If your company does business internationally, you are undoubtedly aware of the challenges that brings to contracting. Contracts need to be reflective of the current commercial status, which is constantly changing due to changes in the world, from changes in power to currency fluctuations, new international regulations, and rapidly changing international laws.
Once a contract has been executed, what happens to it? Does the contract move on to storage purgatory, never to be seen again — or at least until there is an issue that needs to be addressed, or you need to capture some information from the contract? How do you confirm that the terms of the contract are being met, and that all the major milestones and deadlines are being adhered to? And when the expiration date approaches, what do you do about renegotiating and/or renewing the contract?
Contract management is changing the way the world’s largest companies do business. How you may ask? By employing AI-driven technologies to better organize and operationalize their contracts, allowing them to save money, mitigate risk, and drive significant organizational efficiencies.
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. Here are five common bottlenecks and how fix them.
It appears that the days of massive stacks of paper, endless rows of filing cabinets, and clunky, ineffective ways of managing contracts are rapidly coming to an end. Although contracts are the lifeblood of nearly every organization in every industry, traditionally the management of these documents has been disjointed at best.
Selecting a contract management system is only the beginning to getting a handle on your contracts. Once you have chosen the platform you want to use, you need to transition your team into using the tool — and that’s usually a bit more complex than simply instructing people to use it. Not only do you need to provide training and instruction in how to use the system, you need to gain buy-in from individuals who might not understand why they need to change how they do things.
Every contract that your company has contributes to its value; even customer contracts that are still in the negotiation phase contribute to the bottom line. Yet for such a valuable asset, too many companies don’t manage their contracts to capture maximum value.
By choosing the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), you gain more accurate insights into your contract performance, which can drive more strategic actions and improve results. So how do you choose the right contract KPIs?
If you were to ask your legal team how much of their day is spent on actual legal work — the kind of tasks that would represent billable hours in a law firm — how do you think they would respond? Maybe 75 percent of each day? 50 percent on a bad day? Less than 50 percent when things go horribly wrong?
Traditionally speaking, contract management has been the foundation of any effective quote-to-cash process. At every step, from the negotiation and creation of the contract through its execution and ultimate renewal, contract management has been the key to creating ironclad contracts that support solid customer relationships — and the organization’s revenue.
The process of contracting does not end once contracts are negotiated and signed. In fact, you might even argue that this is when the real work begins. That’s when both parties are now legally responsible for meeting the obligations of the contract. All too often, though, organizations have little to no insight into their contracts, leading to noncompliance with the stipulations of the contracts.
In recent years, cloud-based solutions have become a key driver of efficiency and productivity within organizations of all sizes. One area that’s seen significant development is contract management. Contract lifecycle management has moved from the category of “we’ll look into that when we grow” to a must-have for businesses of all sizes. Contracts are the lifeblood of any thriving company, and without a tool to manage them from drafting through implementation, the enterprise faces significant risk, not to mention lost revenues and declines in productivity.
The U.S. healthcare industry is faced with constant disruption with new market requirements, new regulations and evolving reimbursement rates structures. Payers need to be able to adapt and respond to these changes faster in order to continue to thrive and remain competitive in a new age of digitization.
If you were to guess how much revenue you lose every year due to poor contract management, what would you say? 1 percent? Maybe 5 percent? Or maybe you don’t think that your contract management is costing you any money — after all, contracts are designed to make you money.
If you were to calculate the amount of time that your legal team spends on contracting, you might be astounded at the number of hours they devote to generating contracts, gathering approvals, and chasing signatures — not to mention, the time they spend searching contracts for specific language or tracking renewals and expirations. Or, if you needed insight into your existing contract portfolio, how long it would take your team to analyze every contract to find and report on the required information. All of those hours represent big money to your company — and in many ways, a waste of resources.
Contracts form the heart of your business. They determine how your company will generate revenue, outlining the obligations of both you and your customers — and the consequences should either party fail to follow through.
