual contract coordination tasks. What used to require a dedicated team of five or more people now only takes three, who also now have more time to work on other priorities. By eliminating costs for paper, couriers, and document storage using Adobe Acrobat Sign, we save US$90,000 annually.”

Faster, enhanced document security

Now contracts can be automatically routed directly to signers’ email inboxes, avoiding time-consuming handoffs between multiple signers and avoiding problems with delayed or missing deliveries. In the case of a new partnership agreement, each signer previously faced the daunting task of placing a signature on every page on all six copies of a 60-page agreement. Today, they can easily click to apply a signature once and complete the process in seconds.

“We can get signed contracts back in hours instead of months, accelerating supply chain flows to our fuel station partners so they can start realizing value with Shell faster,” says Bagadion.

The company’s dealer partners enjoy the ease of the digital signature process. The company anticipated some resistance to change but found that many dealers embraced the change once they saw how easy Acrobat Sign is to use. Bagadion is hopeful that it will also encourage partners to be more open to other technology solutions Shell Philippines offers to help them make their fuel and convenience retail operations more efficient and successful.

Bagadion’s team has also started using the Acrobat Sign platform for other timely communications, such as warning or termination notices, congratulatory letters, and performance analyses.

Timely improvements

Shell was fortunate to have implemented Acrobat Sign prior to COVID-19 shutdowns in the Philippines. “We deployed Adobe Acrobat Sign just in time. There were reductions to courier services during lockdowns and without Adobe Acrobat Sign our already challenging contract signing process would have been 30 to 60 days longer,” she says.

Document archiving and searchability have also improved. If the operations team needs to look up a contract, the digital files are quick and easy to locate compared to searching warehouse archives for paper files. The platform has been so successful that Shell Philippines is expanding the use of Acrobat Sign to more departments.

“Adobe Acrobat Sign makes handling important documents much easier for us and our partners. It’s a win all around because we can better meet the needs of our customers and enable them to keep serving their customers without interruption,” says Bagadion.

Following the success of the Shell Philippines’ adoption of Acrobat Sign, Shell Indonesia has selected Acrobat Sign as its electronic signature solution to enhance its customer experience via digital document workflows.