When implementing a CLM, one of the most common challenges faced by contract professionals is the lack of flexibility.

Most CLMs are rigid in implementation, requiring you to go through complex configurations in order to make changes that often end up costing you more than your initial investment.

But in today’s unpredictable legal environment, nimbleness is no longer an option — it’s a necessity.

Legal professionals can’t settle for a CLM that only meets their current business needs. As your organization continues to grow and adapt to shifting market forces, you need an agile CLM that can flex, extend, and integrate to help you thrive in an ever-evolving contract management landscape.

Associate General Counsel of Klein Tools, Melody Smith, addressed the importance of flexibility in contract management software in a recent  webinar. With Agiloft’s adaptable, scalable CLM, the renowned manufacturing tools company could confidently face operational risks and modify their capabilities to meet changing business objectives.

Flex, Extend, and Implement at Your Own Pace

Most companies are faced with a common dilemma when choosing a CLM to implement — They either start with a basic implementation that doesn’t offer them the flexibility to scale or an advanced CLM that requires them to roll out several complex functionalities in their initial implementation, risking disruption to existing workflows.

Prior to implementing Agiloft, Melody knew that they needed a CLM to hit the ground running immediately as they were operating a very lean legal department of three attorneys that were tasked with reviewing approximately 5,000 contracts every month. The company operated a manual contract review process and did not have a central repository to store, manage, and record their documents.

They initially partnered with their IT department to build a basic CLM setup, but the system’s limited functionality hindered the department’s ability to accelerate contract workflows.

“It just did not function and didn’t have the adaptability that we needed, as a legal department. It did not have the workflows we needed, and quite frankly, really slowed down the process rather than speeding it up,” Melody said.

As a legal department that was in their infancy with contract automation, they needed a CLM that allowed a phased implementation as they discovered what functionalities were necessary to meet their evolving business needs. That’s exactly what Agiloft provided.

“One of the key features that led us to choose Agiloft was the idea that we really didn’t know what we were doing. We looked at a couple of out of the box systems that were rigid. And that lack of flexibility was personally scary for me when you’ve never done this before.”

With Agiloft’s flexibility, Klein Tools had the liberty of choosing when and how they wanted to roll out the contract management system.

“We are currently in phase one of implementation, but it will probably be a three to four phased implementation…we’re going to get into additional phases as business needs necessitate,” she said.

Agiloft’s intuitive user interface also made it incredibly easy for Klein Tools to explore the configurable platform independently. They were able to develop their own workflows and contract management processes without needing to constantly consult the implementation team.

“We were maybe five months into using it at a corporate-wide level, and I think maybe we’ve had to rely on Agiloft [team] maybe three or four times during that time and the majority of the stuff we’ve been able to do ourselves,” Melody said.

Regardless, Agiloft’s implementation team were always available and efficient in providing assistance and adding capabilities upon request.

“And so, we went back to the Agiloft team and said ‘Okay, we need to change these things.’ And they were able, obviously, to do that within 10 minutes.”

End-to-end visibility throughout contract lifecycle

Even though they’re only in the first phase of Agiloft’s implementation, Klein Tools has already seen a significant reduction in operational inefficiencies and risk.

The CLM’s ability to configure different approval workflows for specific stakeholders meant that the legal department no longer had to worry about valuable contracts being signed off by unauthorized employees. Key stakeholders now have complete transparency and visibility into the entire lifecycle of each contract.

“Prior to us implementing the CLM, it was a barrage of emails probably three times a day, ‘Where are you on this contract?’ Whereas now, that end user logs onto the platform, and they can see its pending assignment to an attorney. It’s pending approval. It’s conditionally approved…it’s gone back to the outside party to negotiate the terms. Oh, now I look at it. It’s completely signed…I have visibility to the fully executed contract.”

Contract turnaround time decreases from days to minutes

One of the biggest benefits of partnering with Agiloft’s CLM was the improvement in contract turnaround time. Contracts that once took two to three days to review could now be approved in minutes.

“We’ve historically struggled, given the limited number of signatories in actually getting the documents signed…we now do that within seconds. Once I push it out for e-signature, the process is done for all parties, so I stamp my approval, the external third-party signs, the internal party signs, and we’re usually done within 60 seconds.”

“Our goal is to ensure that our internal stakeholders and clients are satisfied in both the content of our work and the turnaround that we’re giving them,” Melody said.

And with Agiloft’s adaptable, scalable, and flexible CLM, Klein Tools was able to achieve what they set out to accomplish.

Read the Case Study: How a Major Manufacturer Unlocked Efficiency and Cost Savings with CLM