Whether you like it or not, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here — and not only here to stay, here to thrive. A recent HubSpot-led survey of more than 1,400 global consumers found that 63 percent of people who use artificial intelligence software and technology don't even realize they are using it. AI has become a vital part of our daily lives, both at home and in the office. Now, imagine the doors you could open (quite literally in some cases, in fact) with the conscious and purpose-driven use of Artificial Intelligence software.
You are the chief underwriting officer of a multinational reinsurance firm. Your business leadership has just asked you to quantify your organization's global property and excess liabilities as part of an across-the-board evaluation of brokering standards, exposures, and underwriting guidelines. You send your staff off to crunch the numbers from contract data in your data mart, yet you know that any analysis you do is skewed to the point of being useless in its predictive capabilities.
The definition of a contract is simple: It’s an agreement between multiple parties in which one or more parties has an obligation (or several) to the others. The physical contract itself is just a record of that agreement, outlining all of the pertinent details.
Companies make enormous investments in CRM and enterprise systems. So, it’s only natural that they would look to stretch their investment by using those systems for as many functions as possible. The more you use it, the higher the ROI.
Every modern business must deal with contracts. From internal employment contracts to external contracts with vendors and clients, they are an integral part of the operation of any business. Yet for all of the importance that contracts hold to companies, in most cases, contract management is often an afterthought — if it’s even considered at all. Unfortunately, this “out of sight, out of mind” approach to the contract management process often means missed milestones and opportunities — not to mention, a good chance that a business could be out of compliance with federal and industry guidelines related to contract management.
Contract management is much more than simply drafting an agreement between two parties, gathering signatures, and moving ahead with a relationship — and sticking the document in a filing cabinet somewhere, only to be seen again when an issue arises.
Up until recently, artificial intelligence (AI) was just another new buzzword I was seeing all over Twitter, Facebook, and pretty much every major publication. What came to mind when I would hear about AI was robots making my venti coffee at Starbucks (stay tuned I have a feeling about this one). What I didn't realize is that I was already using AI in my everyday life. Anyone heard of a miss Siri? How about those product recommendations on Amazon or Google’s language translator? Not only does AI play a role on my Amazon Prime membership but it is also making its way into my workplace.
This week Lloyd’s of London issued a new report, which said that the potential loss to the insurance industry from a global cyber-attack, could be as high as $53bn.
The time has come for General Counsels and their teams to deliver true business value, by leveraging complete mastery over their organization's contract portfolio. For too long, contract management has been cast in the "too hard" and "so what?" baskets. And with good reason.
Contract management systems were too hard to implement - data capture was manual and slow, took staff away from their day jobs, and return on investment was questionable and impossible to quantify.
The Confluence of AI, Good Data, and a Mature CLM Vision
Welcome back for the third and final installment of this blog series. When we last left off, we were talking about me being floored by Jamie’s notion of the Universal Contract Model™(UCM). To re-iterate, the UCM is a simple, yet unparalleled line of thinking that not only lays the foundation for enterprise contract lifecycle management, but dictates how a contract management platform can grow and scale across the entire enterprise.
The Confluence of AI, Good Data, and a Mature CLM Vision
Thanks for joining me for the first part of my blog series- now let's move on to the second. In this edition, I want to tell the story of how I became involved with Exari and why good data is important. A little while back, I met with Bill Hewitt, Exari's CEO, and we started talking about contract management. Our discussion centered around two areas, what most contract lifecycle management companies were doing well and was somewhat commoditized, and what they weren’t doing very well.
The Confluence of AI, Good Data, and a Mature CLM Vision
For over a decade now, I've been searching for the one true contract lifecycle management (CLM) platform that can do it all. The story that I'm going to tell over the next three blog posts is one derived from my experiences, a true passion for CLM, and a desire to see customers succeed in this field. I will not try to impress you with flashy metrics, industry buzzwords, or the hottest new tech hype; I'm simply going to tell my story as it played out, why I landed where I am now, and how I believe AI and contract management are thankfully evolving and converging in some very exciting ways.
