The legal services industry is facing massive disruption. As technology advances and consumers demand more value for their money, the need for increased efficiency and cost savings has become ever more present. In such an environment, the traditional model of legal services delivery is under extreme pressure to evolve. Fortunately, contract lifecycle management software can help your firm navigate this transition by automating several steps in the contract lifecycle management (CLM) process:

Automate the creation of contracts

There are many reasons why legal departments look to CLM software. One of the biggest is the ability to automate the creation of contracts. Contract creation is a complex process that can often consume large amounts of time and resources, especially when you consider how often contracts must be changed over time due to an ever-changing business environment. 

CLM software automates this process by providing a set of tools that allow users to create their templates and forms out of existing boilerplate—often called “templates in a box”—or they can pull from a library of pre-built templates if they want something more specific or customized. This not only reduces your time spent on contract creation but also reduces the risk of human error since all parties will be working from the same document each time—no retyping required.

Streamline contract execution

When it comes to contract lifecycle management, one of the biggest benefits that CLM software provides is the ability to automate repetitive tasks. As you’re creating contracts and sending them over for signatures, you can set up automated notifications for each step in the process. This will save your team time by eliminating manual communication between stakeholders, as well as ensure that all required signatures are collected before moving forward with any further steps.

Centralize contract storage

Centralized storage of contracts means that you’re storing all your legal contracts in one place, so you can find them easily. You can access them when you need them and share them with others, including clients and colleagues. You can search for a specific contract by keyword or date range, which makes finding information incredibly fast. CLM software also makes it easier to backup and restore contacts in case of an emergency like fire or flood damage at your office location.

With CLM software in place, you won’t have to worry about tracking every single contract associated with each case—or worse yet losing track of vital documents altogether. Instead, everything will be right there ready for viewing at any time on any device with internet access.

Provide visibility and reporting across the entire contract portfolio

Contract lifecycle management software provides a complete contract inventory, which is essential to creating and managing an effective contract portfolio. The software stores all of your contracts in a single place, so you can see exactly what you have and where it’s located. This helps with your overall contract management efforts by providing high visibility into the entire portfolio.

In addition to storing the actual documents themselves, CLM software also provides information about each document, such as when it was created or last updated; who created it; how many times it was accessed and by whom; whether it has been filed with any regulatory agencies or courts; whether there are any outstanding legal issues associated with that contract; etc. With this information at hand, users can make more informed decisions about how best to manage their portfolios going forward—such as whether certain contracts need updating due to compliance changes or other factors outside of their control (like new laws).

Automate the identification of contract expiration dates and clause changes

We’ve already mentioned that CLMs can automate the process of identifying contract expiration dates and clause changes. When contracts expire, you’ll have a wealth of information at hand to help you manage the transition—easily identify which contracts are expiring when they’re set to expire, what action should be taken upon expiration (e.g., renewal or termination), and who has access to the contract itself. You’ll also have access to automated alerts that let you know when any change is made in the contract—so if an employee or vendor makes a change without alerting you first, it won’t fall through the cracks.

Conclusion

As the legal industry continues to evolve, the need to digitize contracts will only increase. Contract lifecycle management (CLM) software facilitates this transition by automating several tasks and making contract management more efficient for attorneys, law firms, and their clients alike.