Execute contracts faster with intelligent CLM

This blog was authored by Bill Moffett, Global Product Marketing Manager, Manufacturing Industry Solutions, Microsoft Cloud & Enterprise Group

Imagine if your employees had to manage all their contracts on paper—they’d be buried by the reams in no time. Even though most contracts are now digital, they are essentially sitting in a digital filing cabinet where many organizations are still unable to easily extract data or gain any value. This is a problem now that digital transformation has dramatically accelerated rhythms of business in manufacturing. Organizations must juggle more customer information and faster sales cycles in addition to greater product and service complexity.

Consider Jane, a contract manager working at a fast paced, global manufacturing organization. She is struggling to structure and administer both buy and sell-side contracts while working with peers across the company. Right now, she and her team spend much of their time sifting through email, reconciling changes between contract versions, and going back and forth with legal teams to determine appropriate clause language and exceptions. It’s all they can do to keep up with the constant pace of business—let alone try to gather insights to know how much money is lost due to all these inefficiencies. Let’s take a moment to imagine what Jane’s life might be like if she had a contract management solution that could remove many of the daily, manual elements of the contract lifecycle process—from authoring and creation, to review and approval, through to execution, maintenance, and expiry.

Painlessly author templates and create contracts

Author contracts using intelligent forms and templates                          

In an ideal world, it only takes Jane a few minutes to compile a contract using pre-built content from her company’s contract and clause libraries. Internal customers, external customers, or suppliers can also initiate a contract through an intuitive, self-service request form so that Jane already has most of the relevant details at hand, with integration between CLM and existing systems helping to fill in the gaps. Details like preapproved language and clauses enable her to easily move contracts from creation to review and minimize delays.

Her CLM system also supports the global nature of business today—making it easy to work with customers or suppliers that operate in multiple countries and geographies. Not only does the CLM system support multiple languages, full system integration makes it easy to incorporate third-party information, grant role-based access, and identify key terms and obligations. 

       

Jane also sets up rule-based relationships between contract parties right away to enable enforcement of terms once the contract is approved. And, her legal team enhances regulatory compliance across the globe, with region-based variations in workflow.

Seamlessly initiate review and approval

After entering the relevant terms and contract data, Jane uploads the contract to an online portal for easy access by her colleagues and third parties as they enter the negotiation process. This centralized access reduces the communication overhead and the deluge of back-and-forth emails she used to send. Plus, the CLM system integrates with familiar tools such as Microsoft Word and Outlook so that she and her colleagues can focus on negotiations instead of learning to navigate a new platform.

                     

             

Review and reconcile changes from anywhere        
     Approve and confirm regional compliance & sign electronically                                     

During the review process, the CLM system marks and tracks any changes to standard clauses on a dedicated reports page. Jane uses document versioning and archiving to be sure she knows who has edited what and to instantly combine changes from her legal team with those from third-parties. And those changes will likely be minimal, since the system recommends preapproved language upfront. Gone are Jane’s long hours of struggling to copy-paste text from conflicting versions and identifying inconsistencies from 3rd party contracts. Once she’s consolidated changes, she sends the contract straight back to the customer or supplier for them to sign electronically, anywhere they are.

       

Easily manage contract execution, expiry, and renewal

After closing either a sales or supplier agreement, an intelligent CLM system gives Jane and her organization a 360-degree view of the contract and associated transactions. This enables her organization to closely monitor execution and completion of contract terms in a way that was not possible before. Her team can assign tasks to specific people and track completion, capture commercial terms and data and ensure compliance is reviewed through the contract’s lifecycle.

Managing contract details is simple with powerful workflow tools and personalized dashboards. 

                      

      

Execute using a 360-degree view of all details and data        
  Maintain contract SLAs and track completion of tasks  

      

           

Some companies may have 20,000-40,000 active contracts at any time, and so a system that supports easy maintenance is critical.¹

Contract professionals like Jane use key word and full text search capabilities to look up contracts, and KPIs and report dashboards assist her in day-to-day tracking. These tools help her keep up with demand, identify risk throughout the lifecycle, and provide personalized service to each customer.

                

      

  Expire and renew promptly once terms and conditions are met          

Transform your contract lifecycle management today

Icertis’ enterprise contract management solution makes every step of the above process a reality for Jane and her organization, helping her transform contracts into valuable corporate assets. The enterprise-wide system, based on the Microsoft Cloud, features an intelligent, configurable platform that makes it simple for sellers to create and manage the most complex contracts. The solution proactively monitors contractual obligations and can identify, assess and automatically mitigate risk.

Find out how your contract lifecycle management process can be as easy as Jane’s by trying the Icertis solution today on Microsoft AppSource.


¹ THE CHALLENGE AND VALUE OF BETTER CONTRACT LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT, State of Flux, 2012