Hope is not a strategy: CLM as a competitive advantage in Biotech and Pharma

Consider each step of a contract lifecycle and ask: am I depending on hope, or do I have a plan and the technology needed?

“Hope is not a strategy.”

This phrase has been used in the context of war, economy, and business, and it is certainly applicable to the legal environment. And given the complexity of a highly regulated industry like biotechnology or pharmaceuticals, you know there’s a real risk you’ll hear yourself or your team saying things like, “I hope we can quickly track compliance to any new regulations” or “I hope it doesn’t take us as long as last time we had to intake a bunch of new contracts” or even “I hope nothing gets missed in tracking the spend on this contract.”

Both pre- and post-signature activities can be filled with hopes that may or may not be realized. Having a truly connected CLM that the legal department and other departments depend on for their information regarding obligations, budgets, expiration dates, and compliance can be a game-changing competitive advantage. 

Consider each step of a full contract lifecycle and ask yourself: am I depending on hope, or do I have a solid plan of action and the technology to make it happen? 

Intake and Triage

If there was a recent merger or acquisition, how long did it take you to extract key terms and clauses? Are you hoping that by hiring more outside help or putting in more hours, the next time won’t be so painful? What if this could be done as you imported the existing contracts into a centralized CLM in bulk?   

Drafting and Negotiation

If you could use Word with track changes or even Google Docs with its real-time collaboration, and have them live inside your CLM, would that speed up the process of drafting and negotiating CDAs, CTAs, or any other type of contract? Are you hoping that all the changes and amendments are caught as contracts are created? 

Approval and Securing Signatures

If you could automate even the most complex approval routes (sequential, parallel, conditional) and integrate the most popular e-signature solutions, or ones that are homegrown or not as well-known, into your CLM, would that expedite contract executions? Are you hoping that any signatures needed are not somehow overlooked? 


Do you have secure and scalable storage for your contracts? Is your storage replicated and redundant? Do you ever worry about having to explain to the board or executives about your contract security? Do you just hope you’ll never have to? 

Obligation Tracking & Management

How do you monitor your contract obligations? How about how suppliers are performing against their obligations? Dean McAlister, Executive Vice President of Inizio Biotech says, “Recognizing red flags early on can help companies take corrective action at pivotal points to prevent the partnership from going wrong.” Can you automate your tracking alerts for budgets, spend, and detailed obligations management? Or do you have spreadsheets and calendars for tracking everything and hope you don’t miss anything? 

Contract Analysis and Reporting

Can you easily find intellectual property clauses or details of a collaboration agreement when asked to generate a report? Does your repository have analytic capabilities that allow you to measure KPIs and spot bottlenecks? Does your repository convert image files into searchable text? How much frustration and time would it save to be able to pinpoint your search and analyze your findings? Do you just hope the time it takes now to generate a report and analyze your findings lessens by some miracle?  

If you do have a CLM solution, how flexible is it? Did you have to bend to the confines of the solution or did your vendor work with you to understand how the system needed to work for you and your workflow? If they promised it would, did it? 

CLM could be your strategic advantage

In the biotech/pharma industries, your CLM could become your strategic advantage. Imagine if all departments were working from the same single “source of truth” in terms of data. Imagine your finance, procurement, sales, legal, R&D, and human resources, all in sync, with the same information but using it in the way they need to accomplish their business objectives. For example, since implementing Agiloft CLM, Young’s Holdings’ legal, procurement and marketing teams are accomplishing more work than ever before, completing larger volumes of work in less time.   

Imagine separate departments not having to depend on separate systems. With integration abilities for over 1,000 different applications along with direct integrations or via iPaaS to different platforms used, a proven CLM like Agiloft can be a game changer. La Jolla Pharmaceutical pulled together an integration into both their spend management software and signatory software, delivering a great success, they noted, due to the flexibility of the Agiloft platform and quick response of the Agiloft team. The Senior Document Management Associate of La Jolla at the time said, “It’s been a great experience…I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t give it a try.” 

Add in AI capabilities that identify problematic clauses as you import legacy or 3rd party contracts into the system. Train the system according to your business needs and deploy a force multiplier for the efficiency, accuracy, and quantity of work you can now provide to the whole organization.   

Have you considered a state-of-the-art, flexible CLM solution like Agiloft to be your competitive differentiator? We sure hope so.

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