Organizations often carry on with redundant processes and rudimentary systems which hinder their growth and process. The same applies to legal teams who are largely dependent on manual processes often rely on solving a problem every time it arises rather than finding a sophisticated solution for it. This culture acts as an obstacle for the legal teams and companies to reach their maximum potential and achieve excellence in their work.
Cultivating a Center of Excellence (COE) mentality can steer organizations into the right direction. This can take the legal department from merely keeping afloat to reaching the top every time. One of the main responsibilities of legal teams is to manage contracts and ensure they are fully compliant and efficient. Using the patterns and statistical data from these contracts can also give some important insights into business for better decision making. To extract insightful data from contracts, ensure full compliance and manage them effectively is a mammoth task. But a sophisticated digital contract management solution can help not just with managing contracts effectively but also developing seamless processes and workflows to achieve excellence.
Let us look at how contract management helps legal teams cultivate a COE mentality for continuous improvement:
1. Streamlined processes
Advanced contract management solutions can be pre-configured with automated workflows and processes for a broader and more dynamic view of different systems. This enables process streamlining and quick and easy interaction among departments. Automated workflows ensure documents are sent to the right members for reviews and approvals and update them through alerts and triggers. Transparent workflows ensure an increased accountability which in turn results in quicker reviews, faster updates and a uniform system of working.
2. Seamless collaboration
Legal departments are often seen out of reach and not easily approachable. Unlike HR and Sales departments, they usually don’t have automated, centralized systems and depend largely on manual processes. This leads to them spending a lot of valuable time on everyday administrative tasks and are left with little time to actually work on compliance and legal processes. Because of the absence of an integrated system, they are often out of contact from the rest of the organization with minimal visibility into the working of other departments. An integrated contract management system can be seamlessly integrated with ERP, CRM and billing systems. This ensures increased visibility, better collaboration across departments, and a more interactive and collaborative culture for improved results and reduced turn-around-time.
3. Configuring KPIs and metrics
Intelligent contract management solution is driven by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics and bridges the gap between operations and strategy. Intelligent analytics and configurable milestones and metrics ensure the contract’s and in turn legal department’s performance is measurable. This ensures continuous performance improvement in order to achieve the pre-decided KPIs. A system that operates on measurable indicators and metrics enables better results, a more-process oriented mind set and pathway towards excellence.
4. Training and reskilling
Any organization or department to perform at its best ability demands a constant state of learning and no scope for complacency. When a sophisticated system like Artificial Intelligence powered contract management is introduced, apart from improving processes and output, it also creates a need for trainings and new learnings. Trainings and reskilling is a way to nurture and enhance human capital and ensure they grow in their skills and prepare themselves to grow in their roles.
5. Investing in technology
Technology is at the forefront of any industrial development. It is what keeps organizations from becoming redundant in the ever changing global markets. Legal departments too are not immune to this change. Research from Gartner shows that nearly 50% of legal departments intend to use analytics for process improvement, and more than a third for legal analysis. Apart from analytics, legal teams should also be aware of the latest legal technology and narrow down what best suits their needs. An intelligent contract management solution can transform the working of a legal department by automating everyday tasks and workflows, pre-configuring templates and clauses to reduce contract review time and increase standardization and smart analytics for better decision making, predictions, and overall contract performance.
The above points explain why cultivating a Center of Excellence can haul legal departments from being just average to exceptional. Having sophisticated systems, integrated processes and measurable KPIs backed by advanced technology (CLM) is a fool-proof way to ensure continuous progress and uninterrupted excellence at every stage.