Why A Seasoned VP Made the Move to a Contract Lifecycle Start-Up

By Concord Editorial   Mar 11, 2021

Andy Ramirez is Vice President of Marketing for Concord and discusses in a Q&A why solving the contract lifecycle headache is the next right move for every business (and a no-brainer for him).  

Why Do Businesses Need Contract Lifecycle Management? 

A contract lifecycle management system solves one of the most frustrating and foundational parts of every business, the contract process. 

During the “.com” era of start-ups, it was common to watch companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars—without producing or selling a product or service. Eventually, of course, many of them went out of business. Those early days led to an insight that what these companies often failed at are the basic business processes that are the foundation of every business. 

What’s the one thing that has been the most painful? The contracts.  

Why are Legal Contracts Hard for Most Businesses? 

What do you think of when you hear the word “contracts?” Usually, It brings a sense of resistance, because you’ve probably had that experience of lots of back-and-forth, confusion about a contract with multiple versions floating around, chasing parties for signatures, or that frustrating moment when an executive joins at the last hour, derails the entire process, and forces a reboot. Unfortunately, these are all-too common experiences for most professionals, and in the age of automation, shouldn’t be a part of the business process.  

What Types of Businesses Need Contract Management Solutions? 

If you’re involved in hiring, procurement, acquisitions, sales, partnerships, or you just want to track a home rental agreement, contract management is a necessity. 

But the fact is, many times it can involve multiple contracts with a significant amount of back-and-forth during contract negotiation. What was true in the .com days is still happening now. The process can involve phone calls, in-person meetings, pitches, and mountains of documents. All of this back-and-forth contributes to significant delays in signing a contract. 

What are the Key Benefits of Automating the Contract Process? 

Over the years, technology has come along to make these processes easier than ever. For instance, HR systems now exist to make everything from onboarding to offboarding a breeze. And Salesforce fundamentally changed sales. But when you think about your experience implementing a new process, contracts continue to be the biggest log jam. So, contract management automation is the obvious and fundamental next step in automating business processes.  

What’s Different About Contract Management Now? 

Contract management isn’t totally new, but it also wasn’t prevalent in the .com bubble of yesteryear or even just a few years ago. Contract lifecycle management, where you can keep on top of deadlines, renewals, etc. to take action — that is newer and becoming its own category. Solving the pain of the contract management process goes beyond finding a way to do it, but finding a way to simplify it. 

What Problems Does Contract Management Automation Simplify? 

Everyone involved in the contract process has the same needs as before contract management software existed. They need answers to questions such as:

  • Where do I store contracts and how do I find them? 
  • How do I make sure everyone uses the right version?
  • Can I easily get my VP of Finance to review my contract before I send it to my counterparty?
  • How do I edit and redline a contract? 
  • How does contract negotiation work when we’re not in the same room together? 
  • Can I use an e-signature, and is it legally binding? Is there an audit trail?
  • How do I know when my contract is up for renewal?
  • How do I track the data in my contracts?

A contract management solution really solves each of these problems and you don’t have to connect multiple tools to do it anymore, either.  

What Makes a Good Contract Lifecycle Management Tool? 

A good contract lifecycle management tool is so easy to adopt and collaborate on that users truncate the process. It solves the problem of adoption, engagement, and collaboration with ease, for any size of organization. 

Why have multiple Word docs floating around with redlines in each that have to be aggregated into a Master? Why have comments in each of those that someone has to manually validate that they have been addressed? Why wait for each version to be sent around to discuss it?

And why manually manage who signs when and have to start the signature process all over when the order is wrong or the wrong person signs? Why do all that when you no longer have to? 

Can Contract Management Software Work for Any Industry?

Contract management can be complex, and can require multiple, separate tools. The vast majority of companies can succeed with a simple one-product solution that solves the pain points mentioned above, without creating new or integrating into complex processes. From small companies with just a handful of employees to larger ones that have a stand-alone Legal team to manage all of their agreements, the right solution needs to simply address adoption, engagement, and collaboration problems. Those problems are universal to contract negotiations, not industry-specific. 

Why Choose Concord? 

It was easy to see—in decades of experience in all sizes of companies, industries, and types of audiences—that there are no solutions out there this simple to use, that also solve every area any user really needs to execute a contract. 

It was ultimately also easy to see how this start-up offers a service that is undeniably necessary for business today. It just made sense to choose Concord for its features and functionality for any business.

Interested in learning more?

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Concord’s mission is to help companies achieve scalability and efficiency by automating their most central process, contracts. The cloud-based solution enables over 500,000 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.

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