August 27 by Eric Dreshfield

Is it time to implement a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution?

The decision to implement a new state of art CLM solution is often driven by an underlying frustration with authoring and managing contracts, and long cycle times getting a contract from initiation to signature. Another frustration many businesses face is the inability to locate contracts or contract terms when they are most needed.

Top 5 Reasons for Implementing a CLM Solution

• Lack of Visibility: If you struggle with gaining details on your contracting status, speed, history, performance or compliance, you need a Contract Lifecycle Management solution.
• Rogue Contract Language: Without a CLM solution you have little control over contract terms & conditions which could allow unapproved language into a contract that can cause inordinate delays in the executing the contract.
• Siloed Understanding of Contracts: If different business units or departments are looking at the same contract with different views based on version, negotiations or inclusion non-standard terms, your contracts are living in a silo.
• Known and Unknown Inefficiencies: If you are losing deal due to a long contract cycle time or the inability to report on key contract process parameters – implementing a Contract Lifecycle Management solution would address these issues.
• Lack of Automation: If your contract process involves seeking contract review and approval manually, you could greatly benefit from the automation a CLM solution brings.

Given that there are many strong reasons to implement a Contract Lifecycle Management solution, there is often tendency to over-scope the implementation as panacea and solve all the challenges in one pass. In our experience working with global customers, this approach backfires as the focus moves to covering the entire organizational scope and adjusting the CLM solution to organizational processes rather than aligning to best practices which ensure that the right user experience is delivered when a CLM solution is first introduced to the organization.

Additionally, there are many potentially negative consequences when you go down the path of over-scoping the solution rather than focusing on getting a best practice solution loaded with cool features in front of your end users. These consequences include:

• Executive Sponsor Fatigue: Chances are that your organization needs a production ready CLM solution to show an immediate boost in contracting efficiency. A prolonged implementation could result in your Executive Sponsor to begin questioning the process or value of a CLM solution.
• End User Frustration: Over-scoping and waiting for perfect solution ends up increasing the frustration of end users who want the change in contracting process to start as soon as possible
• Fear of the Impossible: Stakeholders who try to address the requirements of each individual and department end up defining the project scope outside the boundaries of CLM which leads to executive decision making for product features related to low impact items and the feeling that the team is trying to achieve the impossible.

In our experience, the sponsor of the CLM solution should focus on getting the most workable solution in front of enterprise end users to get maximum return for the dollar spent. This enables the enterprise to adjust to the new and better way of contracting and results in a steep increase in adoption.

At Apttus professional services, we have created, honed and perfected the art of the delivering a workable, adoptable CLM solution in less than 90 business days. Our approach referred to as CLM Package Implementation enables customers to take advantage of a super-fast CLM implementation experience infused with contract management industry best practices. This approach comes with a predefined, yet exhaustive list of scope boundaries along with certainty around project budget, schedule and ultimately end user adoption.

Our package implementation projects are divided into two key types: CLM Essentials and CLM Plus. The specific type recommended to any customer is based on that customer’s readiness to take on and implement the application within their organization. Each package delivers Apttus’ market-leading capabilities, including third-party paper management, intelligent contract authoring, workflows, advanced redlining and reconciliation, e-Signature, full text search, reporting, amendments, terminations, and renewals.

Please contact us if you would like to more about our CLM Service packages.

The Ultimate Guide to Contract Management details how to maximize the value of deals with effective Contract Lifecycle Management. Download your copy today!


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