“Contract management system” can mean different things to different organizations. Options can range from filing cabinets (seriously!) to shared drives to AI-empowered contract lifecycle management (CLM) software that provides real-time contract intelligence—and everything in between.

But today, when we speak of a contract management system, we mean software that manages the creation, negotiation, signature, renewal, data analysis, and operationalization of contracts. A digital contract management system uses templates and clause libraries to standardize the contents of sourcing and sales contracts; digitizes and stores contracts in a central location; automates workflows focusing on contract creation and execution; and expands in volume as new contracts are added.

Why contract management systems are so important today

No matter their size and complexity, companies need a way to process and access their contracts to know what rights and commitments they have with their suppliers, customers, and partners. Yet, though this seems self-evident, many companies lack a contract management system that consistently provides even the most basic contract information, like key dates of contract renewals or expiries.

The fact is, today’s contract management software can deliver business excellence by streamlining the contracting process—from contract templating to contract creation to approval workflow—and providing users contract data that defines how their companies run—so they can run it better.

What you need to consider for your contract management system

Adoption of contract management systems is growing because of the value they deliver and the business risks associated with poorly managed contracts. Here are some of the factors you need to consider when setting up a contract management system:

AI tools: The first step in better contract management is understanding what’s in the contract. The use of artificial intelligence in your contract management system can speed the contract management process by quickly identifying contract attributes based on analysis of hundreds of thousands of clauses sourced from millions of existing contracts. By combining insights from your contracts and thousands of similar documents, AI structures new contracts to bring static documents to life. All the while, machine learning continually improves the platform by integrating new data and optimizing workflows.

Post-execution capabilities: It isn’t enough to create and store a contract; you must be able to track its performance and ensure all commitments are upheld. A contract is a set of promises that you and your partner need to keep. A contract management system can help ensure you meet your post-execution obligations, make better decisions on fulfillment, anticipate potential bottlenecks, and provide transparent reporting for key stakeholders.

Strong customer pedigree: Who else trusts your vendor’s solution? It’s an important question to ask. Contract workflows can be some of the most complex in a company, given the risk and opportunity associated with the documents. Make sure your vendor has the depth and breadth of experience needed to  guarantee it can handle even your most challenging contract management requirements.

Analyst validation: What do external analysts say about the quality of your vendor’s vision and ability to execute? Do they grasp current and future market and technology trends? Do they understand customer needs and competitive forces not just today but in the future?

What sets Icertis apart

Icertis distinguishes itself through its bold vision, unrivaled expertise, and enduring commitment to contract management.

We are the only CLM company on the Forbes AI 50 list three years in a row, recognized as one of America’s most promising companies working with artificial intelligence. Our placement on this list, again and again, is due to our category-defining innovation in leveraging AI and machine learning to transform static documents into strategic advantage.

Icertis was also named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Contract Life Cycle Management for the second year running due to our ability to execute, our completeness of vision, and our focus on ensuring the intent of every contract is fully realized.

Today, the world’s most iconic brands and disruptive innovators trust Icertis to govern the rights and commitments in their 10 million+ contracts worth more than $1 trillion in 40+ languages and 90+ countries.

With unmatched technology and category-defining innovation, Icertis pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with CLM.

Want to learn more? Attend our CLM demos.

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Every company’s CLM needs are different. Connect with one of our platform specialists to discuss how Icertis can deliver business intelligence to your organization through contract intelligence.