Streamlining contracts doesn’t end with a CLM system 

Learn how streamlining your contract process is much more than implementing a CLM system.

Do you feel alone in your struggle to manage contracts? Do you rely on a paper system and filing cabinets, or do you have a contracting process, but it seems to create more bottlenecks than solve them? You are not alone either way!  

“Streamline your contracting process.” Wow – we’ve all heard those words so often it almost sounds like nonsense. Streamlining is, by definition, “to put in order, organize, or to make simpler or more efficient”. Now, we can get on board with this. But you might be thinking that you already have a CLM system in place, so your contracting process is already streamlined?  

Not necessarily. 

What does it really mean to “streamline your contracting processes?” Does this idea apply only to companies that still use paper documents and filing cabinets? Or is it only for companies that have just purchased a CLM system? It can mean different things to different companies, depending on where you’re starting, as well as differences between industries.  

Many companies, big or small, depend on a manual contracting process. Aytan Leibowitz, co-founder and CEO of Spectrum Mobility and speaker at our recent webinar, said he’s even seen a large, well-known pharmaceutical company using a spreadsheet to track their contracts! Do you not feel so alone now?  

If you’re feeling the pain of a manual, ad hoc process, Leibowitz knows how to get you on a path to a streamlined process. Three areas of pain can be felt at this level of an ad hoc contracting process.  

Ad hoc contract request  

  • You’re getting incomplete information that delays the legal review and contract drafting,  
  • You suffer from a lack of visibility into contract statuses 
  • You don’t know for certain the obligations 
  • You have a manual process that is prone to error 

Inconsistent CLM process  

  • You experience delayed response times in contract drafting or review 
  • You deal with outdated contract language during negotiations  
  • Compliance vulnerabilities keep you up at night  

Contract storage  

  • Contracts are not kept in a central location  
  • There are difficulties tracking key milestones and deadlines
    It’s a challenge to manage contracts proactively   

All of this will sound familiar if you are at the first point in your journey to streamlining your contracting process. Don’t worry – you are not alone.  

However, these are not the only conditions that call for a better, more streamlined process. Even if you have a CLM system in place, there is always room for improvement.  

You might be surprised to hear that if you have an integrated CLM system, you can still be struggling with streamlining your contracting process.  

Do you struggle with the following? 

Contract Request Portal  

  • Your intake process is overly complex,  
  • You aren’t investing enough in internal training and support  
  • You don’t have the necessary integrations and may be incurring technical debt 

Mandatory CLM Process  

  • You are unable to facilitate effective cross-functional collaboration 
  • You haven’t invested in continuous improvement 
  • You don’t have a high level of employee engagement and/or provide them with a feedback loop 

Contract Repository  

  • There is a lack of post-signature obligation tracking but there are plenty of opportunities to create additional workflows, performance tracking, and KPIs. 

What is known as a Structured CLM process contains the elements above and is two steps beyond the ad hoc contract request level. There are a total of five levels to the CLM maturity model that Leibowitz works from. Think of the improvements you could accomplish by revolutionizing your processes. You may think it’s too hard to tackle (and you would be wrong), or you think there’s nothing that can be improved (you would be wrong there as well), or else you’re somewhere in between and realize that there is a better way  

These five maturity levels each feel different pains but there are also solutions, not all technological, that can move you closer towards the highest level of maturity. Even then, there will always be room for continuous improvement.  

Learn more about CLM maturity levels and streamlining your contracting processes. Watch our webinar now.

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