Fun with Contract Management – Really?
Seriously, this was the last thing I thought we would discuss. However, ‘fun with contract management’ came up as a topic with the country lead for contracts at one of the big five accounting firms.
Is this even possible? ‘Fun’ is not the term that comes to most people’s mind when thinking contracts. But, there is a good reason why it should be top of mind. Selecting software that not only supports them but that is easy, intuitive, and yes – fun to use, is essential.
IS IT ABOUT THE AI?
Today’s good contract lifecycle management (CLM) tools are an all-new generation. The right ones include powerful natural language processing (NLP). That means they process and understand the language in contracts. This is even true if they are not an ‘exact phrase’ match. Quite important for contract management software because not all contracts are phrased identically. Change one word in a standard clause, and that will throw off older technologies. The key behind NLP isn’t just about having an AI. It is about having a powerful AI platform like IBM Watson – that is further developed, and extremely well trained in advance.
Yes, of course, AI technology is cool. Getting to use it is cool. But, that’s not it. That’s not the ‘fun with contract management’ part.
Good contract management systems give you a wealth of analytical information.
IS IT ABOUT THE ANALYTICS?
Being a marketer with an engineering background means I just love analytics. Google Analytics is one of my favorites, for example. As analytical tools go, it is a basic, straight forward instrument, with a reasonable UI. Most importantly, it gives you an amazing world of data about your website traffic.
In a similar light, good contract management systems give you a wealth of analytical information. Part of it’s raison d’être is to provide real-time analysis. Solid tools help the office of the general counsel and legal operations. A good CLM is at the heart of the digital transformation of your agreements process. As such, an effective process goes beyond merely being a contract repository. Although important, it just is not enough. Good systems give you the ability to run real-time data analysis. That helps your team with risk management, running financial assessments across contracts, and finding inconsistencies.
But still, this isn’t the full story.
IS IT ABOUT THE UI?
Of course, she must have been talking about a cool looking user interface (UI). It may not seem important to the technical functionality of the tool, but it is. A good intuitive look and feel – means you are more likely to use the tool. If you are a general counsel, you may not use the CLM every day. So, an intuitive user experience is important to help you know how to get around the tool quickly and easily.
Similarly, the contract management team needs a look and feel that is easy to use, learn, and remember. Face it, the most advanced tool with hundreds of powerful features is only helpful if it is being used.
Yet, even the colorful, exciting, and intuitive UI isn’t the full story either.
FUN WITH CONTRACT MANAGEMENT = THE ADVENTURE
Artificial Intelligence, the analytics engine, and the UI are interesting parts of the tool. These help the general counsel and legal operations team do their job. In fact, these new tools enhance the business value of the entire agreements management process. Although each individual component is interesting, it is the use of the whole that makes it powerful.
Contracts are the lifeblood that keeps an established business humming.
‘Fun with contract management’ came from the sense of adventure that analytics tools provide. There is an exciting sense of discovery that comes with a powerful analytics engine. Yes, this is a ‘geeking out’ moment. So, let’s geek out! Admit it! Discovering new things about our contracts, and it’s associated data – is exciting, cool, and can be an important career booster.
It is exciting to use the artificial intelligence engine to find out more about a contract’s risks. It could be an important aspect you might not have spotted earlier. It is fun to discover that our risk management efforts have paid off. Isn’t it fulfilling to find out that the consistency of our contracts has improved year over year? Better yet is finding this out with hard stats to back up that revelation. It is fun to discover that the average contract value has grown by 5.3% after implementing our new negotiations standards.
Businesses are built on contracts. Contracts are the lifeblood that keeps an established business humming. An important part of managing your business is managing your contracts, effectively. Your contracts team must have good oversight over your risks. You also need to have a solid pulse on the state of these agreements. That includes the insights, analytics, and all the little nuances.
The true insights and brilliant observations come when your team enjoys what they are doing. It comes when you and your team like to go deep into the tools to discover new things about your own company. That’s why you need the right CLM to support your work. That’s why it is clear that ‘fun with contract management’ is important to your business.
Want to see a tool that brings this all together in a fun package? Request a demo to check out a system that puts that sense of adventure back into contract management!
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