Contracts will either slow down your workflow and cause stress, or they’ll be the strength of your legal department. Which way it goes depends on your contract workflow management.
Effective contract workflows include several necessary steps. Optimizing contract workflows is the difference between a slow contract process and an efficient one.
Typically, contract workflows include:
External negotiation and review
Signatures, usually obtained or at least saved electronically.
Because they affect so many business procedures and systems, optimized contract workflow processes are essential for productively meeting business objectives. Several different business segments have input into any given contract, each risking slow-down at various stages. Using automation and effective contract review and management systems helps workflow improve dramatically.
Developing A Contract Management Workflow
A well-organized contract management workflow necessitates an effective plan of action, enabling your teams to know what they need to do at any stage and what to expect from other teams.
Infrastructure will change from company to company, but a basic infrastructure for contract management workflow might look like this:
Which department owns which stage?
Legal owns contract templates.
Sales creates contracts from templates.
Sales operations or legal approves contracts.
Composite teams negotiate contracts based on values–sales under a certain value, and legal and sales leadership above that value.
C-suite are authorized signatories.
Create contract templates. Saving time and streamlining efforts is what drives optimized workflow. Avoid repeat work where possible. Templates help with this.
Clarify approval process. Contract workflow management requires role clarity. Make it clear ahead of time which team members have to approve what stages of contract creation.
Streamline your signature gathering process.
Create automations to send renewal reminders, in the case of contracts subject to renewal cycles.
Finally, use the data you gather. If you adopt automations for some or all of the stages in contract lifecycle management, then that automation will come with data capture and data analytics tools. Review your contract workflow management processes regularly for potential trouble spots or current areas of slow down. Then use that data to improve your processes.
Improve your contract management workflow at every stage with a strong management strategy and by adopting automation and AI-driven processes.
Contract lifecycle management can be optimized for speed by strategic application of AI-assisted review. Involving AI-driven systems in contract review and the contract lifecycle can be a powerful piece in optimizing the contract management workflow. Adopting AI can also help to mitigate risk.
AI-driven contract review systems need to be tuned and finessed to a particular company’s or legal team’s needs to become an effective tool. Contract lifecycle management best practices dictate that the legal team and all other stakeholders in a given contract should still review a contract at every stage of its lifecycle until all stakeholders feel satisfied that the AI-assisted contract review process is accurate within acceptable margins of error.
To get the best performance out of a partnership between your human teams and AI-driven contract management systems, use a several-stage integration process. For example:
Provide AI-Specific Internal Training: Attorneys must have expertise and a strong grasp of technical innovations. Implement in-house AI training.
Establish Technology Selection Criteria: In house legal teams should vet new tech. Business and legal needs differ between companies, so not all technological solutions solve all problems. Choose with awareness of your needs.
Select a Technology and Legal Services Provider: Good partners save time and headaches. Choose yours with a strong appreciation for your own strategic goals and your company culture.
Download our white paper on AI-Driven Commercial Contract Review for a deeper analysis.
UnitedLex is a strong partner in digitizing contract workflows, automating contract assembly and augmented review, and delivering smart contract repository and performance monitoring.
AI-Assisted Contract Lifecycle Management Saves Time
Adopting AI-assisted contract lifecycle management solutions could save a legal department hundreds of hours every year. Because of how much AI-assisted contract processes can speed up contract lifecycle management, it allows all stakeholders more time and opportunities while helping to mitigate risk.
UnitedLex’s digital contracting solutions help you:
commercial contracts. For more information click here.
With more than 3,000 legal, engineering, and technology professionals globally, UnitedLex enables legal organizations to thrive in the Digital Age. Over the past 15 years, we have successfully delivered eDiscovery, Source Code and Document Review, IP Monetization, and Contract Management Improvement services to over 25% of the Global 500, 30% of the Fortune 50, and 50% of the Am Law 100.
Contact UnitedLex to learn more about reducing contract process time, maximizing contract value, and increasing quality outcomes through integrating the right technology with reimagined contract workflows and content.
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