Why You Need a Clause and Template Library
By Karen Howe
If you’ve been wondering why you should bother to set up clause and template libraries for generating contracts, read on.
Clause and Template Libraries Make It Fast and Easy to Generate Contracts
Does this sound familiar? Somebody sits down to draft a new contract, maybe an NDA. Their first task might be to locate the latest version of your standard non-disclosure agreement. If you have templates scattered in various folders across your network, it could take time to find the correct folder. Once found, it could take additional time to figure out which is the currently approved template. Or maybe you don’t have templates right now. People might be resorting to simply copying and modifying the last contract they drafted.
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Maintaining a library of approved templates accessible with a single click right from within your contract management software application eliminates the time spent looking for the right folder and the guesswork about which templates are okay to use.
Clause and Template Libraries Streamline the Contract Drafting Process
After creating the initial document, there’s often manual work involved to add the required custom elements (company names, addresses and so forth) or substitute alternative language for standard clauses when special situations occur such as using a different Best Efforts clause for an agreement in California vs. one in New York.
Having a library of clauses that utilize merge fields for pulling information in from data fields and templates that support clause rules (to select clauses based on some condition) cut down the work needed to whip a contract into shape before it can be sent out for approval. This also reduces the chance for manual errors since you don’t need to retype information that already exists in the system.
Clause and Template Libraries Put You in Control
If you are the one tasked with making sure your organization’s contracts comply with standards, having a central location in which to maintain clauses and templates is a huge advantage. From revising the language in a single clause to designing a template, we give you tools to ensure that only up-to-date, approved language makes it into your contracts.
For example, creating a template is simple using the Template Designer. Select clauses from your library, then apply auto-numbering where needed, create sub-clauses, drag and drop to change clause order or define rules for when a clause should be included in the contract. Editing a clause automatically updates it in all templates where it is used.
If you’re not taking advantage of clause and template libraries to generate contracts, users may be forced to spend unnecessary time locating the proper templates or manipulating contracts that could easily be automatically generated through intelligent use of merge fields and clause rules. The risks are great that your contracts could include non-approved, obsolete, or unenforceable language.
About the Author
Karen Howe is the Training Director at Contract Logix, but these days her alternate title is “Video Queen”. She’s hard at work building a library to how-to videos aimed at users of the Premium and Express products. When not taking screen captures or editing video, she’s anxiously awaiting spring here in the Northeast.