General counsel and your legal team face growing contract volume and contract complexity.  The lack of an efficient legal contract management process can throw up obstacles that legal departments like yours find nearly impossible to overcome.  Here’s how to leverage legal contract management software for a shortened legal contract lifecycle.

A user-friendly contract requests and approvals platform

Advanced legal contract management software allows your users to create legal requests and submit them for approval with ease.  Request data entry is significantly streamlined, so that bottlenecks and communication delays are reduced. Easy-to-adopt request intake forms help users gather, store, edit, review and approve automated requests.

Your legal teams can stay in sync thanks to automated approval routing for legal workflows.  Contract management software users can attach almost unlimited files, and convert request records to contract records without the need for data re-entry.  Legal departments can hold themselves accountable with integrated document tracking, dynamic task assignments and virtually unlimited notifications and alerts.

Document assembly solution

Reliable legal document assembly solutions can assist organisations with the writing of timely, accurate and fully compliant contracts.  With the help of future-minded document automation, your users can dynamically merge data fields with clauses from your organisation’s pre-approved clause library.  In this way, legal teams can manage multiple document versions and templates for fast contract authoring and simple export into standard file formats.  These document templates can be used as needed, and edited/updated without any complications.

Simplified contract negotiations

With streamlined contract negotiation – available with leading legal contract management software platforms – document collaboration and version control are simplified thanks to numbered version tracking and detailed logs of contract document iterations.  Contract parties can maintain version control with the power to track relevant and up-to-date document versions with ease.

Clause ownership tools allows your organisation to assign specific subject-matter experts to each section of a contract.  If a contracting party attempts to change a clause, that clause’s owner is added to the approval process.  So only necessary parties are added to a given contract negotiation process – per rules-based clause ownership.

Contract negotiations between internal parties, external parties and software employee non-users are more efficient and streamlined when your organisations is empowered to configure a rules-based negotiation process.  A pre-configured legal workflow allows your contract stakeholders to receive alerts that take them to a state-of-the-art contract collaboration portal.  In this portal, relevant documents are easily accessible for review. 

This process helps because external parties and employees who aren’t granted access to contract management software can review and edit contracts that they’re assigned to, but they can’t access all the other core system functionalities and contracts..  Necessary documents are isolated so that contract stakeholders can view and access them straight from the portal.  Additionally, contract parties can undergo approval collaboration in a unified location, and receive notifications about the approval process – no more bottleneck or delays.

Better obligations workflow

Careful observance of proper contract obligation fulfilment is crucial for healthy contract lifecycle management.  Contract workflow automation processes that leverage automated notifications, almost unlimited alerts, dynamic task escalation and robust approval routing help organisations like yours meet and even exceed their legal contract management needs, and focus more on contract management strategy, such as data analytics and the exploitation of advanced opportunities.

Contract managers can set up obligations workflow within legal contract management software systems to trigger when specific criteria are met, prior to contract execution, following contract execution or both. 

Advanced compliance and auditing

Robust compliance reporting and auditing functionality can give legal teams visibility of contractual relationships across businesses and entities.  Scalable and easy-to-use key dates, reporting metrics and renewals can make legal regulations and compliance standards easy to observe.

Legal contract management reports

Organisations using an ad-hoc report functionality can take advantage of reports on upcoming tasks, information on financial commitments, user-defined status reports, etc. These reports can be emailed on a pre-configured, scheduled basis or exported to spreadsheets.

With the aid of an online report designer, your legal team and stakeholders can easily leverage contract management software to configure flexible report layouts which show critical contract information at a glance.  Such report designers can include various file exportation options such as MS Word, PDF, different image formats, spreadsheets, CSV, rich text and much more. And executive graphical dashboards can deliver a comprehensive overview of activities, key dates and contract performance.

AI-based risk management

Comprehensive risk management is essential for an effective legal contract management processes.  AI-based contract management software systems make risk assessment, mitigation and analysis far more efficient.

A risk score can help keep your organisation accountable by offering an outline of how effectively (or how ineffectively) you’re using the software risk tools.  You can then take informed action to form the best possible risk management procedure for your business.

Leading-edge legal contract management software also offers risk mapping and risk rating functionality.  Risk profile rating features can help your legal team visualise risk more effectively.  Based upon tracked risk variables, your users are given a risk assessment matrix.  With it, they can analyse risk probabilities for events that could occur within contracts and risk exposure that could result from those events.

Enjoy a next-level legal contract management process

Now you’re aware of the robust legal contract management software functionality that can support all your legal stakeholders by implementing a workflow process to reduce bottlenecks, mitigate risk and help your organisation to manage a growing number of complex contracts for better legal operations.  Four recommend Contract Insight – the legal contract management software platform that will best suit your organisation’s unique needs. 

Contract Insight offers the right tools to help your organisation oversee the full legal contract lifecycle.  With Contract Insight’s complete document assembly, fast implementation, legal workflow management and easy-to-understand user interface, it’s the leading solution for successfully managing contracts and committals.

Contract Insight from Four

Contract Insight is a cloud-hosted (SaaS) or deployed (on-premise) contract management solution.  Used by many Fortune 500 companies, Contract Insight gives you real time visibility into your contracts. It doesn’t just shore up your security; it will help you meet contract compliance regulations, centralise your contract management and improve your overall contract administration process.

For more information, contact John O’Brien, CEO at Four Business Solutions, global business consultants and software integrators providing business processes improvements in FinanceSupply Chain and Operations, across a broad range of industries.