How Contract Lifecycle Management Empowers Legal Operations

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When you work in legal operations, you’re required to wear a lot of hats. On any given day, you’ll work closely with general counsel as well as business stakeholders at all levels of your company.

Legal operations is key in creating processes and practices that improve the day-to-day efficiency and effectiveness of the company’s legal team and, in turn, the company as a whole. Contracts are the lifeblood of corporate legal departments, and having tools to manage them is critical to the efficiency legal ops is trying to achieve. The right contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution is a crucial component of your legal ops toolbox.

Contract Lifecycle Management in Day-to-Day Legal Operations

It’s nearly impossible to think about legal operations without thinking about contracts. On a daily basis, you’re requesting and drafting contracts, monitoring their progress and obtaining signatures. On top of that, you’re responsible for implementing tools to streamline your organization’s legal practices, developing and enforcing processes and policies to manage outside counsel usage and spend, assisting with budget matters and optimizing workflows within the legal department, and managing the design, rollout and training for new systems – just to name a few things.

With that many important roles on your plate, monitoring contracts doesn’t need to be taking up any more of your time than it has to. With the right tool for managing your contracts from start to finish, you’ll be freed up to focus on tasks that are more critical to boosting efficiency and creating value for the organization.

Finding the Right CLM Solution

As is the case with most legal technology these days, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a CLM solution. In making your choice, it’s important to keep in mind the pain points you’re trying to address in legal operations and the functionalities you want to achieve from your new tool.

Among the biggest challenges that legal ops professionals tend to face when it comes to CLM are:

  • Having a lack of visibility into where your deals stand, who’s responsible for them and what the next steps are at any given time
  • Having no easy way to keep contract drafting and negotiation moving forward
  • Needing an effective way to reduce risk and improve governance
  • Needing to accelerate contract turnaround time while also reducing costs
  • Having no means of self-service, and instead having to rely on others to handle contracts

The ideal CLM tool will serve as a single point of truth for all your contract data, allowing you to standardize your processes and increase efficiency through automation. You’ll have real-time insight into where each contract stands and who might be holding it up, so you can nudge them along and keep everything moving smoothly. CLM solutions also allow you to easily find contracts and have visibility into your renewal and amendments cycles without overwhelming you with information – the best tools allow you to see only the information you need to see, when you need and want to see it.

Implementing CLM in Legal Ops

Legal operations professionals are no strangers to developing, implementing, and using today’s most cutting-edge legal tech solutions. Using technology to manage contracts should be no exception. CLM tools help bolster the practice of corporate law, streamlining the contractual processes that are so integral to the operation of every legal department, and, indeed, every organization operating today.

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