In a fast-paced and competitive business landscape, organizations strive to reduce costs while improving business performance. One of the important business processes, contract management, proves to be a very time-consuming element of business, which makes the lookout for a contract management tool an obvious consideration.
Contrary to what you may think, contracts are not only handled by the Legal or the Contracts teams but also the end-users like the IT administrators, executives, and more. Most end-users have a tough time getting to grips with contract terminology and the more technical aspects like contract reviewals, analysis, request management, etc. This can be tackled with a more open collaboration with business users and redesigning the contracts into simple language and user-friendly visual pieces of data.
“Even legal departments of medium-sized companies often manage tens of thousands of contracts. Digital Contract Lifecycle Management is an essential function of a modern legal department.”
1. The Administrative Experience – For day-to-day contract operations
The Contract Administrator experience enables strong attention to detail along with the ability to discover potential risks for your company. It also analyzes contract data for reducing costs and increasing profits, while ensuring compliance with the law. Usually, these contracts include the sale or purchase of products, goods, supplies, services, or materials.
- Enables the management of a large number of renewals, issues, co-ordinating among stakeholders and decision-makers
- As many contract teams fall short of resources, CLM systems should cater to quick, high-performance contract tasks like executing hundreds of contracts/per day
2. The Business Owner/Stakeholder Experience – The contract decision-makers
The business owner/stakeholder experience keeps in mind the busy executives who need to access their contracts data and insights on the go. It facilitates a higher level of contracting experience giving them a single location to view contracts, and the history of actions. It allows them to automate processes like contract administration and onboarding vendors, setting automated notifications when a contract requires their attention, and more.
- Caters to busy executives by giving them real-time notifications about reminders, renewals, etc.
- Critical information such as past issues, orders, performance, purchases, etc. can be accessed anytime, anywhere
3. The End-User Experience – The portalized experience
Contract Management is not usually just for the Legal, by the Legal. Your Sales, Procurement, or Business teams would also be handling some aspects of the contract lifecycle before your Legal or Contracts specialists assist them further. Usually, the lengthy Legalese is too complex for them, so it is essential to give them a contracting experience that facilitates collaboration with other teams in the business and enables a portalized experience with features like pre-approved contract templates, automated renewals, request management, etc.
- Enables the support experience by helping the end-users create contacts, submit requests, negotiate, and more
- Allows self-service tools to automate contract workflows, pre-approved contract templates, custom dashboards, key alerts, etc. helping reduce contract cycle time and increase visibility across the contract lifecycle
4. The Legal & Compliance Experience – Service desk and contract escalations support
Dealing with escalations related to contracts is a major issue for legal teams, especially when the no. of contracts they are dealing with is huge. Manually managing such escalations and creating a standardized contract creation process to eliminate such escalations is difficult. Hence, giving legal teams an easy and automated way to manage compliance and contract escalations-related issues is necessary.
- The contract escalations and compliance support help in dealing with escalations and reviewing contracts.
- Helps in standardizing contract management process by analyzing contracts, queries, negotiations, and solutions
5. The Customer Experience – Before & post contract signature
The customers expect the post-contract signing experience to be as good as the pre-signing experience. Hence, it is essential that the customers get an enhanced experience for contract amendments or acceptances and manage post-signing obligations and renewals.
- Better experience during contract negotiations and accepting terms before final approval
- Taking care of contract amendments post signing along with timely management of all obligations and renewals
6. The Supplier Experience – Before & post contract signature
Nurturing relationships and long-term commitments are essential elements of scaling a business. It becomes more important when dealing with procurement and supplier relations. Proper vendor management goes a long way in improving business relations. Thus, ensuring a smooth CLM experience for suppliers before and after contract approval is necessary.
- Establishing a library of standard language contract templates reduces the time and money you spend on the contracting process
- Establishing a central location for storing your contracts digitally along with regular monitoring and smart search reduce the amount of time and effort needed to find and review contracts periodically
When it comes to improving the contracting experience for all types of contract users, it is essential for teams working on contracts to analyze and act on the valuable business data stored in your contracts for which analytics play an important role.
Data analytics turns data into business intelligence – enabling seamless contract authoring for a qualitative analysis of your content. It also enables Natural Language Processing for using AI to understand human languages, auto-tagging, and sorting contracts, and analytic CLM for better contract performance by looking into the opportunities, risks, and obligations related to the contracts.