Your New CLM Tool: 6 Unexpected Things to Consider Before You Buy

The challenges around finding a good CLM tool continue to occupy the minds of CLOs and GCs. In a recent survey, 70% said they are looking to improve their existing contract management software, which is not surprising since a sophisticated, enterprise CLM tool can accelerate revenue, reduce risks and provide consistency and standardization.

When it comes to implementing technology to help handle your contracts, all contract software is not created equal. The following list shares key characteristics you should look for in a CLM tool.

A CLM Tool for All Phases of Contract Management

Getting a deal inked is only half of the process. Many contract management systems focus heavily (or even solely) on the pre-signature contracting phase. This is understandable since that phase requires a lot of heavy lifting in terms of workflow, collaboration and communications – often across multiple departments.

However, as corporate legal departments know, the contract lifecycle doesn’t end when the papers are signed. The contractual obligations must be managed to ensure critical dates, times and deliverables are met and accounted for. CLM technology that accomplishes this includes capabilities such as:

  • Batch review – Extract data from multiple legal documents at once for due diligence, applying contract updates or importing legacy contracts.
  • Repapering – Identify which contracts need repapering due to regulatory, policy or commercial changes in less than five seconds.
  • Contract abstraction – Identify key legal clauses, terms and details in documents for easy analysis and management.
  • Audit compliance – Automate large-scale legal contract review during regulatory changes and export relevant details to .CSV reports and in-document notes.
  • Due diligence – Automate the batch review of contracts for routine legal due diligence, making time for higher-value tasks.
  • Legacy contract migration – Analyze legacy contract metadata rapidly to extract critical dates, terms and clauses to assist in the import.

Unlimited Users

Contracts reach far beyond legal and across the enterprise, including sales, marketing, HR, procurement and more. All depend on contracts to move the company forward. Yet, many CLM tools require pricy licenses for each user – a situation that prioritizes dollars rather than speed, collaboration and productivity. With unlimited licenses, any stakeholder involved in a contracting process can access the system for self-service, submissions, updates and more.

Pre-Trained AI for Your CLM Tool

Historically, training AI is a time-consuming and costly endeavor that requires specialized AI-specific skills and resources. It’s understandably an endeavor that corporate legal departments are equipped to handle.

Your CLM tool should come with out-of-the-box functionality with pre-trained AI, and it should incorporate thousands of existing clauses created by legal experts. This means you can start using it – and seeing its value – right away.

Independence from Legacy Products

Since contract management challenges extend across an enterprise, some popular CLM solutions are reliant on specific legacy products or platforms. In this context, the contract management feature may be an addition with limited functionality bolted to a system built for an entirely different business use. This can present challenges, as it limits contract management potential. Beyond limited functionality, you may not be able to use or have access to the product (or have to pay for additional licenses). Additionally, the legacy product may require you to invest time in implementing and training to understand it beyond the contract management functionality. A better solution is to have a CLM tool independent of legacy products – a full-fledged system robust enough to handle the challenges of contract management on an enterprise level.

CLM Tool Integrations

Your CLM should work where you work, meaning integrations are vital. Most contract stakeholders – including lawyers – rely on Microsoft Word for contracts, which means you want to make sure your CLM system has a Microsoft Word add-in. The same is true for any other tools you use heavily or are used in your company. You want to make sure your CLM solution offers seamless integrations, so you don’t have to switch back and forth between solutions or resort to data entry to continue the information flow. This includes integration with existing legal systems such as matter management, spend management, legal holds, legal service requests, analytics and more.

Proven Expertise and Support

Never underestimate the value of your experience with a CLM technology provider. When you’re purchasing something as crucial as CLM, you want an expert sales representative who can understand your needs, ensure your CLM solution is a good fit and offer services and partners that can help with configuration, implementation and support.

The right CLM solution can mean significant savings in cost, better use of your staff’s time, increased efficiency and more. Schedule a demonstration with us today to learn more about how Onit CLM can work for you.

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