If you’re reading the Exari blog, chances are good that you’re already a forward-thinker at an innovative company. And if you’ve been tracking the contract management market, I'm sure you'll agree that it has never been more exciting with major advancements happening at a quick pace. But. let’s be straight, it hasn’t always been this way. Organizations have lived through decades of less than stellar contract management initiatives with limited adoption and an incomplete understanding of their contracts.
Several years ago, I took a class in artisanal bread baking at the King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center. My baking partner was a retired accountant from Manchester, Vermont. When we started making our first type of bread, he seemed to be asking a lot of questions about substituting ingredients; margarine for butter, whole wheat flour for white flour, no salt, etc. When the instructor dug a little deeper, she found out that no matter what he tried, his bread wouldn’t rise.
At a time when legal teams are inundated with data, the lack of clear and concise information and how to use that data to make transformational decisions remains elusive to most stakeholders. In recognition of this dilemma, technology is rapidly evolving to capture vast stores of “big data” and analyze them in ways that provide legal with new insights into their operations to manage risks and drive the right kinds of change to improve results.
The new revenue recognition guidelines are coming into effect in 2018. We've defined a 3 step approach explaining the process for those of you that are not directly involved.
Here in Boston, we’re used to getting hit with major winter snow storms. It’s a New England ritual to head out to your car before work and start scraping layers of ice and snow from the windshield. If you’ve ever found yourself in this situation you know you’ll take any shortcut to keep your fingers from freezing. The ice will melt once your heater kicks in, right? Poor visibility, I hate to admit, is a risk most of us are willing to take.
If you’re just joining in now, feel free to go back to part 1 of this blog series. If not, here is a quick recap: There isn’t much time left to come up with a plan for the new revenue recognition guidelines since they are coming into effect in 2018. There are a lot of factors and hard work that go into complying with these new standards, so we've simplified the process by taking a three-step approach to help you on your journey to increasing compliance.
Have you ever experienced a failed deployment of contract management software? At Exari we have talked to hundreds of people about what has worked and what has not worked for them. The most common topic that comes up in these discussions is centered around data. Until now it has been cost-prohibitive and time-consuming to represent contracts as data.
Last Tuesday we held a joint webinar with IACCM’s CEO Tim Cummins alongside our Co-Founder Jamie Wodetzki, in which they discussed the topic of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) for contracts professionals, what it means and how it will impact their business and career in the near future.
Even after eight years since the financial crisis, we are still seeing firms continue to recover and take critical steps to put strategies in place for improvement. Firms are focusing on reducing their costs, while increasing their ability to respond to the changing regulations around ensuring financial health.
Historically, businesses have struggled with successful adoption of Contract Management systems across their entire enterprise. Often times, only a small department will use the system around their specific processes, leaving other areas of the business in the dark. While this may increase process efficiency for one group, it does not solve the issue of contract certainty across all disciplines and all contract types.
Once organizations reach a certain size, companies will have to face a constant balancing act: deciding whether (and how much) to bring legal staff on as full-time employees. As in-house counsel, I recognize the unique value outside lawyers bring to the table. They can provide important expertise, offer a second opinion, and jump into a project when in-house counsel get swamped. At the same time, companies are becoming increasingly aware that it makes sense not only to have smart lawyers on speed dial, but to actually bring them into the office and embrace legal automation.
Do DNS attacks mean you should have a backup plan?
Last week, DNS attacks leveled key gateways leading to dozens of outages amongst business applications. For so many companies who have become dependent on SaaS applications or cloud-based services it was a scary event that at a minimum led to a loss of productivity.
In Cambridge, just across the Charles River from Exari’s Boston headquarters, MIT’s Bengt Holmström and Harvard’s Oliver Hart have spent decades researching contracts, both how they look and how they shape our world and daily lives. On Monday, they were awarded the 2016 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for their research into “Contract Theory.”
Here’s a strange comparison for you: contracts are like concrete. But what do legal agreements have to do with building materials? Think about a concrete foundation. If a foundation isn’t rock solid, whatever is constructed on top of it could collapse without warning-the same is true about any company. A business is only as strong as the contracts it’s built upon and its ability to fully understand and comply with those contracts.
