Unlock the Power of Tailored CLM Solutions: Experience Unparalleled Services Aligned with Your Unique Requirements
Ask yourself- why did you choose to go for contract lifecycle management (CLM)? To get bragging rights in your industry? To just tick another box because everyone else is doing it? To find some magic pill that will immediately relieve you of all contract-related headaches?
Well, to get back to the basics- the seminal idea of any contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution is about streamlining all areas of a contract – from finding partners/vendors to arriving on critical metrics to discussing performance benchmarks to drafting rules and KPIs to signing the contract – all the way to monitoring and renewing a contract. It encompasses processes, people, guidelines, legalese, data, deadlines, outcomes, penalties, and compliance. A CLM is supposed to be the ultimate panacea here. But is it?
Importance of customized CLM solutions
Nothing works in isolation. Nothing is ever a fairy tale. Everything needs effort. Smart effort. If you thought you would just slap on any CLM to your contract areas, and everything would flip – maybe you need to reconsider this approach. While most contract lifecycle management (CLM) solutions pack all the necessary capabilities, they work best when they talk uniquely to an organization’s specific needs. CLM is just a piece of good fabric. It has to ‘suit’ you. It has to fit your size, your comfort, your routine, your surroundings, your weather, and your wardrobe. It will not work – as expected – if it does not gel well with other pieces of your system. It has to be tailored. It needs some customization and configuration so that it can align with your goals, processes, people, and unique contract environment.
And if you have been working with, or hoping to pull off, vanilla CLM, it’s time to correct the course – with CLM customization. Simply because there are several limitations of one-size-fits-all CLM solutions:
- Lack of flexibility to accommodate specific organizational needs
- Inefficient processes due to unnecessary features or missing functionalities
- Difficulty in aligning with industry-specific regulations and requirements
- Sudden surprises in failing to snap in with existing processes
- Creation of siloes that inhibit progress instead of accelerating it
- Unnecessary confusion and clutter
- Hidden costs and upgrades that bite back when you least expect them
- Invisible lock-ins and inability to extract impact out of a solution
On the other hand, the benefits of a customized CLM solution are endless:
- Tailor-made features to match unique business processes and workflows
- Integration with existing systems for seamless data exchange
- Adaptation to industry-specific compliance and legal requirements
- Capability to fill in gaps that will affect a business during implementation
- Compliance-specific needs as per a country’s regulatory landscape
- Elasticity to scale up or down according to a business’s size, budget, and CLM goals
- Deep-end adjustments that SMEs or digital newcomers may need for CLM adoption
But to make this work, one has to be mindful of some things.
Key considerations for tailoring CLM solutions
Not every CLM solution in the market is amenable to customization. In fact, even if some CLM products claim CLM customization, they lack actual customization. Just fine-tuning some superficial feature – without exactly addressing the difference in an organization – is not true customization. To truly tailor a CLM as per the needs, challenges, environment, and existing processes of a company- one needs to have a robust and well-crafted CLM solution. This makes the role of service providers in delivering tailored CLM solutions quite significant. Hence, it’s essential to consider some factors in a customized CLM solution.
It helps to consider these areas when selecting a service provider:
- Experience and track record in delivering customized CLM solutions
- Knowledge of industry-specific requirements and regulations
- Availability of comprehensive support and maintenance services
- Intent as well as the ability to deeply understand unique requirements
- Flexibility in changing aspects before and during implementation
- Specialists who understand a specific vertical or industry
- Agility in adapting to digital maturity and process-related changes in any company
Consider the critical findings of McKinsey’s report ‘Next in Personalization 2021’. It indicated that companies that excel at demonstrating customer intimacy generate faster revenue growth rates than their peers. Personalization drives performance and better customer outcomes. Companies that grow faster drive 40 percent more of their revenue from personalization than their slower-growing counterparts. Personalization is not just some psychological fix – it has serious business outcomes too. Indeed.
Tailored CLM solutions are like finding the best-fitting suit. They don’t just look good. They make you feel confident, strong, and comfortable enough to do your business in the best way you can. Spend some time exploring customization options for CLM implementation. Take a few minutes to ask this ‘why.’ It can save you a lot of stress and business dollars.
