Contract Management Primer

Contract Management Fundamentals: A Practical CLM Guide

A Primer in Contract Management Fundamentals

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Contract management (CM) is the process of managing contract creation, execution and analysis. But beyond the superficial definition, what else do you need to know about the contract management process? What are the contract management fundamentals to help you better understand the business, and CLM needs?

The contract management primer helps you define what a contract management system should be. Then taking your own needs into account, makes this whitepaper invaluable.

Best of all, you will find a very handy CLM checklist at the end of the guide. Use it to help define what you need in a system, once you have decided to automate. Investing in a CLM is a big step. It is a step in the right direction but takes guided research. The checklist is there to help guide structure and guide the questions you should ask while making your vendor selection.

In-House Counsel Turning Point

We are at a crucial point in the industry. Estimates are that 50% – 60% of legal departments still use a manual system to manage agreements. Although fewer clients use paper-based contracts stored in filing cabinets, they are also NOT uncommon. Most either use excel spreadsheets to track their contracts or have developed a hacked-together system. When the average fortune 500 company has between 20,000 to 40,000 active contracts, a manual management system just does NOT work. Sooner or later it will fail you, and the company. Unfortunately, that usually happens when you can least afford it. When a dispute comes up, that’s when you find that your manual system just isn’t good enough to track all the agreements and associated documents… and get them to you in a timely manner.

Learn more by just filling out the short form to the right to get your own copy of the contract management fundamentals guide. This guide tells you about the pains it solves, phases of CM, where AI fits into the equation and provides a handy checklist for anyone in the process of selecting a system. Best of all it is a guide to help you digitally transform your business. That means taking the general counsel’s role from merely providing legal services, to a significant role of strategy corporate counsel focused on business issues.

Pains it Solves

Failing to manage company contracts effectively brings tremendous risks to the equation. First, the sheer volume of active contracts most organizations deal with is a pain onto itself. It means that even if small risks are triggered across so many contracts, an organization can suffer the dreaded ‘death by a thousand cuts.’

An important part of risk management with contracts is the contract administration. Whether sell-side, buy-side, or other categories, contracts are often hidden throughout your company. An effective contract management primer points out this challenge. Hidden and lost contracts are one of the biggest risks to maintaining a manual or antiquated agreements system.

Are you plagued by:

  • Slow contract turnaround
  • Approval workflows that don’t work
  • Lack of consistency across contracts
  • Lack of a common repository for agreements
  • Low contract visibility

What do these mean in detail, and to which risks do they open your organization? More importantly, learn how to mitigate them effectively.

  • Revenue Lost

  • Revenue

Companies lose 9.2% of their bottom line through ineffective contract management


Who Needs A Contract Management System?

Typically, the users of a contract management system are the:

  • General Counsel
  • Office of the General Counsel
  • Legal Operations team
  • Contract Management

Of course, the general counsel’s office can use it to get a better picture of the overall organization’s contract situation. It is about getting a pulse on your business, and agreements. But beyond that, it is also about aligning contracts for consistency, maintaining key terms and conditions, adjusting to a particular contract language, and keeping tabs on the numerous key dates and obligations.

But did you realize that it goes beyond just this team? Of course, this team is core, and critical. But part of the contract management fundamentals is to know the other parts of the organization that should be involved in your process and system choices. Anyone with a relationship management role, for example. Your sales team, and others, can each benefit, and even take on a part of the agreement management process. Engage the sales team beyond the ‘please email’ me a copy of the agreement once it is drafted – to a more active role.

Download the guide to find out how.

Phases of Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM)

Learn about the three key phases of an agreement. What is important to know about the:

  • Pre-Contract phase,
  • Contract Development, Award, and Execution phase, and
  • Post Award phase?

Get your contract management primer to understand the key phases, and how they impact your part of the process.

Contract Management Artificial Intelligence AIArtificial Intelligence (AI) in your CLM

Today’s contract management software providers all tout that their solutions come equipped with AI. But, why is artificial intelligence important to your process? Is all AI made equally? One of the challenges of the industry is to determine whether all AI capabilities are equally good. Or are there some which stand ahead of others. Should you consider systems built on partnership AI platforms from industry leaders like IBM Watson?

Contract Management Primer – Checklist

A checklist culminates and concludes the contract management primer. Readers can use this handy checklist as a strategic sourcing guide. Project management, procurement, legal operations, or the general counsel’s office can all benefit from the checklist. It provides a number of considerations to take into account while reviewing CLM vendor capabilities.

Get your free copy of the contract management primer to find the checklist at the end of the document.

Guide to Contract Management Fundamentals

All told, consider the contract management primer a guide. It was written and meant to help introduce professionals to the agreements management processes. Various colorful breakout examples are provided throughout, of best practices. It includes a useful ROI (return on investment) analysis to share with your management team.

The guide is meant to take the reader through the basic ‘what is’ contract management, through to the stage of figuring out how to source a good solution that suits your needs. The contract management primer is absolutely free. Fill out the short form to get your copy, now.

Oh, and feel free to make copies for your professional colleagues. Adopting best practices into your contracting process and bringing on a CLM is no small feat. It should involve the perspectives of your broader team. As such, passing around copies to get everyone onto the same baseline – page, is a great starting point.


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