At Exari we’re always innovating. Coming up with new strategies for making our customers’ experience even better is an obsession! We get the chance to talk with hundreds of companies about the contract creation process and we are consistently asked for help in making it more streamlined. A primary benefit of a contract management solution is breaking up the many steps involved in contract drafting, negotiation and execution processes so they can be more easily automated - freeing up more time for you to get back to important tasks.
We recently discussed the new uncleared margin regulations (UMR) and best practices for successfully re-papering your Credit Support Annexes (CSA’s.) Now that you’re up to speed on what it means for your organization and the steps for re-papering, there is a bit more you should consider when evaluating each agreement. To get you the best advice we teamed-up with experts in this subject in order to bring you all the information you will need to successfully comply.
The concept of contract management can get quite complex. There are many different contract-related challenges facing the modern enterprise, and they don’t affect all people the same way. The best way to get started is simple, yet highly effective - we call it the three O’s of contract management: Organize, Operationalize, and Optimize.
For over 300 years the Lloyd’s market has been one of the most innovative sources for risk management solutions. From body parts to nuclear reactors, Lloyd’s is a one stop shop for the world’s specialty insurance and reinsurance needs. It’s an ecosystem where close personal relationships, proximity of brokers and underwriters and actual paper policies still matter - and for those willing to work within the square mile of the City of London, it’s incredibly efficient.
Business as usual is no longer an option for banks. With the new margin requirements for uncleared derivatives, it’s time for banks to buckle down and revise existing, or re-paper their CSAs to be compliant. These regulations are meant to promote central clearing and reduce the risks associated with trading.
This week, DerivSource interviewed Alexandre Bon, Senior Solution Architect at Murex, to discuss the growing needs of an Enterprise View of Data in Financial Service firms. He explains how it is essential in order to comply with both the FRTB and SA-CCR requirements, as firms need full visibility into client and trade data.
The guessing game is over. Brexit is official. Pretty soon, the United Kingdom will no longer be a member of the European Union. Which means that lawyers around the world are scratching their heads about what it means for their clients, their firm or their company. Is it cause for panic, or a storm in a tea-cup?
It was a beautiful afternoon in Boston as Chief Compliance Officers from the area convened to discuss the changing role of compliance at their financial services firms. The venue, Top of the Hub, is situated at the highest point in Boston – amazingly appropriate given the conversation quickly gravitated towards visibility and the difficulty of transforming ISDA Masters & CSA’s into data that can be more easily analyzed and operationalized.
According to The National Contract Management Association, 81% of members reported that finding their contracts was a major concern. Think about your own experience - have you ever needed to look into the details of a contract and couldn’t find the right agreement? For a small number of contracts this could be considered sloppy, but for more it’s dangerous and frankly puts your firm at risk of being blindsided at the worst possible moment.
Last week, Exari teamed up with IACCM for an insightful webinar to explore the meaning of “Contract Certainty” and how you and your business can work towards achieving it. Attendees also got a look into our Universal Contract Data Model™ and what’s in store for the future with the newly announced CMA Contiki and Exari combination.
I spent this week with our talented team in London and talking with leaders in both financial services and insurance. We've recently delivered a new Contract Model that enables companies to more effectively manage risk. Most of the leaders I spoke with expressed deep concerns about the risk embedded in their contracts- one top ten bank said "we have all the data, we just don't know if it's the right data".
Are you still drafting thousands of contracts manually? In Word? Or storing multiple versions of paper contracts in a filing cabinet? Well, you’re not alone.
“You’re wanted upstairs. Now. As in, immediately.” There’s nothing quite like these words to kick off a relaxing day at the office. You head up to the executive suite wondering what fire-drill, or firing offense, awaits.
Today we announced DocGen 7.0, a major release in the history of this market-leading product. For those of you who are new to Exari, we were the first XML-based document assembly product on the market nearly 15 years ago. Today, our DocGen engine powers thousands of documents and contracts for hundreds of thousands of users worldwide.
