Technology, automation & digitization have been touching every aspect of business process. Be it customer engagement, product marketing, business operation transformation, HR processes, payroll, accounting, invoicing or legal contracts. CIOs across companies have top KRA to digitize each and every part of business.
Special attention is being given to all elements of a business transaction to ensure that transactions cycle move smoothly. A legal contract, which is essential for every commerce, however was one of the late entrants in digitization journey. The reason being since legal contract signing, execution and storage was done at the backdrop hence never got attention of top management including Business Heads, CIOs and CFOs.
In addition there were certain typical complexities in the process of agreement drafting, negotiating requiring usage of Microsoft word, emails and broken approval processes across organizations & verticals.
Covid 19 changed life for every business in Mar 2020 making them to shut offices for months still to run business, show business growth, and profitability and manage expenses in such torrential times. As they say “Necessity is mother of invention”, covid19 made CIOs, General Counsels and CFOs running for Contract Management Solutions, to enable legal contract management process completely digital.
While Contract Management Solutions were available in market for many years, however, the acceptance and penetration level was quite low for various budgetary and prioritization.
Contract Management process using technology has really evolved in last few years and gone are the days when every contract finalisation was requiring multiple meetings, emails, manual approvals, paper print-outs being sent to every signatory for physical signing, storage, retrieval and managing renewals & termination of each and every contract.
Today there are highly sophisticated Contract Management Solutions available with features like creating legal contract using ready templates, seamless integration with Office365 for document review & edits, flexible work-flows, communication platform, electronic signing using government authorised e-sign technology, managing renewals, pricing, obligations and digital storage.
Latest trends in Contract Management Solutions also includes machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence features for giving alert for risky clauses, Chabot to build contract using bots as part of automated on-boarding of customers and smart clause library, slice& dice dashboards for early alerts, management information and risk management, which makes the case to have Contract Management Solution as must for efficient running of Legal Department.
You really don’t need to execute contracts in paper form, store it in a secured cupboard or using a traditional scanner to keep one scan copy. All that has become completely redundant. All you need a smart Contract Management Solution which make life easier for Sales, Procurement, Legal, IT and Finance team in terms of co-ordination working as team, faster preparation of contract, review of contract by all stakeholders, approval and signing. All that on a single platform!
Smart API integrations with various CRM platform, ERPs, Procurement Solution & Office System also makes Contract Management Solution as very integral part of core business and reduce data feeding requirement to almost nothing. A good Contract Management Solution makes process efficient, digital and reduces cost of contract preparation by almost 40% and improves time to revenue by few weeks.
As Blockchain technology based on incorruptible ledger principle, is evolving and being curiously explored by BFSI, logistic, supply chain, Healthcare, Pharma, Retail industry CIOs, it has the tremendous potential to change contract management process big time.
The author is Founder, Volody
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