With Covid-19 making organizations re-evaluate their contract management approach, the legal teams are moving towards digital and artificial intelligence. This transformation, however, has been on the cards for years, the pandemic has accelerated the same with remote work becoming the new normal.
Challenges that come with remote work in traditional or manual contract management include:
- No access to old and new contracts, and contract-related information
- Difficulty in collaborating with various departments
- Slower contract review and approval cycles
- Miscommunication about contract stage and status
- Inaccurate information regarding contract requests
- Increased possibility of contract risk and non-compliance
Advanced Contract Management Technology
An Advanced Contract Management Technology that integrates legal, compliance, and risk management teams within organizations could help overcome these challenges that recently overwhelmed them more than ever, especially when the economic crisis and remote working culture progressed in parallel. Some of the upfront ways in which AI-driven technology will enable better contracting are:
Security & Access Controls: A SaaS-based enterprise CLM that gives utmost importance to data privacy prevents unauthorized access, and hence, protects your sensitive contract information. It also gives system administrators full control over what information can be accessed even by the employees of your own organization irrespective of their location of work; in-office or remote.
Searching for Critical Information: Features like the full-text search of documents is difficult if contracts are stored in folders scattered around the organization. Adopting an advanced CLM allows you to have a central repository and to search all contracts for a specific term, and then either view or output the entire list, or open an individual instance. Zycus’s AI persona Merlin Explorer offers advanced search capabilities across repository based on contract metadata, contract type, contracting party, etc. It also navigates through thousands of contracts with speed and precision to draw key statistics and insights in real-time.
Automated Alerts & Notifications: Working remotely can increase the potential for non-compliance and financial risks of missed obligations or milestones. Also, think about the inconveniences you’ve to go through if a clause that you intended to cancel gets auto-renewed. An efficient CLM helps you to avoid such a situation as once the key dates and deliverables are captured, it allows you to set up alerts to remind you about them while you are fully consumed in other mission-critical initiatives.
Access to Data Real-time: If you’re working remotely without a centralized CLM system, it is very unlikely that you’d have access to live data. However, CLM software enables you to instantly access your contract-related current data. Moreover, with just a few clicks, you can sort, filter, or group them any way you want, and export the same into PDF/Excel.
Managing and Prioritizing Tasks: A traditional CLM assigns and manages tasks through physical paperwork, which is not feasible while working remotely. Whereas, for a cloud-based CLM like Zycus that manages everything electronically, everyone in the team has access to their task lists from anywhere and the priority tasks at hand are taken care of.
Contract Analytics – Takes Your Contract & Process Visibility to Another Level
Contract Analytics is a technology that enables effective analysis of contracts and your CLM processes through AI and machine learning. This, coupled with an advanced CLM solution is what leading to the digital transformation in the sphere of contract management. Moreover, in unprecedented times like the Covid-19 pandemic, when industries are left with no choice but to work remotely, this duo comes to the rescue.
Contract Analytics acts as a perfect assistant during contract authoring as it continually advises and provides a quantitative analysis of the content. By applying metadata tags to relevant clauses, it helps to sort contracts systematically. However, the utility of contract analytics is not limited to these, it also proves to be beneficial for your business in the long run.
Improved Risk Management: Risk management being on the top of the chart for executives, contract analytics help professionals in identifying risks such as deviations from the standard procedure or cost overruns. Creating a contract from scratch can introduce a great amount of risk in your organization. Certain terminologies, phrasing, and clauses must be avoided. Zycus’s AI engine Merlin Guide helps in building a comprehensive library of pre-approved clauses including alternate and fallback clause suggestions thereby mitigating any risk at the authoring stage for new or amendment contracts. Also, the Merlin Protector triggers remediation actions for risk mitigation, suggests alternatives to potentially dangerous words/clauses, or escalates to an alternate path.
Tracking Expiration & Renewal Dates: Contract analytics software can be programmed to set alerts to remind you when your existing contracts are about to expire or renew. This buffer time helps you to make decisions that are in the best interest of your organization. These alerts prevent unintentional expiration of contracts and also gives you a chance to renegotiate terms if needed.
Reduced Contract Cycle Duration: It is surprising that only about 5% of a contract cycle time concerns the actual task, the rest 95% is wasted on non-productive delays in work. In a typical CLM system, waiting for approvals, unnecessary repetitions, and duplicating work are part and parcel of the process, and consume a lot of time. Zycus’s Merlin Guide automates the contract review and negotiation process as per contract type and/or clause thereby saving a lot of time. Contract analytics provides transparency at every stage of the cycle, hence, identifying shortcomings that are slacking the process and also the opportunities that can improve analysis.
Identification of Revenue Opportunities: Contract analytics helps you to look for the inefficiencies in the terms and conditions. Viewing your supply chain from a global perspective takes your contracts to a profitable level. The analytics keeps your team on the same page regarding what stages the contracts are in. That being taken care of you’ll be able to focus on ways to increase the revenue. Alerts by analytics prevents automatic renewals or unexpected expiration that might make you lose revenue.