Contract management has been around for years; as I’ve written before, most systems are document based. The future- and the bleeding edge - is data-based. Why?
Your contracts are your business's most precious documents. They represent what your company owes and is owed, what you have been promised, what you are obliged to do and what your expectations of suppliers are. Do you want your precious contracts in systems that have general access or are used by corporate functions that have the highest staff turnover rates?
Ask most 7-year-olds what they want to be when they grow up and you'll get the usual mix of astronauts, firemen, doctors, policemen and nurses. You won't get too many that proclaim a desire to work with contracts, let alone in the Contract Lifecycle Management space. At Exari we're obsessed with contract certainty.
We’re all aware of the benefits of automation, we do so much of it! Our network monitoring, backups, integrity and heath checks, spam filtering, intrusion detection, software builds and unit tests are all largely already automated. But one area that often seems to be left out in the cold is the automation of documents and documentation.
You know you need contract management software. As Gartner reported recently, “CLM Is Moving From ‘Nice to Have’ to ‘Need to Have.’” But how to convince your boss?
Wikipedia defines eating your own dog food or dogfooding as a way for a company to demonstrate confidence in its own products. The idea is that if the company expects customers to buy its products, it should also be willing to use those products itself. The marketing folk tend to refer to the same concept as the slightly more urbane "drinking your own champagne."
Don't get me wrong - I love a good home cooked meal. Fresh ingredients and loosely followed recipes mean that no two meals are ever identical. Flavors, textures and intensities always vary. Fast food is exactly the opposite - order a Big Mac anywhere in the world and you know exactly what to expect. Hilton (Conrad, not his great-granddaughter Paris) applied the same principal to his chain of hotels, with notable success.
I recently heard a story of a services firm that generated contracts from “passed around” Word templates. At some point, somebody actually read through the contract and realized the entire liabilities and indemnification section had been deleted. This contract form had been used for 2 years.
Contracts are the backbone of every organization. They define and contain every aspect of all corporate relationships; with employees, customers, vendors, partners and stakeholders. Managing your contracts efficiently amounts to managing your business efficiently. And the same holds true whether your contracts are sales contracts, insurance policies, or financial documentation such as ISDA Master Agreements.
Welcome back for installment two of The 5 Scariest Questions Your CEO Could Ask About Your Contracts, based off our recent webinar of the same name. In Part 1, we detailed the first three situations in which not knowing your contracts inside and out could make you shake in your boots: 1) an M&A event 2) a rogue vendor and 3) an MFN clause. Let's dive into the rest.
Even if you’re not scared of your CEO, you may be scared of the questions they could ask about your risk and liability. It's a good thing your contracts can probably tell you everything you need to know. We recently produced a webinar called The 5 Scariest Questions Your CEO Could Ask About Your Contracts. Pulling from the webinar, we'll go through the five scenarios in which your ability to mine into your contract data could make a massive difference to your business and your reputation.
Today we announced Exari Contracts Hub™, the newest offering to advance the practice of Contract Lifecycle Management. Who cares, you ask? Well, you should. Every business runs on contracts. And every business knows their customers (CRM) their accounts (financials) their suppliers (procurement) and their employees (HCM). What do all of these have in common? They are ruled and governed by contracts.
All companies – from retailers to hedge funds – know that customers are their number one priority. Client obligations are always the first concern as customer satisfaction is the only reliable road to growth. The 2013 Lloyd’s Risk Index cited “loss of customer” or “abandoned transaction” as the second-most-critical business risk (ahead of cyber risk and behind taxation). First of all, we all know that it is far more expensive (according to some studies up to 10 times more) to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones.
Hedge funds deal in risk: it’s how they make money for their clients, it’s how they build and prosper. But while hedge funds and asset managers may be experts in managing financial risk, they must come to grasps with the new and evolving risk that threatens their entire business model: the risk of a hack.
How many of you are looking forward to the holiday season and everything it brings? For most people, late December means long evenings with family, too many cookies, and puppies leaping out of elaborately wrapped boxes; in short: joy.
