Let’s consider this familiar situation: it’s the last day of the fiscal quarter, and everyone in your company involved in the contract process is frantically working on extensions, approvals, and special requests. Since each contract is being reviewed and adjusted manually by the legal team, it could very well be the wee hours of the morning before anyone gets to head home – especially if anything unexpected comes up.
These last-minute quarterly efforts inevitably lead to confusion and inconsistencies at some point, even with the most experienced employees on the job. Not only that, the process takes up valuable time that could be spent on higher-level activities.
The office of the general counsel is tasked with reducing risk, ensuring compliance, and supporting the business in a host of other ways. Using their finite resources to read through contracts and make sure each one meets certain standards is simply not an efficient use of time or expenditure. Look for early signs of contract overload in the form of contract bottleneck.
The trend throughout industries is to move to digital cloud tools, like contract lifecycle management, that offer automation and process support across the enterprise. There are two major benefits to using an ECLM approach to deal with your company’s contracts. First, it reduces the amount of manual work required to author and update contracts, leading to fewer errors; and second, it makes contract management less reactive and more proactive with tools to extract meaningful data and identify areas of heightened risk and potential cost reductions.
Contract authoring and management that won’t keep you up at night
Corporate counsel knows better than anyone else that each contract they write has to be completely precise and airtight to be an asset to the company; and missing renewal dates and other important items in an existing contract could mean losses and risk increased litigation down the road.
Using the right CLM system, authoring and managing contracts throughout their lifecycles becomes a much simpler and more streamlined process. With customized libraries of standardized clauses and mandatory elements, along with automatic notification of upcoming deadlines and other important dates, your legal teams can focus on the big picture rather than the time-consuming minutiae of each contract. This keeps those late-night contract review sessions to a minimum and makes contract management feel less reactive overall.
Optimize your operations with complete contract overview
Contracts are the DNA of a company’s operations, so having a full view of your company’s contracts can provide a complete picture of its general health. When general counsel can see an overview of all of the enterprise’s contracts and easily search for potential trouble spots, they’re able to be more proactive in identifying areas of risk and unrealized opportunity. Not only does CLM software provide the legal team with more time by reducing manual workload, it gives them the tools to make that extra time more productive for the enterprise as a whole.
As increasing strategic insight and support is required from corporate legal departments, avoiding contract overload by streamlining data management is becoming absolutely critical. A good CLM tool, integrated across the enterprise, allows the office of the general counsel to do its job of mitigating risk and ensuring compliance more effectively.
Watch our webinar featuring Tim Cummins from IACCM. You’ll walk away with practical tips on driving better contract governance with contract workflow, watch now.
Contact us for more information on how CLM software can help your company operate more efficiently.