At ContractRoom, our mission is to make contracting easy and efficient. I recently came across an article by Cindy Cox in Inside Counsel about making the contracting process more efficient. The article, Contracting efficiency for your legal department in 3 easy steps, is a good read. And Cox’s advice dovetails perfectly with what ContractRoom offers.
1. Find a good balance between closing deals quickly and mitigating risk
Cox says that both minimizing risk and quickly signing the agreement can be at odds, and finding a balance can create an adversarial relationship. The solution: standardize the contract terms and clauses that you use most frequently. This does a few things—it significantly reduces the time you spend looking for contract language and cutting and pasting. It also ensures you are consistent. Finally, when a deal comes along that does not fit with your standard terms, it flags the deal to your team as a potential risk—alerting them to pay more attention on that deal. We designed ContractRoom to help you create that standardization and make the whole process more efficient.
2. Define a contract creation and review request process
Many contract negotiations and revisions happen on the fly—in emails nobody saves, in quick hallway conversations. This informal manual approach puts your contracts at risk, not to mention making the negotiation and contracting process inefficient. The solution: create a standard process for contract requests and make sure everyone in your organization knows what that process is. ContractRoom helps automate those processes for you—there is no guesswork, no trying to remember who said what and when. ContractRoom also provides complete transparency, keeping everyone in the loop and on task at all times.
3. Implement contract version control measures
This tip is our favorite, perhaps because everyone on our team has experience with inefficient redlining. Revision logistics are the bane of any contracting officer’s existence. When done manually, contract revisions can lead to miscommunications, documents that don’t match, and contract terms that you didn’t really mean to accept. The typical solution: at the very least, set up a standard written procedure for version control. Good first step, but we don’t think that is good enough. Version control only works if everyone recalls the procedure and remembers to do every step properly. ContractRoom removes the guesswork – it systematically tracks every change and revision in an easy to read manner, and accepting or rejecting changes is easy. It’s not simply version control; it’s overall contract management. And again, the process is transparent so you always know who has made, accepted, or rejected any change.
Contracting does not need to be difficult, inefficient, or stressful. All it takes is the right tools and better yet, the right end-to-end platform.
ContractRoom is as easy as 1, 2, 3... and that's why we call it #HappyContracting.