Diamond Box

Contract Management: Your ‘Must-Have’ for 2020

We are currently living in an era in which we are expected to ‘do more with less’; legal departments are ever-increasing their workload and with it, the pile of contracts awaiting to be reviewed and/or to be taken action on. Inefficient contract management not only puts you and your business at risk, but clearly translates into incompetence and weaknesses within the organisation. More specifically, it can cost as much as 9% of your organisation’s annual revenue, according to IACCM.

A constant increase of data along with its particularly complex regulations to comply with, namely GDPR and PSD2, are also some of the day-to-day challenges that legal departments are facing nowadays. It is now more important than ever to ensure a high degree of data protection compliance within your business, by making sure all legal information is stored in one single and secure place, allowing easy access to such information when necessary.

It is now clear that general tech tools no longer suffice for a successful contract risk management, thus it might be time to add a real Contract Management solution (CM) to your organisation’s wish list.

Why adopt a CM solution ?
Your legal departments is probablymanaging a considerable amount of contracts and keeping their lifecycle adequately managed is draining and time-consuming, forcing you to ‘waste’ time on less profitable work. A CM solution, on the other hand, will streamline management of each of those contracts at every step of the contract lifecycle, a real gamechanger not only for your legal department but for the business in general.
Before you go out at adopt random stand-alone CM solution however, it is good practice to create a technology roadmap for your legal department. This will help you have a full overview of current painpointswithin your department and will help you to establish your strategic goals for the next 3-5 years. Your ideal CM solution will make Legal a more proactive and value-creating department for the business, while giving you the tools to prove these KPI’s to your CFO or the board.

A Business Competence for Legal Departments
Truth is, your legal department needs a central repository to store all contracts and legal data, making it easier and faster to access information not only for Legal but also for other departments. This will allow Legal and other stakeholders to concentrate on growing the business instead of wasting time looking for data and searching for insights. In addition, if your business decides to work with an all-in-one solution, your contract lifecycle (and all related sensitive information) remains within the same system from start to finish. In this manner your legal department is also exempt from worrying about having many components in multiple locations, as well as keeping the diverse integrations up-to-date.
Additionally, having a unified view of all contracts makes it possible to gain new insights at a glance (such as an overview of all contracts per counterpary), having a direct impact on resolving future problems or allowing a better negotiation position for future business opportunities.

Here’s how your organisation could work with an All-in-one solution – Legisway

  • The drafting procedure is sped up by using pre-defined templates – generated through automation tools such as Legal SmartDocuments and integrated with Legisway. This allows the business to easily draft contracts, as well as enhancing compliance and reducing the risk caused by usage of outdated or incorrect templates. In addition, you can give stakeholders access to these templates to ‘self-help’ themselves whenever it’s necessary.
  • During negotiations, all relevant documentation can be stored in the contract dossier whilst having control of negotiation status. In addition, you can set tasks for people to approve, whilst having overall control of who can access specific information.
  • With Legisway you can also use DocuSign, AdobeSign, or OneSpan integration to digitally sign documents, speeding up the process that normally takes days or weeks into simply a matter of minutes, ultimately improving efficiency and improving how fast you do business.
  • Easily (or automatically with e-signatures) store your contract into its specific dossier together with its relevant documentation.
  • Moreover, a CM solution prevents you from missing deadlines and reduce cost associated with this by providing you with automated email alerts for contract renewals or expirations. Have them sent directly to the business owners to take action instead and save even more time.

Adequately managing on-going duties established in your contracts will prevent your business from facing high costs deriving from those missed opportunities, it will reinforce greater compliance and mitigation of risks and will transform legal into a strategic partner for the business.
Ultimately and not surprisingly, your solution will improve your Quote To Cash, by substantially enhancing your efficiency and eliminating weaknesses if your current processes .

Conclusion
Your CM solution will change the perception of technology within Legal, as well as the perception of Legal with regards to other stakeholders. Legal departments will no longer be seen as a burden for the business but an essential partner for the organisation, driving greater efficiency and productivity with a Legal Tech solution.
Many organisations are already adopting Legal Tech tools, in order to stay on top of their business competitiveness. If you don’t want your legal department to lag behind, now is the time to add ‘implement a CM solution’ to your 2020 New Year’s resolutions.

 

Maurits Annegarn
Wolters Kluwer
Maurits.annegarn@wolterskluwer.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/maurits-annegarn/

Source: Maurits Annegarn | Wolters Kluwer | Themes: Contract Management: Your ‘Must-Have’ for 2020, Varia ’19