Today's enterprises compete in a global marketplace characterized by uncertainty, complex supply chains, and stringent regulatory requirements. In this kind of business environment, compliance can be difficult to achieve on a consistent basis.
"The corporate legal landscape is fraught with an increasingly complex regulatory environment, a never-ending balancing act between risk and compliance, and heightened internal pressure to demonstrate value while lowering costs."
Association of Corporate Counsel 2017 Survey of Chief Legal Officers
To fully ensure compliance, contract management software must offer a complete range of capabilities in these four areas.
According to a recent study by the Association of Corporate Counsels, 77% of CLOs will be involved in a compliance-related investigation this year. Enforcing standards is the first prerequisite for achieving compliance. A robust library of clauses and templates goes a long way to reducing ad-hoc, or maverick contracts. Readily accessible templates, combined with a rules-driven workflow engine, helps support compliance throughout every stage of the contract management lifecycle.
Compliance is closely linked to visibility. Sanjeev Prasad, CIO at Genpact, said, "The Icertis Contract Management platform helped us improve contract compliance by streamlining and automating the way we monitor and manage SLA and SOW commitments, cutting what was a two-week contract cycle by 50 to 60 percent. Not only did this improve visibility into the process across all our customers—big and small—it's also enabled us to get things done more quickly and increase our speed to market."
Improving visibility requires contract management software that can automatically track compliance to terms, commitments, and other contract obligations. Configurable risk assessment models should automatically assess risk when contracts are modified, or when external data changes. And the system should create an audit trail on all actions taken that could potentially impact compliance.
"Empowering our sales team with self-service contract templates reduced cycle time from 90 days to only 15. Even with multiple regions and languages, the Icertis platform exceeded our SLA expectations by easily generating complex, multi-page volume licensing agreements at peak times."
- Tony Ulkekul, Head of Enterprise Commerce Engineering, Microsoft.
3) User Adoption
To encourage high user adoption, a contract management system must be easy-to-use. It should work in conjunction with familiar applications like Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook. Dashboards should be easily customizable. The interface must be intuitive, and the application must be accessible through mobile devices. And it must be flexible, so that users can easily create new workflows, rules, and contract types to adapt to changing business requirements.
Any process designed to ensure compliance should scale across the entire organization. Compliance issues can be global in nature, so it's important to be able to accommodate multiple geographies with region-based variations in workflow and support for multiple languages.
The Icertis Contract Intelligence (ICI) platform has helped more than 1,000,000 users at companies like 3M, Daimler, and Microsoft to ensure contractual compliance by providing standardization, visibility, and high user adoption across the enterprise. For more information on the ICI platform's capability to ensure compliance, visit this page.