Recently, an article on the Legal tech news site Artificial Lawyer, revealed that “15% of people in inhouse legal teams use Post-it notes, and 12% said they would write reminders ‘on their hand” to handle post-signature contract renewals. The data, gathered from a range of UK companies, also reveals that other common solutions are reminders in calendars (39%) and reminders in phones (34%).
While this may shock some, not to mention the high-profile customers that do business with these companies, this is sadly not an unusual practice in the business world. Once a contract is signed, it’s often forgotten by the legal team. For instance, it may be filed away and assigned to someone else to keep up with expiration dates. This leads to misplaced contracts scattered across many desks or departments.
In fact, many companies lose a large portion of their revenue due to lost contracts or weak monitoring of important contract milestones. Specifically, the article suggests that unwanted contract renewals are costing UK businesses more than a billion pounds – every year.
Also, according to the article, “only 2% of those surveyed said they strongly disagree with the idea their company didn’t track contract obligations properly”. Obviously, that number is not very encouraging when it comes to the common issues above regarding poor contract management.
In fact, failure to stay on top of contract-related actions often leads to lost business opportunities. It also causes bad customer relationships and lost revenue. In order to maintain a consistent, organized system, contracts need to be stored digitally in one place – not on physical notes or spread across different folders. By keeping contracts in a centralized location, contracts and their related actions are searchable and easy to find.
Stay ahead of contract renewals and terminations with automated monitoring
It’s important to stay aware of all upcoming contract-related actions, but can you really trust an outdated system of notes and calendar reminders? Even your basic calendar in your computer can be unreliable when it comes to reminders of renewals, terminations or changes. Generally, these things tend to get lost in other notifications and activities. Not to mention that a regular calendar is usually highly manual work. Especially when detailed reminders are set for each and every contract milestone.
Additionally, many companies also keep their contracts filed away in cabinets or kept in a multitude of folders on different computers. Of course, this results in a lack of control over access and reminders. It’s equally important to know when a probation period comes to an end, when it’s time for a review or when to extend an agreement.
With this in mind, the baseline for monitoring contract milestones should be a contract management system that makes it easy to set up reminders for various milestones. At the same time, best-in-class solutions offer automated monitoring that minimizes manual work.
Above all, when you have proper contract management software, there’s no need to keep dates lying around on notes (or even to purchase large quantities of post-it notes). Instead, automated reminders can be customized for any event in a contract’s lifecycle. For example, this might be contract expiration dates, renewals, and renegotiations.
Vendors handle automated reminders differently but when you set up automated reminders in Precisely, it’s done on a template-level. By creating logic for the reminders, you don’t have to add reminders manually. Instead, the reminders are automatically added based on your setup when generating a document from the template.
Let’s take a look at an example. Do you usually check up on obligations and compliance 14 days after signing a certain type of agreement? With best-in-class software, you can create reminders based on those parameters. You also receive alerts for the important milestones when they’re getting close. Undoubtedly, this saves you a lot of time and stress over deadlines. All without post-its!
Automation is the answer
Much like many aspects of life and work, legal tech has greatly evolved over the past decade. Contract management is now a vital part of not only the procurement process but doing business as a whole. These days, all contract creation can be centralized, compliant and controlled so that you can carry out negotiations quickly and smoothly. In fact, the clients that Precisely serves have reduced their signature time up to 80%. This is because with a contract automation solution, a legal team has no need to be involved in every deal.
Furthermore, automated documents are equipped with rules and processes that Legal can set, empowering other members of a team to create compliant contracts. When Legal automates these processes, they have more time to focus on strategically important legal issues instead of paperwork.
Therefore, the savings from automating the legal process with document automation and contract management software not only saves costs, but also saves the time of employees. In this way, expertise is focused on the goal of the business and not in repetitive paperwork. Rather than hiring additional people, you can safely put contracts in the hands of employees without legal experience — granted they have access to the right software.
So, to sum up, it’s time to throw away the sticky notes. Modern contracting solutions are out there, and the majority of companies are switching over and making their contracting workflows much easier with automated solutions. Get the tools you need to improve your contract quality and productivity. Taking control of your contracts has never been easier!