You’ve realized you need a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution. You’ve also made the decision whether to build your own solution or buy from a CLM vendor. The benefits you’ll see are clear: complete and meaningful insight into contract data, increased ability to collaborate, time and cost savings, and better decision making through reduced risk. However, the path to reach these benefits can be less clear. The “best” way forward differs by company, of course, but a lot can be learned from those who have faced similar challenges.
We have just read a very interesting post on LawSites by Robert Ambrogi that provides his thoughts on the 10 most important legal technology developments of 2013. At Exari, we’ve experienced many of these trends firsthand by working closely with dozens of leading companies on their document assembly and contract management challenges.
We’re living in the brave new world of big data. It’s here, it’s real and it’s already changing our lives in awesome ways. With all of its potential, though, comes the fear that the vast stores of information institutions hold will be used for malevolent purposes.
The scariest part of this Halloween season might be what’s lurking in the dark.
We’re not talking about spiders and skeletons, ghouls or goblins; we’re talking about all the important – dare we say critical – information about your business that is kept hidden in filing cabinets, inboxes and shared drives. That’s right: contract data. The phrase alone may be enough to send chills up the spine of every General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer in companies where contract data remains buried, disregarded, left for dead.
Why Contract Lifecycle Management Services MattersContracts serve as the backbone of the modern business. They contain nearly all the information you need to be able to assess the health of your business and your business relationships, both internal and external. The best Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solutions available today not only automate contract creation, they import key data points from legacy contracts, so you can search, sort, share and report on the data of your entire contract portfolio.
In a recent post on his blog, Commitment Matters, Tim Cummins of IACCM observes that, while the usage of contract management (CM) software has increased substantially in recent years, it hasn’t quite lived up to the original hype. As a CM software company, we agree that many vendors and companies alike have been slow to recognize the full range of potential benefits from CM. Instead, vendors have specialized on one or two dimensions of CM – such as centralized storage or speedy drafting – while neglecting other parts of the contract lifecycle. The degree of customization thought necessary to meet individual corporation’s unique needs has often led to a cumbersome end-user experience, which discourages use, thus undercutting the inherent value of the solution.
Law firms use ridiculous amounts of paper. A study from a few years ago estimated that a single attorney in the U.S. will use up to 100,000 sheets per year – that’s nearly 400 pages per workday. And that’s crazy.
You’re ready to implement a contract lifecycle management tool. Your company cannot maintain its place in the competitive market unless it adopts a comprehensive, streamlined system for managing the lifecycle of its contracts, from creation to archiving and everything in between. You need meaningful, complete insight into contract data; you need libraries of best-practice clauses to be shared among attorneys; you need to be able to create contracts with far more speed and accuracy; you need to you need to be able to store and locate your existing contracts; and, most importantly, you need it to be intuitive enough that your team will want to use it.
Contracts contain a wealth of information that tell you what is going on in your business. When properly drafted, negotiated and managed, they also defend your business against risks such as liability, being underpaid or overcharged, and a wide variety of the unknown and unforeseen. In short, contracts protect against risk by giving you the information you need both on an everyday basis and in times of crisis, when speed, decisiveness and certainty are key.
The legal profession is steeped in tradition and history. In fact, the law itself tends to respond to contemporary problems by looking back, and legal professionals are no different. If we should believe stereotype – and many firsthand accounts – lawyers tend to resist change tooth and nail. After all, they were bred – and are handsomely remunerated – in an age-old institution that lauds ethics and intellect, not innovation and reinvention.
We take pride in Exari’s reputation for being responsive to the ongoing feedback we get from our clients. One of the newest features of our Intelligent Contract Management software, the Negotiator Ribbon, is the direct result of this input and represents yet another step in our mission to help organizations streamline, manage and track the lifecycle of their contracts.
Scientia potentia est – Knowledge is power – it’s a trusted truism dating back thousands of years. In the business realm, knowledge means not merely understanding the demands of your industry and clients – it means knowing how to use the information you have to improve the overall health of your business.
