February 18, 2021
February 2021- Tips for Streamlining Your Contract Process
If your legal department is struggling to focus on strategic objectives amid ever-increasing contract volumes, contract standardization and automation can make life easier for your team while also improving outcomes.
There are opportunities for improvement throughout the contract lifecycle that will streamline the contract process for improved business outcomes and will also allow your legal team to concentrate on the most critical deals and proactive strategic counseling.
- Intake and assignment of matters
- Obtain required information at the outset
- Use smart forms
- Assign the right resources
- Creating the contract
- Leverage templates
- Automate agreement generations
- Refine templates based on experience
- Negotiating and redlining counterparty forms or comments
- Build negotiation playbooks that provide comprehensive guidance
- Maximize use of preapproved clauses
- Automate version control
- Escalations to legal, SMEs or business stakeholders
- Put decision-makers in a position to resolve escalations
- Track escalation status
- Establish clear governance and decision-making authority
- Recording the contract and key information
- Record the fully executed agreement
- Use the stored information to manage the contract
Once you start to standardize and automate contract management, creating new contracts gets easier each time.
After you’ve defined your organization’s risk tolerance and the terms and conditions that can be accepted, business stakeholders can safely work directly with counterparties to define contract terms and resolve disputed issues.
Robust playbooks and artificial intelligence can flag situations when a legal expert needs to get involved – for example, because the predefined guidelines can’t be followed. Appropriate triage, assessment and assignment processes can put that review in the hands of the most cost-effective resource. Escalation processes and tools can speed closure of difficult issues and assure proper accountability for deviations from your risk standards. And a “smart” contract repository will facilitate both search for relevant information and good contract management.
The Winter issue of ILTA’s Peer to Peer magazine includes the article, “5 Tips to Streamlining the Contract Process,” authored by Chase D’Agostino and Andy Banquer of QuisLex. This article offers a deeper look into how to improve each step of the contract lifecycle for increased efficiency and improved outcomes.