Contract Management is the Heart of Your Digital Transformation
Digital transformation. It’s a term that has been floating around for quite a few years now. Maybe you’ve already undergone a transformation, are currently in the middle of one, or possibly have it on your list as a major goal for 2020 or beyond.
Or perhaps, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated it to center stage for your organization. A recent survey from the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM) found that “almost 80% of organizations are suffering moderate to severe impacts to their contracts and trading relationships as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
If this hits home for you, you might want to take a few minutes out of your day and tune into a recent webinar with IACCM, Apttus, and Amadeus, a travel tech organization and customer of Apttus. The organizations came together for a panel to discuss how a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution helps organizations and their legal departments achieve greater efficiency and improve revenue – two things top of mind for all legal leaders, pandemic or not.
Paul Brand, Chief Operating Officer of IACCM and the moderator for the panel, referenced the IACCM survey and shared some very interesting stats:
· 64% of respondents said they didn’t have any meaningful automation to support contract management
· 81% of those responding indicate that they either have or will now develop plans to implement, replace, or add to contract automation
Amadeus is a +30-year-old travel technology company based in Madrid, Spain that handles more than 640 million bookings a year and over 1.8 billion passengers. As such a large company operating in more than 190 countries, Amadeus needed to find a way to improve its processes and the day-to-day lives of its employees. This led them down a journey to contract management.
During the conversation, Alex Sintas, Contract Management Technical Lead at Amadeus IT Group SA, shared how his team freed up more time to focus on higher-value tasks by fully aligning billing and incentives with contractual obligations. And as Alex put it, “having a contract management system in place provided Amadeus a harmonized way of working across Amadeus worldwide.”
The specific challenges Amadeus faced, similar to those in other organizations, that led them to implement a CLM solution included:
· Transforming the organization’s way of working
· Harmonizing contract management processes across all markets despite cultural differences and locations
· Simplifying approval processes across business units and organizational hierarchies
· Working through software limitations and thinking outside the box
· Aligning internal implementors as well as both Amadeus business and tech teams
After implementing Apttus CLM, Amadeus saw many positive results. Among the most impressive were: improved incentives and billing accuracy, increased revenue from products and services sales, increased speed of contract execution, improved budget process efficiencies, increased analysis efficiencies, and reduced total cost of ownership. And Alex concluded with a few key takeaways and tips for other organizations to consider when beginning their contract management journey.
Later in the session, Garrett Van Zanten, Senior Corporate Counsel at Apttus, discussed Apttus’ own implementation of Apttus and how it was fun to be able to act as your own customer and work with the professional services and tech support teams. (Always an interesting perspective to have.)
From the standpoint of an in-house counsel implementing a CLM, Garret shared his experience and what the legal team learned. He broke it down into four parts:
1. Design: Don’t rush it
When designing, Apttus defined the purpose and scope, brought together the right stakeholder departments (sales, sales ops, finance, legal, IT—those directly impacted by the CLM application), and built out the requirements.
2. Implementation and testing
Continued collaboration and communication among business representatives and builders is crucial. Remain agile to changes in design, agility, flexibility, and test and modify (mess around with the product in a sandbox and fine tune it).
As Garret put it, “The solution is only as good as your company makes it.” He also provided a few suggestions to help with internal adoption of the CLM solution such as testing in a Sandbox environment, training users in formal and small group settings, and lastly, starting small and scaling fast.
4. Useful tips and benefits
Garret shared a few benefits the legal team has already seen after the Apttus implementation. One of the biggest impacts is the increased stability of the sales team to perform certain self-help legal activities. For example, sales can create an NDA record, generate the NDA in the latest template, send it to the customer and get it signed – an entire process that no longer needs to involve legal.