Exari is launching a competition for practitioners of the London Insurance Market and their overseas colleagues. We are looking for suggestions of widely used documents that would benefit the market most if automated.
Neuroplasticity is a relatively new term that describes the way our brains are capable of continually adapting and changing in ways that are both surprising and amazing. It turns out that we form new neural connections throughout our lives in response to new situations or changes in our environment.
On 7 January 2014, Exari, along with its partner Tier 2, will present an overview of the SmartForms project at the first Lloyd’s Technology Thought Leadership Session of 2014. During this event, Martin Kett, VP, Insurance Client Development at Exari, will show how complex MRCs can be created efficiently and accurately using Exari’s web-based questionnaire, capturing risk data as a by-product of the process without any additional effort. The 25-30 minute presentation will be followed by a 10-15 minute Q&A session and will take place at the Old Library at Lloyd’s in London.
Can machines out-think humans, today or maybe someday? And what impact could this eventuality have on professions such as the law? Will computers replace the lawyers and contract managers who currently create, negotiate, analyze and track contracts? Or does the complexity of these tasks require a mysterious human touch?
In reviewing how one of the world’s largest audit firms uses its Exari Document Assembly software and what benefits are delivered, some interesting insights have arisen that can apply to any business case that needs to justify spend on Contract Management and Document Assembly solutions.
Brokers in the London insurance market still, largely, rely on a document called a “slip” or, more officially, a “Market Reform Contract” (MRC) to negotiate commercial insurance risks with underwriters. The process varies between the 197 Lloyd’s brokers, but generally, begins with the preparation of an MRC in MS Word. Little or no data is captured during the process, and any information needed to track the deal is rekeyed (often multiple times).
Five years ago, I was at a party for my wife’s sailing group. Bored, I started a conversation with someone I knew from volunteering in my small Massachusetts town.
As the name implies, contract management is primarily about managing your contracts: knowing what they are and where they are; and making sure you don’t miss important performance milestones and renewal dates. These are all good things, but they don't really make you a high performance contracting organization. To truly claim "high performance" status, you need to do more than just manage contracts.
We live in a litigious world, and most businesses are dealing with contracts that are both more numerous and more complex. So there are many good reasons to automate and improve the way those contracts are managed.
In the context of an M&A event, a "haircut" is generally not a good thing. In fact, a haircut on your company valuation can be a very bad thing, discounting your value to the tune of millions of dollars. And if your contracts contain certain valuation-shrinking clauses, it is exactly what you'll get.
It's hard enough to get lawyers to agree about things happening right now. Getting them to agree about the future? That's impossible. So it's no surprise that there were many different views of the future at Stanford's Stanford's FutureLaw Conference Conference. The event, hosted by the "CodeX" Center for Legal Informatics, brought together a broad mix of legal, technology, business, academic and finance people for a busy day of future-gazing. What follows is my personal take on the conference highlights and some impressions on where there was (or wasn't) consensus. For another perspective, you can read Tim Hwang's take on the "Stanford Consensus" here .
Where is your company on the Contract Management Maturity Assessment Model?
Have you ever wondered how effectively your company manages its documents? At what stage in the contract lifecycle are your processes most inefficient? And how different are your contract management practices from those of best in class companies?
In conjunction with General Counsel Metrics, LLC, we invite you to take part in the world’s largest benchmark survey. More than 800 companies have done so already this year. For the first time, this year's GC Metrics Survey will include a question about Contract Management software. Respondents will be able to see how many of their peers have automated their contracts process and which software packages are in use across legal departments.
At the recent IACCM EMEA Forum, we conducted a workshop with Devant, a specialist commercial contract creation, negotiation and education consultancy, entitled, “Managing the Spectrum of Complexity,” and have compiled the outputs into a new report.
In an effort to "demystify" document assembly and contract management, we recently hosted a webinar outlining some basic concepts. You can view a recording here.
We will be exhibiting Exari Document Assembly and Contract Management solutions at two upcoming industry conferences. If you'll be attending either, please stop by to say hello and see what's new. If you haven't yet registered and would like to attend, we can provide you with discount codes.