Welcome to Part 2 of the Introduction to Contract Management series! In this part we are going to go over who should be looking at CLM solutions within the business, and why they should be considering them. If you missed out, you can click here to read Part 1, and if you clicked on this article out of a feverish desire to engage in CLM solutions you should e-mail us at: email@example.com to set up an MS Teams call!
To understand what CLM can do for you requires understanding the scope of your contracts and the sheer number of times your contracts are interacted with. Contracts serve as the vehicle for almost all business relationships, whether they be with clients, employees, vendors, or someone else. So, who can (and in our humble opinion, should!) use a Contract Management Solution?
As procurement teams work to find, establish, and build new relationships with vendors and suppliers, they do the work of negotiating the terms and conditions of a contract. A contract management software system increases the speed and ease of contract creation by allowing cloud-based proofing, compliance analytics, and clause templates.
A contract management software system gives procurement teams greater insight into the efficiencies of a contract, so these teams can make better evaluations on whether the business relationship will facilitate the greater goals of the business.
Legal teams face perhaps the most demand of any department that touches a contract. contract management software helps mitigate risk and ensure compliance by making it easy to bring a contract into the platform and quickly find potential problem clauses. The software can analyze all contracts across the business to produce risk analysis reports, compliance tracking, and more.
Legal teams also gain access to a library of pre-approved clauses and other tools that streamline the document assembly and submission process.
With a contract management system, HR teams can simplify the meticulous process of hiring and onboarding new employees by centralizing and tracking hiring documents like offer letters, NDAs, and other forms.
A contract management system helps HR teams keep company documents organised and allow appropriate access across a range of materials. From employee handbooks and company policies to expense reports and individual employee information, the right information stays ordered and within reach.
Finance teams deal with so much data that it can be difficult to parse out meaningful insights. A contract management software system makes it easy to locate unpaid revenue and identify services that are underperforming.
By keeping a contract connected to your workflow, you can avoid fees for missed deadlines and unmet terms. A contract management software system lets you create addendums and terminations in real time while still ensuring all parties are working from the most current version of the contract.
Your Contract Management Practises Either Help or Hinder Your Business
Your contract management processes are impacting your business whether you realize it or not.
If you sign a contract then forget about it, your contract becomes disconnected from your workflow. This allows the project to drift, scope to creep. An unutilised or imprecise contract can lead to missed deadlines and unmet terms that may cost you revenue.
The best contract management software systems keep the contract visible as the anchor for the agreement, keeping key dates and milestones top-of-mind throughout the project. Contract Lifecycle Management solutions help you gain a retrospective of the agreement, pinpointing why one agreement successfully met your expectations and why another failed to meet them. You’ll also see where you can spend less money and recover unpaid revenue. With these valuable insights, you can make those positive processes repeatable and instil those processes within your platform.
The time it takes to assemble contracts can drag out during the negotiation phase. That time is costly, let alone the impact of overextended negotiations on the project’s timeline. That time is costly. With templates, a ready-made clause library, and other contract-focused tools, you’ll increase the velocity of your contract drafting and keep your agreements on track.
When the result of an agreement falls short of expectations, it can be tough to know whether the error resulted from the contract itself, or from a deviance somewhere after its approval. CLM lets you evaluate each contract to spot inefficiencies that can cause work to drift off track.
What Are the Benefits of Contract Management Software?
Contract management software helps you do more business – and do your business better. Not only does a contract management software system give you more insights into your contract efficiencies, but it also helps you take action to quickly optimize for efficiency.
By harnessing contract management technology for your contract creation, you won’t have to start from square one each time you need to build a contract. As you optimize your contracts, you’ll be able to update your terms and clauses across your entire system automatically, rather than manually.
Contract management solutions lets collaborators make edits to a single document in real time. This ensures everyone is working from the same version of your contract and gives you greater ability to fine-tune its details.
Location is no longer an issue with a contract management software system. Collaborators can access your contract through a link that gives them access to edit the document. E-signatures and other features are not only easy to use but also allow contracts to be approved from anywhere.
Within your contract management platform, your contracts are text-searchable, simplifying research and allowing you to navigate a huge volume of data with precision.
In this era, all information is sensitive information. A contract management software system keeps your contracts safe behind digital encryption and other cybersecurity protocols.
Even digital versions of contracts can be lost if stored on a simple hard drive. Contract management software uses cloud-based storage so your contracts never fall into harm’s way.
Success shouldn’t be a burden. With a contract management software system in place, you can meet the demands of speed and efficiency that come with taking your business to the next level. As your business grows, your contracts and the processes around them will evolve. As new technologies emerge, they will present new opportunities for business and bring with them new legal and compliance requirements that you’ll need to abide by. A contract management platform lets you upgrade your protocols without missing a beat.
With the ability to edit and approve in real time, you extend your business’s reach and create connections with suppliers and vendors around the world. Signing a services agreement with a vendor or client across the globe is no more difficult than with a vendor across town.
An Endless Contract Repository
Over the years, you’ll work with thousands upon thousands of contracts. A contract management software system stores and organizes them all, keeping them from cluttering your space and processes while keeping them accessible with just a few clicks.
Support Your Contracts, Support Your Business
Contracts may feel like an obligatory part of your business, but they capture the foundational promise of every agreement. Because contracts are cemented before the work begins, and they are soon forgotten after work begins, it can be difficult to connect problems with the end result back to the initial contract.
Contracts heavily influence the outcome of the work and the success of your business. Bad contracts expose businesses to legal risk, waste revenue, and fail to support the objective of the agreement. Bad contract management practices prolong negotiation times, fail to identify inefficiencies, and cause businesses to lose money on fees, penalties, and unmet terms.
A contract management software system removes the manual burden to build better contracts faster, but speed is only one small part of it: the insights you gain into your contracts will often translate into policies and strategies that will inform other parts of your business. Like we said – contracts are everywhere, and the better equipped you are to examine, organise, access, and compare them, the better equipped you will be to run (and make) your business better.
You almost certainly use contracts now and you will almost certainly be using contracts in the future, so why not transform those contracts from burdens to assets with the power of Agiloft CLM solutions.
If you are interested in talking to us about a Contract Management Solution for you, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will happily set up an MS Teams call with you to talk about how SaaSam and Agiloft can help your business flourish!
Original article by Jeffery Miesbauer (https://www.agiloft.com/blog/what-is-contract-management/) additional words by C. Redpath