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5 easy steps to speed up legal contract management

Published On : January 2, 2023

Legal contract management is an essential component of doing business. However, if rushed or done correctly, it may prevent the company from legal liability. Manual monitoring techniques can add time to each contract negotiation and management level. Effective contract administration, on the other hand, reduces bottlenecks and hazards for your legal operations by building a simple method for handling each phase of the contract process.

1. Keep all of your contracts in one source

Delays are unavoidable if your contracts are scattered across many platforms, restricted by permissions, or buried amid older versions. One of the most significant challenges in legal contract administration is the need for more visibility. Everyone in an organization prefers to direct all contract questions to the legal department. However, legal may only sometimes have simple access to the original file. This not only causes significant delays anytime a question occurs, it also puts the organization in danger of failing to meet contractual obligations. Legal departments cannot provide advice on a contract to which they do not have access.

Solve the visibility issue with legal contract management software that stores all contracts (and prior versions) in a single, easy-to-access contract repository. You can also use the software to create user groups and apply security permissions to individual contracts or accounts as needed. Contract management software can also assist you in creating an audit trail by monitoring which changes were made when they were made and who made them. Version control allows everyone to see how each contract is progressing.

2.Create a legal contract management procedure.

When people submit anything to legal, they frequently feel as though it has vanished into thin air. Nobody verifies receipt gives updates, or tells anyone when the job will be finished. This not only causes frustration but also slows down the process. Legal needs to waste time responding to identical status update requests whenever someone pings the legal department for an update.

•Make the procedural steps public.

Avoid difficulties and delays by following a process that clearly describes each phase of the contract lifecycle, providing transparency for all parties involved. Each team member can see where any specific contract is in the process and may solve any obstacles that keep it from routing to the next stage by designing strategies for new contract requests, updates to an existing contract, or a missing signature, for example. They can also receive a comprehensive view of everything that has to happen during the contract management process, from start to completion. This may assist them in providing updates and timeframes to third-party providers while they await their final deal.

•Establish performance metrics to monitor progress.

Establishing a process also allows you to associate performance metrics with each step of a specific workflow. As you continue to use a contract management system, it will measure the average time spent per matter and the time spent on each workflow step.

These metrics offer you the information you need to estimate how long actions will take to complete, such as two days for new contract requests or five days for contract revisions. A contract management system will provide a clear view of how your internal team handles various situations, providing you with a realistic baseline for setting external expectations in the future.

3. Make contracts smarter by automating them.

If you have to write a given contract once, you'll have to do it again. Automate elements of the contract creation process to save time and effort, especially for contracts with uniform wording and sections. Automation represents a rising possibility to reduce expenses and boost departmental efficiency.

Using the correct legal contract management solutions, you may reduce time-consuming back-and-forth communication with playbooks for each type of contract. Many templates include self-service options for basic agreements. Instead of running to legal every time sales gets a new client, sales representatives answer a few questions, enter a few data points, and an automatically generated pre-approved contract will be generated.

4. Configure integrations with third-party systems.

Many contracts will require data to be transferred to upstream or downstream systems. Legal teams may manually update records across several systems without integrations. Alternatively, they may wind up relying on colleagues in other departments to do so, needing clarification on what information has been changed, in which system, and when.

5. Utilize data to boost efficiency.

For in-house teams, data is one of the most powerful levers. Once you've consolidated your contracts, defined your processes, described your metrics, and set up your integrations, you can leverage the abundance of data you've gathered to improve your contract management efficiency

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