Here’s why you should automate your contract lifecycle management

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By Jason Gabbard

Contract lifecycle management (CLM) software is becoming part and parcel of any company’s overall strategy to digitally transform the way it does business, and it’s not hard to see why. The time an average healthcare knowledge worker spends on relatively routine tasks and managing contracts could be better utilized on high value problem sets, such as patient satisfaction. 

CLM and Digital Document Transformation (DDX) are likely components of any company’s Digital Transformation (DX) program. In a survey of more than 2,400 decision-makers in legal, sales and information technology roles in their organization, 89 percent believe that a successful DX relies on having a good handle on how documents are created, managed and stored. And an incredible 97 percent say their organization has some sort of DX strategy, and 95 percent say that strategy has been successful on at least some level.

So it’s not hard to see why it’s such an important topic right now. 

Manual contract management is an unwieldy, risky undertaking and could result in unintended errors. Human error is unavoidable, but in healthcare as we all know, it must be avoided at all costs.

Enter: Automation

And it can be in one fell swoop: Through automation.

From massive health networks to the smallest clinic, automating contract management accelerates turnaround time, standardizes processes across the entire organization and improves regulatory compliance. 

And beyond the tactical elements of automating your CLM, there are some less tangible benefits, such as easing the stress and pressure on an employee by alleviating a tedious (an unnecessary!) part of their workload.

Great contract management software assists the knowledge worker at each stage of the process: From preparing the contract, to creation, then negotiations and finally, signing it. Once adopted, employees analyze, store and access critical data with ease. Users can also revise and amend documents, access  them and track them at any point along the lifecycle of the contract (at an accelerated pace).

By automating each phase, the streamlined process will take the contract lifecycle from days to minutes. Imagine what could be done with that time when it’s not spent on manually updating patient data in forms.

Life simplified

When a healthcare professional is preparing to create a contract, the software will allow them to search through previous contracts for standardized language. Once found, they can automate to avoid manually entering the same info in document after document. By the time they’re ready to create the contract, they’ll have all the data ready or easily discoverable at their fingertips — without much heavy lifting. 

Automating contracts means creating a template once that can then be updated with current information, easily, quickly and accurately. As the industry’s regulations evolve, so will the contracts with a centralized repository of pre-approved legal language and up-to-date wording. 

Once it comes time for negotiations, CLM software recognizes the inherent risk and tracks changes closing along each version to make sure that everyone is one the same page. To finish it all off, an electronic and legally binding eSignature will prevent paper waste and time spent on scanning or mailing hard copies.

But it doesn’t end there.

After the eSignature, contract management programs will store all the contracts and data in a contract repository, while reminding of important deadlines or renewals. The ability to seamlessly and easily check for trends across multiple documents means, yet again, that more time is freed up. If the software leverages artificial intelligence (AI) technology, it’ll automatically scrutinize the language for compliance, so each contract is stored properly. 

It’s not a moment, it’s a journey

It might just be software, but it’s intelligent — and smart enough to know contracts often aren’t stagnant. To keep up with these living documents, CLM software reminds users when deadlines or needed approvals are approaching. If the document is revised or updated, the software will scour it once more to ensure it meets all regulations and compliance standards.

Contract lifecycle management isn’t a straight line from contract inception to eSignature. It’s a winding curly-cue of road that costs unnecessary money, time and employee energy to travel down. 

It’s time to let a good CLM software help guide you.

About the Author

Jason Gabbard currently serves as the Head of AI Strategy at Conga, Prior to joining Conga, he was the founder and CEO of Counselytics, a consultant at Morgan Stanley, and an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Outside of Conga, Jason is also an attorney admitted to the New York and Kentucky Bar Associations, and an active venture capital investor and advisor. 

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