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The status quo needs to go!
Sometimes by choice, but quite often due to a lack of budget, lawyers tend to get stuck doing everything by hand. For corporate legal employees and other professionals who manage contracts, this usually means manually drafting, organizing, reviewing, and tracking hundreds or thousands of contracts and related documents. Now, this is a huge problem. Manual contract creation and management are needlessly time-consuming, costly, and risky. Legacy contract management methods and systems present a whole host of challenges, including:
▪ Outdated tools
▪ Tools that weren’t designed specifically for contract management
▪ Inaccurate or missing data
▪ Missed deadlines
▪ Difficulty enforcing standard language
▪ Inefficient workflows
▪ Inconsistent processes
▪ Security risks
▪ Difficulty collaborating across functional silos
▪ Lack of version control
▪ Overlooked red flags
These problems probably look overwhelming, and they often feel that way to the people working in legal, contract management, or compliance teams who have to handle them on a daily basis. However, staying in that rut is a choice that business leaders can avoid. There’s a better way: contract automation.
What is contract automation?
Contract automation can be defined as the use of contract management software to standardize and align business processes related to contract lifecycle management (CLM) and analytics. Corporate Legal teams and other departments that usually manage high volumes of commercial agreements save time and effort that they used to spend on repetitive, menial tasks by using contract automation software to:
• Create contracts
• Establish automated workflows
• Standardize contract templates
• Define audit trails
• Cut down on manual data entry, search, review, tracking, and reporting
Automated contract management allows businesses to focus on the substance of their agreements, rather than waste time and energy on inefficient, manual contracting tools and processes. And that focus helps teams foster stronger business relationships with their partners across the table.
ADVANTAGES OF AUTOMATING CONTRACT MANAGEMENT
Here are some ways in which contract automation can help you boost your organization’s performance:
Streamline contract workflows and processes
Automating contract management significantly reduces the manual labor required for contract creation and negotiation. Deloitte reports that businesses lower their contract management costs by 60% when they adopt intelligent contract management tools. However, it’s not just about cutting costs. By reducing the number of worker hours spent on monotonous and routine work, you free your team to spend more time on higher-value strategic projects and planning.
Improve accuracy and visibility of business data
Managing all your contracts in a unified, automated system consolidates the important data they contain, establishing a single source of truth regarding your business relationships. When you use a contract management system (CMS) that automatically tracks and generates reports on your contract data, you no longer need to worry about digging through troves of files to find answers to questions, second-guessing the accuracy of data entered manually in a spreadsheet, or finding time to pull together reports for business executives.
Facilitate cross-functional collaboration and communication
Automating different contract management processes such as approval workflows reduces the amount of back-and-forth communication required to coordinate cross-departmental review of different sections of a contract. Software features such as role-based access (RBAC) ensure that only people with the right set of permissions/privileges see a particular document. The best legal management software further enhances security and efficiency by enabling you to direct colleagues straight to the specific sections that they need to see. Automation also helps legal teams work more efficiently with contacts outside the organization. Many corporate deals sit on hold while workers chase down signature pages and signatories. A good legal software platform, however, can send an automatic notification to the authorized signatories to submit their e-signatures as soon as the parties sign off on the terms of the agreement. These features take the hassle out of legal document generation, allowing teams to develop and nurture better business relationships instead of struggling with mountains of paperwork.
Mitigate risk and enforce compliance standards
According to a study, businesses lose an average of $15 million annually in the forms of lost revenue and productivity, fines, and other setbacks stemming from compliance issues. This is where contract automation comes in. Accurate contract automation software can direct you straight to the contract data that you need, on demand. With that real-time data at your fingertips, you can take timely action to rectify compliance gaps.
That’s not all. Whether you’re searching for force majeure clauses in response to a global pandemic or updating provisions related to new, internal company standards, contract automation can help you do it more quickly and accurately.
Eliminate unwanted spends
Vendor management and procurement teams that have to manage hundreds of contracts across multiple offices often find themselves spending money on vendors whose contracts they wanted to cancel, or that provide redundant products or services. A good CMS lets you manage all of your vendor and supplier agreements securely in one place, including both contracts generated in the system and those written on third-party paper. Automated notifications regarding upcoming renewal deadlines empower you to stay on top of your vendor relationships instead of constantly trying to keep up.
Contract automation requires the right set of tools. Simply uploading your files to cloud storage won’t help you automate your contract management if you still need to do everything manually. Beveron’s Smart Legal Counsel leverages powerful and intuitive features to provide one of the best contract management platforms in the industry. Combined with a Contract Repository that integrates seamlessly with cloud storage and document management systems, and intuitive legal automation features that accommodate the way your team works, rather than forcing you to adapt. Beveron’s platform augments lean teams, making them faster and more effective at contract creation, management, and analysis. You can boost your operational efficiency and enhance the accuracy of your business data, while drastically reducing the time you spend drafting and managing contracts.