Contract lifecycle management software has become essential for high-performing in-house counsel.
Contract lifecycle management software is increasingly viewed as a necessity for in-house counsel. From decreasing cycle times to centralising the system of record, it solves some of the core problems the most successful GCs are focussed on solving.
The advantages of contract lifecycle management software are two-fold:
Contract lifecycle management software as a secure database of all contracts.
Firstly, and originally, contract lifecycle management software was designed as a secure database of all a business’s contracts and related (often highly sensitive) documents.
Contract management software was initially designed as a replacement to the typical filing cabinet. Though once an appropriate solution (when all contracts were written by hand and signed in person), these filing cabinets have become a ticking time-bomb.
A contract in its creation and negotiation stage is the least risky thing in a business. Yet, this is typically when highly sensitive documents have the most care and attention paid to them. What too many lawyers discover too late is the risk their business is exposed to when contracts are locked in filing cabinets (or their digital equivalent).
We have spoken to several corporate counsel over the years whose businesses have become stuck when they’ve lost an important contract among the masses or missed a key date to organise a negotiation for renewal which has cost their business dearly.
With the growing benefits of utilising a contract lifecycle management software, such as Plexus Gateway, in-house counsel are turning their contract storage problems into an advantage. Once a contract is executed, their contract lifecycle management software automatically stores the contract in a way that is easily searchable (not just by title, but by clause, counter party, value and more). Reminders can also be configured to alert Legal when an expiry date is approaching. In short, they don’t need to think about it until their renewal reminder appears in their inbox.
Contract management software accelerates the contract lifecycle from intake through to execution.
Contract management software supports in-house counsel from the initial stages of a contract’s lifecycle, all the way through to execution - including negotiation and collaboration with counterparties.
On average, Legal functions spend 65% of their time on contracts, and 68% of functions forecast contract volumes will continue to increase.
When inappropriately managed, the contract lifecycle can be a huge cost and time-sink to the Legal team.
Intuitive contract management software supports in-house counsel to gather all the facts in one secure place and to understand the whole story before the agreement is drafted. Plexus Gateway does this via Gmail and Outlook plugins which lawyers can use to send information relevant to their contract creation directly to the contract lifecycle management system.
Contract management software designed for in-house counsel should also enable easy sharing with counterparties to ensure that all key stakeholders are able to collaborate in the negotiation process. When collaboration is made easier, the contract lifecycle is shorter, and all parties can come to an agreement on contract items quicker.
To complete the contract lifecycle, most contract management platforms, like Plexus Gateway, have approval, delegation and e-signature capabilities. This functionality allows contracts to be executed from any device, anywhere in the world. E-signature allows business to be actioned and implemented without delay, even when parties aren’t able to gather together and sign a contract - a must-have in our modern, remote-working world.
In-house counsel tend to opt for contract management software that contains an easy to follow audit trail. It is critical for Legal teams to stay on top of who has access to contracts, enable delegations of authority and have oversight as to where the contract is up to in its approval or signature workflow. Leading in-house Legal functions need to have confidence that not only will all parties be viewing and working on the correct version of the document, but that their platform’s complete audit trail means they’ll never be caught out.
Why should we partner with a legal technology specialist for contract management software rather than build it ourselves?
Partnering with a specialist in legal technology ensures that not only will you have access to top quality contract management software for your in house counsel for 2021, you will have access to the millions of dollars in research and development that your partner organisation will contribute to making the software better in the years to come.
Plexus has spent years developing contract management software for in house counsels to address their specific needs. Take a look how our contract management solutions have been implemented at companies like L’Oreal, Ocado and Sonnedix.