Supermarket giant Coles’ in-house lawyer on Josef’s Designer & Builder Program

The Designer & Builder Program is Josef’s world-class, free legal automation and innovation education program. 

Hundreds of legal professionals have done the program, gaining core legaltech and design skills while building a bot with Josef’s no-code interface to automate legal work!

We had a chat with Daniel O’Loughlin, an in-house lawyer at supermarket and retail giant Coles, about his experience doing the Designer & Builder Program and the bot he built.

Sign up today!

Design & Builder Profile

  • Who? Daniel O’Loughlin

  • Organisation Coles

  • Role Regulatory in-house lawyer

  • Type of bot built Procurement and contract review request bot (intake bot)

You’re officially a certified Josef Designer & Builder! Before we get into the bot you built, tell us what you enjoyed about the DBP. 

Ideating and creating!

Other than how easy Josef is to use, the great thing about the Designer & Builder Program is that it has so much to do with ideation and brainstorming at the beginning.

When you’re busy working, when do you find the time to identify opportunities for improving processes? The initial stages are the most important, and the DBP’s framework allows you to brainstorm and really think about what you’re trying to solve. I found that really valuable for how I viewed the problem I tried to solve. 

A treasure chest of legaltech information

The resources that came along with the program were phenomenal. It’s clear that a lot of time has gone into building a really detailed resource, and it means you learn so much, from being hands-on with the Josef software to having access to videos, resources, fact sheets and examples.

Do it at your own pace

It’s flexible and spread out over six weeks, which means you’ve got enough time to focus on your other work but also complete the program at your own pace.

‘I’m glad I spent my time doing it’

The DBP is also a great use of time! There’s so much that goes on in the legal world and you often get to the end of a task and go, ‘Was that really worth my time?’ I think the biggest compliment you can give someone at the end of something is to say, ‘I’m glad I spent my time doing it’.

Tell us about the bot that you built.

I built a procurement and contract review request bot for intake to ensure that we were getting complete and proper instructions from the outset.

One of the big pain points I identified across a number of different workstreams is that there is quite a bit of back and forth just to get the information we need to get. 

I automated a process we were already doing manually, which is asking the stakeholder a whole range of questions just so that we had everything we needed in order to consider the problem at hand. 

The bot I built with Josef automated the allocation of work to the right person in the team, who would then consider all the information and give comprehensive advice. 

Is it something you came in wanting to build?

Well, I was tossing up between two options. The first I was considering was an NDA selection tool because for our legal team, we have many different documents to use, and it’s more about choosing and getting the right document than it is actually about completing it.

What were the benefits of building this intake tool?

The biggest benefit was getting everything that you needed right from the outset, so there’s no time wasted going back and forth for an answer or asking questions that really you should have answers to from the beginning. 

It also prompts the stakeholder to consider what it is that they’re actually asking and gives you an opportunity to get their feedback at an early stage, which is something that stakeholders often don’t do.

“You’re not going to regret participating in the program, regardless of what your current exposure is to automation and legaltech.”
– Daniel O'Loughlin, Regulatory in-house lawyer, Coles

How did you come across the Designer & Builder Program?

One of the transformation projects that Coles is focusing on is around automation – both from a workflow perspective, but also document automation. 

When you’re part of a large, busy legal team, it can be hard to find the time to focus on improving processes or simply analysing the process and identifying opportunities.

It’s why we are taking the time to look at how we’re doing things, and it might be that we’re doing them in the most efficient way, but we’re never going to know unless we take the time to assess them!

I was part of a team that was investigating potential pathways forward with that project and one of the first things we did was a scan of what was already out there – what were people using? And Josef was one of the solutions that we identified pretty early in that process, and I found out about the DBP through a connection on LinkedIn!

I thought it was an awesome opportunity to get hands-on experience with the platform. I’ve seen it demoed previously, but it’s never quite the same as getting to use it yourself.

What challenges did you face doing the Designer & Builder Program?

One of the things I found most challenging was restraint. Once you start using the Josef platform, you have so many options, and it’s like being a kid in a toy store. 

But as a builder, you don’t want to throw everything at the stakeholder at once. The program teaches you to build a bot by focusing on what the key objectives are, so that you don’t lose sight of what the goal is.

I did go through a process of refinement as I was building the bot to make sure that it was not doing more than what was actually necessary. 

Why do you think in-house lawyers should be paying attention to legaltech? 

For in-house lawyers, it can be really difficult to take the time to look at something like legaltech. It’s a huge investment of time and internal resources, but it’s absolutely worthwhile doing, even if you get to the end and realise that it’s not what you need. You will learn a lot about the way that you’re doing things and how to complete legal tasks efficiently.

What would you say to other people, other legal professionals who are interested in doing the DBP?

You just have to jump in! Try it, otherwise you’re not going to know what the benefits are. Even if it’s not something that’s front of mind for your business, it’s still a great skill and a transferable skill. You’re not going to regret participating in the program, regardless of what your current exposure is to automation and legaltech.

Sign me up for the next Designer & Builder Program intake!

The practical online course helps lawyers and legal professionals stay ahead of the curve with core legaltech and design skills. Build a bot using our easy no-code automation platform as you go! The next DBP is just around the corner, if Daniel’s experience sounds relevant, register today.

Sign up today