The CLM spans all processes associated with the life cycle of each contractual agreement – from initial request through contract discovery, authoring, negotiation, valuation, approval, execution, order tracking/matching, compliance/obligation management and dispute management to auditing and reporting.
Several organizations across sectors use advanced tools to manage their contract life cycle efficiently and save costs and time.
According to Goldman Sachs, such kinds of tools can help accelerate the contract negotiation cycle by 50%, reduce erroneous payments by 75-90%, and cut operating and processing expenses by 10-30%.
Due to these enormous benefits of CLM tools, organizations of all sizes and industries, especially regulated sectors such as pharma, healthcare, and energy, are rapidly adopting CLM tools as a part of their digital transformation strategies. But all these benefits are realized when you select the appropriate CLM tool that matches your business requirements.
Before finalizing any CLM tool for your business, you should,
- Look at your current situation
- Analyze the gaps in your current contracting process
- Your position in legal digital transformation when it comes to contract management
Once you are done with enough introspection about your organization, you should keep the following points on top of your mind while selecting the contract lifecycle management (CLM) tool.
Top 5 features to look for while choosing the best contract lifecycle management (CLM) tool for your organization
- The capability of automation: The ability to automate various business processes should be the first consideration when choosing the best contract lifecycle management (CLM) tool. Automation-powered CLM tools help you ensure compliance, mitigate risk, reduce operational cost, and shorten the negotiation cycle. Automation-powered CLM tools can automate repeated and laborious tasks like setting reminders for deadlines and upcoming tasks. According to Deloitte, intelligent contract lifecycle management (CLM) can help streamline processes and increase efficiency to unlock additional value from contracts. In addition, there is a 60% cost reduction with intelligent CLM implementation versus the traditional model.
Are you wondering what the features that make the CLM tool automation powered are?
Let us reveal the key features of the CLM tool that affect business process automation.
- Automated workflow
- Document assembly using clause and template libraries
- Automated field merging from request and intake forms
- Real-time collaboration
- E-signature and other business application integration
In the market, many CLM tools are available that offer you the same features to make your process fully automated. Then what to choose and how to choose the best one? The key is to look for a tool that doesn’t require any coding, and you can create the workflow using a drag-and-drop workflow builder. In addition, the tool should reduce your operational cost and eliminate any cost of the developer or dedicated IT resources.
2. OCR technology: The second feature which you should not miss while choosing the CLM tool is the integration of OCR technology within the tool. The optical character recognition (OCR) technology-powered CLM tool can automatically compare and track language changes throughout the negotiation. And this even makes the contracts searchable by texts and verifiable against templates and clauses within your library.
3. Electronic signature: If you want to achieve the most effective and proactive CLM, then you can’t ignore the e-signature. A digital signature is the CLM tool’s most essential and expected component. With the integration of digital signatures in the CLM tool, businesses have saved up to 78.6% and decreased the average time it takes a document to get signed from 5 days to 37 minutes. For this, you must choose the CLM tool with an inbuilt e-signature feature or support integration of e-signature tools from industry-leading brands like Docusign, Hellosign, Panda doc, etc.
4. Complete CLM capabilities and support: We have seen that the CLM tool should automate your business process, it should have OCR technology, and it should be able to include e-signatures, but all these things will work only if your tool has the capability to include all the features and functionality your organization needs. Is the CLM tool you choose able to support the end-to-end contract lifecycle from the request and intake of a contract through its termination?
Your CLM should be able to manage and automate various phases of the contract lifecycle and activities within each phase. There are three phases of the contract lifecycle: pre-execution, execution, and post-execution. The CLM tool you are choosing should work the way you work. It should let you activate each process stage as you want and should integrate into your current processes.
5. Ease of use: Above all the factors necessary for the selection of a good CLM tool, the one which you can’t ignore is the user-friendliness of the tool. Until and unless it’s easy to use, a tool will not be adopted by anyone, no matter how much it’s advantageous. So make sure your CLM tool is intuitive, easy to use, increases compliance and adoption across the business, and is sustainable.
Choosing the right CLM tool is a prerequisite for the immediate and long-term success of your organization’s contract management. Therefore, considering the above-mentioned points while choosing the CLM tool for your company will lead you to select the best fit tool for your company.
For more information on choosing or developing the right CLM tool and successfully transforming contract lifecycle management digitally in your organization, talk to our CLM experts.