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5 Common Contract Bottlenecks & How to Fix Each

5 Common Contract Bottlenecks & How to Fix Each

May 08, 2018 Jamie Wodetzki Contract Management  

The Most Common Reasons for Contract Bottlenecks — And How to Fix Them

One complaint that we hear all the time from companies is that contracting takes forever. In many companies, it can take weeks to bring a contract from negotiation to execution, and it’s often due to issues in the contracting process itself — not the parties involved.

In fact, in a report from Gartner, 72 percent of in-house counsel teams said that faster contract turnaround times are necessary. The question is how can you speed up that process? By identifying the most common bottlenecks in the contracting process, and implementing an enterprise contract management platform that will eliminate those slowdowns, contracting turnaround times will shrink from weeks to days — or even hours.

Bottleneck #1: Information Scavenger Hunt

When contracts are stored on multiple systems, with different department and individuals “in charge” of them, it is difficult to find information that you need for subsequent contracts. What if, for example, you are working on a contract and want to model the terms after another contract with a similar client? You have to track down that contract – which may or may not be simple, depending on who has ownership of it – to review the terms and then draft the new contract. Or perhaps you are in the process of renegotiating a contract, and you want to review the historical performance of the client. You could spend days or weeks collecting and analyzing the data, slowing down the contracting process.

With an enterprise contract management platform, on the other hand, you could collect the information that you need in a matter of minutes. AI-powered data extraction and a secure, centralized repository keeps everything in one place – and searchable. There’s no need to go on a scavenger hunt or navigate complex organizational systems. A few clicks, and you have what you need to move forward.

Bottleneck #2: Lack of Automation

If you were to ask your legal team how much time they spend on actual strategic legal work, you’d probably be surprised to discover that it’s not a big part of their day. Most in-house legal counsel spends a great deal of time on lower priority activities, including drafting and reviewing low risk or low value contracts. Not only does that mean that your highly-paid legal team is spending time on activities that could be automated, such as non-disclosure agreements or standard sales contracts, but that the high-value contracts are delayed because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

With a contract management system, though, many of those lower-value activities can be automated, saving time and reserving your legal team’s expertise for higher value activities. By using a template-based document generation tool, approval workflows, and eSignature integration, your teams can develop their own ironclad contracts on their own and speed up the process considerably.

Bottleneck #3: Lack of Accountability

How many times have you been waiting for information, a draft, or other action — only to discover that the person that you’re waiting for had no idea that you need something from them? Have you ever missed deadlines or scrambled to put a contract renewal together because the expiration date snuck up on you? When contracts aren’t managed properly, it’s easy for important dates and tasks to be missed or fall off the radar, which not only slows down the process but can be costly and detrimental to your business. With an enterprise contract management platform, those important dates can be automatically added to relevant calendars, along with regular reminders to ensure accountability and met deadlines.

Bottleneck #4: Lack of Version Control

When contracts require multiple iterations, is everyone working from the same version? How can you be sure that you are working from the most accurate and up-to-date contract? Working on the incorrect version usually means spending additional time revising the correct one — or at worst, executing an incorrect version. With a central contracting repository and permissioned workflows, everyone is working from the same version, and you avoid spending extra time comparing multiple documents or working from incorrect versions.

Bottleneck #5: Analysis Takes Too Much Time

Legal departments are important as protectors as the company, but all too often, the rest of the organization sees legal as an obstacle to getting anything done. Often, this is because legal is charged with analyzing existing contracts to determine risk — something that can take weeks or even months without the right tools. Imagine combing through stacks of printed documents or spreadsheets to identify key terms and information. Sounds tedious, right? And yet your legal department is often expected to provide such analysis with short turnaround times.

And advanced contract management system with AI-driven insight capabilities can eliminate these bottlenecks by providing analysis and insights quickly, with just a few clicks. This makes it easier to determine risk, and speeds up contracting time.

In most cases, contracting bottlenecks are simply a result of a lack of a streamlined process for managing contracts. By implementing a contract management tool like Exari Contracts™, you can eliminate the chief causes of slowdowns, speeding up your contracting process, saving money, and improving your company’s overall strategic performance.

Improve your organization’s contracting with Exari’s enterprise contract management platform. Contact us today!


Jamie Wodetzki is Exari’s Co-founder and Chief Product Officer.