Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) automation is one of the most crucial tools you can place in your toolkit as a company. However, it is never enough to understand only how to automate a few tasks.
Instead, to get the most out of your CLM automation process, you need to decipher the capabilities of your contract software and follow the best practices while using it.
In previous years, teams often had to perform all phases of the contracting process manually. This total hands-on experience meant you had to consistently track contract dates and milestones while remembering other pivotal pieces of information about the contract. Unfortunately, this constant reliance on human memory often led to angry employees and outdated contract terms.
Today, the realm of contract management is tremendously different. With automation on your side, you can use software to serve reminders about critical contract dates, ensure all your agreements match the legal and regulatory compliance laws, and track any essential milestones.
In essence, automation allows your company and contract team to transform the way you handle contracts. By relying less on human memory and expensive legal consultants, your team can save money and become more efficient.
Here are some of our best tips that can help you get the most out of our contract management automation:
Before CLM tools burst onto the scene, most teams scattered their contracts throughout their organization. It was not uncommon to find one agreement in a filing cabinet deep in the basement, another on a paper tray, and one on a shared drive. This haphazard nature of storing and managing documents made tracking deadlines tedious and laborious and is one of the core reasons why contract reminders have remained a critical CLM automation feature.
These reminders help keep your team’s finger on the pulse by sending a notification for any upcoming renewals, expirations, or key milestones. Once your team receives an alert, they can take bold steps to act accordingly, ensuring they are never out of the loop. So, always be sure that you set up this feature to get the most out of your contract management process.
With automated alerts on your side, you can remain confident that your team will never miss a deadline. This feature will also help ensure that your organization always has the upper hand when renegotiating contract terms, as you will have had time to prepare.
Your contract workflow signifies the total process of creating a binding agreement, starting from setting out the legal regulations to getting a signature and finally executing the contract. As you walk through this process, the document often changes hands between different stakeholders and teams for approval.
In organizations that don’t utilize automation, it is often challenging for a team to know what desk a contract should land on after playing their part. This lack of clarity often results in a lot of guesswork that sees contracts bouncing between one team to the other, resulting in delays. Fortunately, by utilizing contract management workflow automation, you can visualize the entire workflow from start to finish.
Visualizations allow everybody handling the contract to understand their role and what desk they will need to pass the document to once they have played their part.
Contract workflow automation is critical for understanding who will approve the contract, who will act as the chief negotiator, what signatories are needed, and so on. Immediate clarity on what to do with a contract once you receive it helps ensure that agreements don’t linger in the bottom trenches of inboxes and delays become a thing of the past.
It can never be possible for your team to get the most out of your CLM automation if your company still has contracts sitting in dusty file cabinets, overlooked paper trays, and worn-out boxes. To fully dive into the world of automating your contract process, you need to ensure that you move all your files to your CLM software.
Fortunately, most contract management tools make it tremendously easy to move your documents onto their platform, so it should be a breeze. In most cases, it is as easy as scanning a file and dragging them onto your browser. However, this will depend on the software you choose. Some CLM tools also make it easy to transform old contracts into digital text, allowing you to search for them whenever you want by using a keyword.
Going paperless will help boost any automation process you may already be running, such as receiving notifications, as all old contracts will immediately become included in the platform.
One of the best ways to get the most out of the automation of contract management is to have an efficient and working template. Today, when most contract teams want to create a new agreement, they often dive into a stash of old contracts and copy/paste or engage in a long call with a legal team.
In some cases, some team members may even go as far as making up the contract terms themselves, which is a slippery slope that may lead to compliance issues in the future. Naturally, going through this process each time is tremendously painful and is one of the core reasons automated contract templates are here to stay.
These templates are a master version of a contract, which your legal team would have crafted for your company. With these in place, any recruiter or hiring manager can quickly play a game of fill-in-the-blank on a case-by-case basis, making it a fabulous way to save time and effort.
There is little point in adopting a contract management automation tool if you and your organization do not make the most out of it. Today, most contracting software is bursting with various features that will help reduce stress and simplify your life by saving time and energy. Understanding how to get the best of your automation tool will also help reduce the chances of any delays occurring throughout the contract’s lifecycle.