6 Common Mistakes When Seeking a CLM Vendor

6 Common Mistakes When Seeking a CLM Vendor
by Mark Langsbury

Making new purchases is always hard to do, especially when they can be costly and long term. This is very prominent in businesses and organizations seeking to adopt new technology, software or any type of strategic purchase to benefit the company.

Legal technology has been a popular and upcoming trend that companies are beginning to see a use for, to help increase efficiency and productivity in the workplace. An example is contract management software systems. When purchasing new products, it’s always important to do your research, and essentially find the best solution for you that gives you what you’re looking for and for maximum cost efficiency. To help you decide the best contract management system for you while doing your research, here are common mistakes people make when seeking a CLM vendor. A CLM system is customized specifically to an organization’s needs and key product initiatives.

1. DON’T CHOOSE A CLM VENDOR THAT CAN’T SUPPLY A FULL END-TO-END SOLUTION.A CLM system is customized specifically to an organization's needs and key product initiatives

Even if your organization doesn’t need all contract management features straight away, the needs of an organization often change as the system is rolled out and can then meet the needs of additional business partners. If the product can’t manage the full lifecycle of a contract, the organization will have to find other products to then meet those needs, which adds additional cost. Additional solutions must be integrated into the original CLM system, with the end result often being the loss of functionality or continuity.

An end-to-end CLM system should have the following: Repository & Reporting; Workflow Automation, Authoring Tools, and artificial intelligence. Also, the contract management tasks required by in-house legal departments are very complex. The CLM solution should be capable of completely satisfying the needs of the legal department. Legal departments should be fully involved in the CLM procurement process. This is because the contract management tools needed for legal departments are very sophisticated features. They should completely satisfy the department’s needs.

2. DON’T CHOOSE A CLM VENDOR WITHOUT A CONTRACT AGNOSTIC SYSTEM.

A full end-to-end CLM solution should be able to manage all contract types, both the buy-side and the sale-side of the organization, and both first- and third-party paper (or contracts).

3. DO NOT SELF-SELECT.

This leads to low adoption rates. Get your key stakeholders involved from across the organization! Involve multiple members of your legal department, so that your solution will have internal champions which will lead to higher rates of user adoption. A great example is from the perspective of our recent clients discussing the importance of getting the general counsel involved in the process.

4. DO NOT THINK SOLELY ABOUT THE SOFTWARE, BUT ALSO THINK ABOUT WHAT SUPPORT YOU WILL RECEIVE TO IMPLEMENT EFFECTIVELY.A full end-to-end CLM solution should manage all contract types, both the buy-side and the sale-side

A full end-to-end CLM solution should manage all contract types, both the buy-side and the sale-side.

When purchasing new technology, it’s always nice to put it to use right away and get started. But a big issue that comes with advanced technology is the customer not given enough help and support to implement the system or use it properly. Make sure when seeking a vendor that they aid in the implementation process. Not only at the beginning, but throughout your subscription term so your company always has support.

5. DO NOT SOLELY SOLVE FOR “RIGHT NOW.”

Purchasing a new system to solve for present issues only results in having to switch systems down the road as your organization needs change. Or, putting several solutions together – each with their own integration, adoption, support, and maintenance issues. In short, it’s a lot to manage. And will save you from problems that would have been avoidable had you been forward-thinking from the start.

6. DON’T CHOOSE A CLM VENDOR BASED SOLELY ON COST.

That’s easy to say. However, CLM systems that are very large and advanced technology systems aim to solve the majority of organizations’ issues.

A way to do this is to ensure that you fully understand the return on investment. Full end to end solutions allow the benefit to stretch far wider than just the legal team alone and can have tremendous gains for departments such as Procurement, Sales, and HR. On top of that, the wider organization is able to make faster and more efficient decisions. Such a wide-reaching ROI means that the cost of the solution versus time on return can make the cost of procurement look very different.

Making sure you have the right system for your organization is not an easy or quick exercise. Check out our Contract Management Primer for the 101 on contract management. Don’t miss the checklist at the end to help you better understand your contract management needs.

Author:
Mark Langsbury

 Mark Langsbury
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