Several teams within every large organization handle contracts. But they approach enterprise contract management and creation from different perspectives and with different priorities:
- Procurement is focused on supplier and supply chain performance, creating efficiencies and maximizing economies of scale where possible.
- The legal team seeks consistency of contract terms, formats, clauses, and exceptions.
- Finance is concerned with buy-side and sell-side cost savings, working to ensure clause-based revenue opportunities aren't missed while avoiding unnecessary penalties and renewals.
- Sales is focused on speed, getting contracts signed as quickly as possible so the business can begin to profit from those deals.
And yet, these business teams have remarkably similar contract management needs.
Contract Analytics and Visibility
Every team managing contracts needs visibility of its contract portfolio. Without this visibility, how do they know the location and status of their contracts? How do they track their commitments and renewals? How do they analyze contractual risk and performance?
Contract Approval and Execution
Cycle time is another challenge. With highly manual workflows that are subject to human delays and errors, it can take weeks to create and finalize the simplest of contracts. In fact, it used to take one of our customers a staggering 73 days on average. These slow, manual processes hinder business agility, result in missed revenue milestones, and can damage a company's reputation with customers and partners.
Contract Risk Management and Exposure
Compliance, risk, and exposure are also prominent concerns for all parties. Companies must not only monitor their own regulatory performance, but also that of their first and third-party suppliers. Without enterprise-wide contract management software and the risk visibility it provides, compliance gaps and business exposure can grow.
With these universal needs, it's surprising that most companies don't use contract management software to oversee their entire portfolio of contracts, including buy-side contract management, sell-side contract management, and non-monetary agreements. Procurement, legal, finance, and sales teams typically utilize their own systems, if they use one at all. Many are still using electronic contract repositories or even file cabinets and spreadsheets.
Visibility with Contract Management Software
These manual, siloed processes and systems are a breeding ground for risk and inefficiency. One of our customers was utilizing 13 different systems to onboard each new vendor. None of those systems were integrated, and the fragmented process had a direct impact on enterprise contract visibility, velocity, compliance, and standardization.
Fortunately, new contract management software is available. These cloud-based, enterprise contract management systems pull all contracts into a single online repository. They provide full enterprise contract visibility in addition to rich metadata search and contract analysis capabilities. They automate workflows to speed up contract creation and offer alerts so commitments and renewals are never missed. And they help manage contract complexity and standardization with clause libraries.
If you'd like to see this contract lifecycle management software in action, send us an email or give us a call. We'd be happy to show you how easy and intelligent cloud-based, enterprise contract management software can be.
The Icertis Contract Intelligence (ICI) platform brings together buy-side, sell-side, and enterprise contracts and processes. The enterprise-wide, cloud contract management software dramatically improves contract management, with alerts that ensure commitments and milestones aren't missed. It automates workflows to speed up cycle times. And it enables comprehensive analysis and optimization of global operations and supplier relationships, boosting compliance, negotiations, and economies of scale.
Countless benefits can be gained when contracts and workflows are integrated across the enterprise. To learn more about Contract Intelligence, request a free demo.