Managing contracts can be a time-consuming and complex process that requires a lot of attention and resources. However, with the right contract lifecycle management (CLM) software, businesses can streamline their contract management processes, reduce costs, increase interdepartmental communication, and ensure compliance with industry regulations.
Benefits of Using Contract Management Software
Implementing CLM software provides businesses with a range of benefits that can improve their contract management processes and help them achieve their business goals.
Some of the key benefits of CLM software include:
- Increased Efficiency and Productivity. Automate manual processes, reduce the time it takes to create and manage contracts, and improve overall efficiency and productivity.
- Improved Contract Visibility and Control. Gain visibility into contracts and ensure that all contracts are compliant with legal and regulatory requirements.
- Reduced Risks and Costs. Reduce legal and financial risks and save money by reducing the time and resources required to manage contracts.
- Enhanced Collaboration and Communication. Improve collaboration and communication between different contract stakeholders, such as legal teams, sales teams, procurement teams, and third-party vendors.
- Scalable and Adaptable Solutions. Meet the specific needs of businesses of all sizes and industries.
8 Features to Look for in Contract Management Software
When evaluating different CLM software solutions, businesses should consider a range of features that can help them better manage their contracts and improve their overall contract management capabilities. Here are some of the key features to look for:
1. Contract Creation and Management
A good CLM software should have contract authoring tools that make it easy to create and manage contracts. Examples may include features like contract templates, clause libraries, and version tracking.
2. Automated Workflows and Approvals
Automated workflows and approvals can help businesses streamline their contract approval processes and ensure that contracts are reviewed and approved in a timely manner. CLM tools often include email notifications, approval routing, and digital signatures that make it easier to create and manage workflows.
3. Centralized Contract Repository
A centralized contract repository allows businesses to store and organize their contracts in one secure place, making it easier for employees to find and manage contracts even when working remotely. Repositories typically have search, tagging, and categorization functions that make sorting through contracts much more efficient.
4. Contract Analytics and Reporting
Analytics provide insights into a company’s contract management processes and help stakeholders identify areas for improvement. Performance metrics, compliance tracking, and reporting dashboards are all key features that make up this operation.
5. Integration Capabilities
Integration capabilities allow businesses to connect their CLM software with other enterprise systems, such as CRM or ERP systems, to reduce manual data entry and boost user adoption across different departments.
6. Collaboration and Communication Tools
CLM software often includes tools like commenting, messaging, task assignments, and more to facilitate better communication and collaboration among contract stakeholders like the legal, sales, and procurement departments as well as management officials and third parties.
7. Security and Compliance Features
The security and compliance features like user permissions, audit trails, and encryption typically found in CLM tools help ensure that the business’s contracts are protected and compliant with all the necessary regulations for that industry. These can be particularly useful features for companies in highly regulated industries like healthcare.
8. User-Friendly Interface and Customization Options
With a user-friendly interface and customization options, businesses can tailor their CLM software to fit their specific needs and make it easier for users to navigate the software. Some examples of these convenient features include drag-and-drop interfaces, customizable dashboards, and mobile access.
CLM software is critical for businesses that want to manage their contracts effectively and ensure compliance with industry regulations. By evaluating different CLM solutions and considering the key features outlined in this post, companies can pinpoint the right legal tech solution to meet their specific contract management needs and fulfill both long-term and short-term business goals.