5 Ways CLM Software Improves Scheduling of Contract Management Processes
When analyzing areas of opportunity within contract management processes across your enterprise, lack of data can lead you into false analysis. In an April 2017 blog post on the IACCM’s Contracting Excellence Journal, Craig Conte, VP, Head of Contract Compliance & Optimization (CCO) at Capgemini, provides a great example:
“A company I saw believed their horrible days outstanding for cash was because their sales force was signing awful payment terms. The contracts had net 30-day payment terms on average, with an average net of 37 days across a spectrum of EUR 500M of revenue. But cash was coming in at 65 days. We ran a little experiment and quickly showed them it wasn’t the contracts that were to ‘blame,’ but rather the collections issues.”
Conte’s example shows the power of real contract data and its ability to lead to better solutions. When it comes to the scheduling of contract management processes, CLM software provides those valuable insights into real contract data to improve processes. Here are 5 ways in which CLM software streamlines scheduling of contract management processes.
- Shows Task Relationships
Two common pitfalls in contract management scheduling are lack of transparency in task responsibilities and failure to outline opportunities for starting tasks before prerequisites are complete.
The first item may create problems not only within the enterprise but also with external parties, including the client. While meeting minutes are useful to recap a meeting, they only provide a snapshot of current processes and not of the contract lifecycle as a whole. This in turn brings up the second item: CLM software provides actionable insights into the entire process, allowing contract managers to save time by starting work on simultaneous processes.
- Forces Early Deadlines
It’s a fact that dashboards make contract management easier. Think of CLM software as the full wall calendar schedule hanging on your conference room wall. It brings a project schedule to life by highlighting all upcoming deadlines. However, CLM software goes a step further than a wall calendar because the software is accessible 24/7 and triggers automated email alerts. Both features are great ways to prevent any cases of “out of sight, out of mind” and maintain an overall sense of urgency across processes.
- Boosts Commitment to Completion
One of the benefits of an enterprise contract management system is the boost in commitment to completion. Using authoring, review and approval phases with the systematic approach from CLM software, your team will increase its contract lifecycle completion rate. One example is the streamlining of contract execution through e-signature software. Through the use of this CLM software feature, the Office of the State of Hawaii was able to reduce the average time for a state document to be signed from 4-12 days down to 129-181 minutes!
Through a big accomplishment such as this one, users of CLM software receive hard proof of its ability to accelerate contract processes. In turn, those users are very likely to explore additional features to accomplish similar time or cost savings in other processes.
- Centralizes Contract Data Storage
CLM software doesn’t just show task relationships, it drills down into the specifics of each task. Tasks can be customized to include all kinds of data, including scanned files and notes from other users. All that data can be accessed remotely and viewed by designated team members. By having constant access to the latest data, contract managers on the road are able to make more informed decisions and respond to client questions in real time.
- Facilitates More Efficient Communications
The centralization of all contract data allows contract managers to point out the who/what/when of every task. Since there is no delay in waiting for a file to be pulled out of a physical cabinet or to pass review from the legal team (since the uploaded files are always up-to-date!), contract managers are able to assign and receive tasks with more detailed information.
Email isn’t a replacement for CLM software because it slows down contract drafting, lacks check-in/check-out features, lacks a centralized document library, and doesn’t provide visibility of the latest contract version. A robust enterprise-level CLM solution has MS Word and Outlook natively built into its system. For example, the Contract Logix contract management software system fully utilizes any edition of MS Word and Outlook and all of their word processing features (except save). By leveraging widely used tools, a CLM solution accelerates the learning curve of users across all levels of proficiency.
The Bottom Line
By leveraging CLM software, your organization can improve the scheduling of its contract management processes and accelerate the execution of contracts.
Image Credit: Erich Ferdinand