I was recently at an airport in Asia and was surprised to see coin-operated telephone booths. Despite the wave of nostalgia for my childhood that suddenly came over me – those heady days of having to remember important numbers by heart – I couldn’t help thinking about how the world has moved on since then.
From telephone booths to fancy little pagers, pagers to mobile phones, and now messages and calls on the internet via apps such as WhatsApp. If you’re not on WhatsApp or something similar, you’re considered outdated – especially by your children! And no matter how much nostalgia I have for old-school telephone booths, I can’t carry one with me and prefer the more advanced and agile world of mobile phones, with state-of-the-art cameras, 5G, and other features.
I see a similar pattern while talking to my customers, some of which still manage their contracts on paper, Excel sheets, or using other basic tools meant for a different purpose. Not only are outdated tools extremely frustrating, but they also don’t often solve the purpose. Instead of investing in the right solution, most of the budget goes into short-term tools. Although some of my customers bought contract management tools several years ago, they’ve never been updated and they get frustrated when the system doesn’t give them the desired results. It’s a bit like expecting Siri or Google Assistant to work on an old school, “unsmart” mobile phone.
If all of this sounds all too familiar, here’s my advice in how to update your contract management technology, or keep it updated:
- Choose a CLM solution best suited to your organization – gone are the days where you can manage your contract portfolio without a CLM tool. If you do, you’re probably losing a lot of money without realizing it. I suggest exploring the CLM market to see how next-generation CLM solutions can add value to your contract portfolio. There are a number of players in the market, and depending on your requirements, budget, and organization size, you can choose to a solution that ranges from the equivalent of a bicycle to a Ferrari! We’ve developed a tool in conjunction with the International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) that filters out your requirements. Read more about the benefits and how to use this tool.
- Update your CLM system on time and drive it with your tool vendors – if you’ve already implemented a solution make sure its kept updated and functional. Work with the solution provider to update its functionalities – the interface should be user friendly, fast, and accurate, and it should give you dashboards and reporting at a click of a button. If not, it’s time to talk to your vendor about updating the system, or look for plugins to supplement your existing tool. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) enabled tools is another area you might want to explore.
- Change management – encourage your people to use the latest tools and drive change management tactfully. This is the most difficult part and it’s human nature to resist change. If you’re updating your CLM system, ensure you provide adequate training for your users and get ready to address their concerns. In the same way it can take time to get used to a new car, adopting a new CLM solution takes a great deal of training and understanding. Change management is key and will require a lot of investment.
With the unrelenting growth in technology and advent of AI and ML tools, organizations cannot afford to ignore their contract management function. Upgrade it on a constant basis and you’ll be amazed to see the insights it can provide – especially amid often tense boardroom discussions.
Capgemini helps Fortune 100 companies drive meaningful intelligence out of their thousands of contract documents. To learn how Capgemini can provide the correct contract management platform for your organization, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to learn more about how Capgemini’s Contract Compliance & Optimization (CCO) solution provides a broader and deeper solution to your compliance, cost reduction and spend protection goals, from an often-overlooked area – the written contract.
Mani Agarwal advises clients on commercial and contract management transformation initiatives. He helps organizations to transform their contract lifecycle and contracts portfolio by implementing the right machine learning/AI tools. He also uses his expertise in optimizing the performance of contracts to ensure maximum value through all contractual opportunities and avoid any revenue leakage. Mani is a qualified lawyer and an elected member of the prestigious IACCM Council for IT and Outsourcing Networks. Prior to his role he worked in various large legal and technology companies managing their contracts and risk.