This is third in a four-part series for Legal teams on how to assure compliance; manage risk now and in the future; and enable growth.
The three main goals of modern legal teams
Become an integral part of the process. Legal has to become an integral part of the process—included in strategic decisions, conversations, and planning—to be effective.
In-house Counsel should be involved at every stage of a business decision. By being at the center of discussions and plans, Counsel will not only be doing more valuable (and interesting) work, it will live up to the name and provide true counsel and advice to help the business manage risk to its benefit.
While traditionally the hand of Legal has been seen as a blocker, Legal teams using a modern approach to risk management and compliance can not only assist other teams with implementation, they can actually accelerate success.
Every revenue stream and business decision—mergers and acquisitions, sales, strategic partnerships, new hires, and the list goes on—can benefit from having tools like approval workflows and templates in place that streamline and simplify contracting processes.
Manage risk now and in the future
Contracts are ground zero for setting expectations for the future, and where you assign risk. Each side must assess what level of risk it is comfortable carrying based on the appropriate factors—precedent, probability, impact, mitigation resources, necessity, and so on. During this stage teams should be collaborating with Legal, not circumventing, to ensure when a contract is drafted, risks are accepted that are fair and manageable. Now is also the time to make sure that any pricing, service-level agreements (SLA), clauses, and terms and conditions are carried over from the sourcing phase and written into your contracts.
Advanced features in contract management platforms can simplify this process with capabilities such as approval workflows and templates, guaranteeing an organization’s approval policies are respected and all necessary information is included on every contract. Modern contract management platforms drive more visibility, performance, and compliance throughout the contract process, and provide a significant opportunity for legal teams to capitalize on time and resources, as well as outmaneuver volatile market conditions and mitigate or eliminate risk.
Growth requires the ability to move fast. However, when you move fast you often increase risk. Unless that is, you have the right processes in place to enable speed without sacrificing compliance. Faster processes, accelerated revenue, and better negotiation are just the tip of the iceberg. (It’s a big iceberg.)
Another benefit? Actionable insights. For example, maybe there’s a clause that is repeatedly a blocker for deals. Be proactive and edit that clause at the template level to get agreements faster. You’ve done several deals over the previous years with a vendor and through the use of advanced features you’ve been able to identify an opportunity to bundle services and a ledge for negotiation that delivers better terms, including substantial savings.
Integrating contract processes into the everyday workflow of multiple departments without adding additional tools to learn increases adoption, ensuring the right contracts are used, and that Legal is always part of the conversation.
What’s clear from our research is what’s needed isn’t more processes, it’s a better, more automated, more integrated process. Enter the platform approach, which we’ll discuss in detail in part four of our series.
Concord’s mission is to help companies achieve scalability and efficiency by automating their most central process, contracts. The cloud-based solution enables over 400,000 users around the globe to create, collaborate, sign, store, and manage their agreements all in one place. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in San Francisco, Concord is built by business for business.