This year, things “not going to plan” has become the new normal.  

But what’s the solution to facing a challenging market? The answer may be found in your contracts. 

While only 10% of contract language focuses on what’s being delivered, the other 90% is a goldmine of business-critical intelligence dedicated to what happens when things don’t go as planned. 

Learning to harness that 90% to help mitigate risk and drive new strategic value from contracts in an uncertain future is the topic of Agiloft’s new webinar with guest speaker and Senior Forrester Analyst Alla Valente and CLM Futurist and Agiloft Chief Product Officer Andy Wishart.

In the webinar, Valente and Wishart, two of the world’s leading experts in contracting and risk management, explain why enterprises need to connect the data that is hidden in their contracts to key people across an organization. With the right systems and processes, that contract data becomes business-critical intelligence and insights that ultimately deliver more strategic value. This ensures contract data is acted upon and delivers the intelligence to optimize wider business outcomes.  

“In a year of slowed global growth, record inflation, increased risk, and supply chain issues, there is heightened interest amongst enterprise organizations in supporting sustainability, resiliency, and enterprise agility,” Valente said. “Companies are therefore exploring how artificial intelligence technologies and sophisticated contract lifecycle management (CLM) platforms and other governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) solutions can improve risk management. Businesses run on contracts and those contracts need to be managed effectively and, as Andy suggests, optimized, if a business is going to thrive.” 

Wishart highlights four critical steps to pivot from efficiency to resilience with CLM:  

1. Create the foundation. Digitize your contracts.

Enterprises should digitize contracts and manage them with a customized CLM, giving you a unified solution to manage contract sustainability, consistency, completeness, searchability, ownership, and risk management—in one place. This approach gives your Legal team a line of sight to risk and business obligations, which, in turn, helps every department make better, more nimble business decisions and negotiate from an informed position.

Need to gain a real-time view on contractual risk at a contract portfolio level? A CLM can help. Need to identify revenue opportunities from the data in your sell-side contracts? A CLM can help. Whatever the use case, organizations need a flexible CLM system that allows teams to make these adjustments quickly. 

2. Unlock the limitless strategic value of your CLM with simple, connected experiences.

Successful CLM implementations connect multiple stakeholders across an organization who initiate or interact with their contracting process. This includes Legal teams, who perform the work on individual contracts, Sales teams, who own the relationship with the customer on the sell-side, and Procurement team, who own the relationship with the supplier.  

Ensuring the CLM provides simple, connected experiences to the tools these teams use daily is key. The data from your CLM must also flow to the downstream operational and transactional systems that your teams are using to do their jobs. Achieving these connections has historically been difficult, but advances in no-code, drag-and-drop integration platforms means platforms, like Agiloft, can now provide the connectors to 1000’s of these platforms and enable the seamless flow of data across business functions.

3. Analyze your contracts to extract deep, strategic insights.

Ensure your enterprise CLM provides the tools teams need to make sense of their contract data – from data visualizations, data extraction, and semantic search, to tracking the performance of a contract during its active life. The artificial intelligence capabilities of a CLM will underpin its ability to get deep contract insights from unstructured contract data that will ultimately inform your business strategy. Transforming the unstructured world of contract language into structured digital assets is central to a business’ ability to transition toward achieving more strategic outcomes from your CLM.

4. Transform contract performance, enhance business decisions, and improve customer experiences.

Once your organization has turned its unstructured agreements into accessible digital assets, which represent the DNA of their organization’s relationships, you can monitor the performance of those relationships at a meta level, giving them“Tweet Shift” agility and nimbleness.

For example, if a CLM connects to an adjacent ERP system and determines that a supplier has not delivered goods by a certain date, the CLM can alert the relevant teams so they can course correct. A CLM can also flag early signals of a future risk on contractual performance. Leading CLM solutions can automate compliance and allow proactive remediation of any non-compliant contracts by connecting to trusted sources of legislative or regulatory intelligence and then flagging any changes on the horizon. 

Going beyond transforming contract performance, these steps outline how to enhance business decisions and improve customer experience, enabling your business to not just survive, but thrive in today’s challenging market headwinds. 

To see how Agiloft can help transform your contract management process and save an average of 9.2% of revenue a year, click here.