Every day, business leaders hear sales pitches for tools and solutions that promise to optimize their business performance. There is a certain appeal to finding a "magic bullet" that can simplify the business of doing business. Most of the time, however, there are no magic bullets. As often as not, adopting a new "solution" equates to creating with a new set of problems that need solving.
We can hear you thinking "This is an odd sales pitch for a software developer." We get why you might think that, but here's our pivot point: there are a few business challenges that have become so entrenched, so ingrained in our commercial culture, that we think of the problems they present as intractable. When someone comes along offering a solution to those challenges, business leaders rightly perk up and listen because the solution holds the potential to transform how business is done, rather than merely to optimize something that already works reasonably well.
Contract lifecycle management software is one of those innovations.
Challenges Contract Lifecycle Management Software Addresses
For generations, the fundamental challenge of contract lifecycle management has been risk minimization. For as long as anyone in business can remember, each contract has represented a discrete transaction to be performed and enforced. As a business grows, more contracts get made, more employees have authority to enter into them, and more customers have more varied demands for what the contracts should contain. With this expansion comes the potential for a range of business risks:
- Inconsistencies and conflicts between agreements;
- Misjudgments and errors in important terms, such as mispricing and unrealistic performance timelines.
- Overlooked obligations and missed contractual milestones;
- Failures to enforce counter-party obligations;
- Expired "zombie" contracts with unenforceable terms or provisions reformed by local law.
Historically, meeting these challenges has required a near-obsessive dedication to organization and oversight by a team of employees who fight a never-ending, and usually losing, battle with contracting "mistakes" (for lack of a better term).
Contract lifecycle management software holds the promise to stop those mistakes from happening. And that's just the beginning of the benefits it can deliver for today's large, complex enterprises.
How Contract Lifecycle Management Software Tackles Age-Old Problems
Think of contract lifecycle management software as an end-to-end re-imagining of how your business interacts with the body of contracts it enters into. As the name suggests, contract lifecycle management software supplies tools for planning, negotiating, executing, performing, and terminating contracts in every facet of your business. But that's not all. It also compiles your business's entire body of past, existing, and future agreements into a single body of valuable business knowledge, which gives you the ability to improve and modify your contracting as your business grows and evolves. Here's what we mean.
Contract lifecycle management software facilitates smart, efficient assembly, negotiation, and execution of contracts. It draws upon your business's existing body of agreements to make it simple and intuitive to create a new contract from scratch, or modify an existing contract for a new contractual relationship. It provides for a platform in which you and your contract counterparty can interact and negotiate a shared agreement – no more emailing evolving versions of an agreement back-and-forth. And contract lifecycle management software includes eSignature functionality to make signing and circulating the executed version of an agreement efficient and simple.
Making a contract is only the beginning, of course. Contract lifecycle management software also gives you the tools to monitor the performance of a contract, both your own and your counter-party's. With contract lifecycle management software, you can track contracting milestones to make sure you meet your obligations on time and in the manner prescribed. Likewise you can track the other party's adherence to the contract's terms. And, you can set critical reminders for yourself so that you never miss a deadline for exercising a right under any agreement, and so that a contract never expires and lives on as a "zombie." Think of contract lifecycle management software as the best administrative assistant imaginable, able to monitor the performance of as many contracts as you want to throw at it, 24/7/365.
Contract lifecycle management software also performs a higher level task that may have previously been unimaginable. Using advanced analytics, it parses and organizes the terms of your entire body of business agreements, allowing you to look at them as an integrated body of information from which you can draw insight and plan future decisions. Contract lifecycle management software permits you to perform complex queries of your past and existing contracts to determine how the "market" for any particular contract term has evolved over time. It allows you to track the quality and execution of contracts negotiated by particular employees or business divisions. It even gives you the power to spot conflicting provisions in agreements so that you can prevent problems from occurring.
A Truly Transformative Solution
In short, contract lifecycle management software is not just another "business optimization" platform. Instead, it represents a fundamental transformation of how modern enterprises manage the contractual relationships that set the course for the growth and evolution of their business. With contract lifecycle management software, your business can develop a uniform, internally-consistent body of agreements, and a streamlined, efficient workflow for how your employees "bind" the company to a deal. The drafting errors and conflicting obligations that have plagued the contracting process in large businesses for decades will become a thing of the past.
What's more, contract lifecycle management software gives the c-suite a set of tools with which to re-imagine contracts as a source of business knowledge and analysis. A business's body of contracts can sit side-by-side with, say, sales data and employee productivity metrics as a tool for measuring how the business performs.
Ready to try a contract lifecycle management solution? The team at Contract Room is ready to help. We develop industry-leading contract lifecycle management software for large enterprises who are ready to up their contracting game. Contact us today to schedule a demo of our transformative solution for your contract management process.