February 18 by Jason Smith
Pt. 2 of Contracts Management: From Administrative Task to Strategic Asset
“Contract Management” is more than just the management of documents filled with lots of legalese, some terms and conditions and a few signatures. Sure, taken individually, each contract can be viewed as just that, a collection of the rights and obligations of each party for a specific project or timeframe. But collectively, a company’s contract portfolio provides the roadmap for a strategic vision of the enterprise.
Yet, survey after survey shows that many companies still view contract management as an administrative task, a necessary evil, rather than a core component to their corporate vision.
In this four part series, we will break down the ways in which your company can convert your contracts management processes into a strategic asset.
Work Your Way
Increase Legal Productivity by Working Smarter
Managing contracts is a very complex, circuitous, and time-
consuming process. Numerous stakeholders, such as sales,
legal, finance, and the departments managing obligations or deliverables, are involved throughout the organization and aligning their goals while balancing efficiency and risk is a continuous challenge. The components within the contract itself are loaded with many moving parts and ever-changing variables. In addition, there are often interdependencies across multiple contracts and deals requiring constant vigilance long after the dealmakers have moved on to the
This process is often further complicated when contracts are
manually managed, leading to process control deficiencies,
risk management concerns and no contract performance visibility. Many companies addresses these weak links by addressing contracts management as an administrative task when they should be more focused on a strategic solution. Part of the issue lies in the history of automating bad processes. Lack of actionable data? Require more data entry. Having trouble tracking obligations or risk? Create some spreadsheets to track the information. And each time a new process or system is introduced, more training is required, more pushback is encountered and more ways to “work around the system” are developed by staff that are
So what if you could introduce more efficiency, reduce risk and add incentive to comply by allowing staff to work with the tools they’re already familiar and comfortable with?
Work within Microsoft Word
Apttus has developed patent-pending technology called X-Author that enables Legal to execute an entire contract lifecycle from within Microsoft Word while enforcing document management best practices and complying with Salesforce data controls, allowing you and your team to manage templates, clauses and playbooks without sacrificing visibility or compliance.
In a typical contract lifecycle, pricing is done in Excel spreadsheets, clauses are written in Word, approvals done over the phone, and redlining and versioning is passed between emails and inboxes. Every time you have to leave one platform for another, you open the door for error, duplicate work and missed changes. You also force your staff to become experts in multiple technologies and processes creating and frustrating and unscalable solution.
But with Apttus X-Author, check-in, check-out, versioning,
redlining, comparison and advanced reconciliation can all be handled within Word, synced to your centrally controlled contract library, and tracked with audit trails and tag records. The result is not only shorter approval cycles, increased controls and greater contract flexibility, but also increased user adoption rates and compliance incentives. This takes contract management from simply being an administrative task to being a core component of your overall business strategy. And employee morale increases when they become part of the strategic corporate vision instead of just
Check back next week for part 3 of the series in which I will discuss guardrails in your contracts management process for sales. Accelerate deals by enabling Sales to create, manage and approve contracts that are already blessed by Legal.