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Key tips for choosing the best CLM for your company

In a business world where efficiency and accuracy are key, understanding and adopting Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) has become essential. This blog post will explore why your organisation needs a CLM system, highlighting the key features that should not be missing from any solution on the market. We'll also explore key recommendations for selecting a CLM system and analyse the transformative impact of artificial intelligence on these platforms. Ready to discover how CLM can solve day-to-day operational problems and drive growth and innovation within your organisation? Find out in the next few lines.

In this blog post you will find:

  1. What is CLM and why does my company need it?
  2. 10 CLM Functionalities you should look for in the market
  3. 10 key recommendations to consider when looking for a CLM
  4. Why you should consider AI when looking for a CLM

Legal team gathered in a glass office. Article by Bigle Legal CLM.

What is CLM and why does my company need it?

Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software offers a complete solution for managing contracts in an organisation. This type of system covers every stage of the contract: from the request to the automatic creation of the contract, through negotiation, approval, and fulfilment, to digital signature and finally expiry or renewal. Using a platform such as the one provided by Bigle Legal, companies can coordinate the entire contract process efficiently, thereby ensuring regulatory compliance and streamlining legal operations. This approach not only simplifies administrative tasks but also transforms the way companies manage their contractual obligations and rights.

10 CLM Functionalities you should look for in the market

When considering CLM software, it is important to look for features that align with your company's specific needs. In any case, a state-of-the-art CLM should include at least those listed here:

  • Template automation: Includes tools for negotiation, document storage and automated workflow configuration that streamline contract creation and management.
  • Document automation: Ability to generate documents quickly, drastically reducing processing times and increasing operational efficiency.
  • Electronic signature: Eliminates the need for paper, allowing documents to be signed digitally and securely, speeding up approval cycles.
  • Secure cloud-based platform: Offers the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world and ensures availability even without an internet connection.
  • End-to-end traceability: Provides full lifecycle tracking of each contract with automatic alerts to keep everyone informed of deadlines and changes.
  • Cross-device compatibility and easy integration with other software: Designed to work across multiple devices and integrates seamlessly with other business systems such as ERP and CRM.
  • Multilingual platform: Supports multiple languages, making it easy to manage contracts in a globalised environment.
  • One-click translation into multiple languages: Simplifies the translation of documents into multiple languages directly from the platform, improving communication with international parties.
  • Ability to integrate with other software and databases via API: Enables seamless integration with ERP, CRM and document management systems, creating a connected and efficient ecosystem.
  • Use of customisable metadata: Offers advanced options to customise metadata, creating specific views, reports and statistics to help analyse and optimise contract management.

Request a free demo with our legal operations experts and discover Bigle Legal's CLM platform.

Group of inhouse lawyers chattering up the stairs of a glassed-in office. Article by Bigle Legal CLM.

10 key recommendations to consider when looking for a CLM

The approach to finding a CLM solution can be motivated by many reasons and objectives, but there are certain maxims that apply in all cases. Let us leave you with five timeless recommendations (for the time being) that are common to all CLM implementation projects.

  • Usability: Look for a CLM that offers an intuitive and easy-to-navigate user interface. Usability is critical, as it directly affects how quickly your team can adapt and get the most out of the software. A user-friendly system reduces the learning curve and increases user acceptance.
  • Support: the team first: Make sure that the CLM provider offers excellent technical support. Not only in terms of troubleshooting but also by offering training and resources to help your team understand and manage the system effectively. Good support can mean the difference between a successful project and one that generates frustration and errors.
  • Involve the right teams, involve users, and gather feedback: Implementing a CLM should be a collaborative effort.
  • Involve the end users who will interact with the system on a daily basis from the beginning. This includes gathering their feedback and making adjustments based on their experiences and needs. The more involved the team is, the more personalised and effective the system will be.
  • What is my problem - does the chosen software solve it: Before choosing a CLM, clearly identify the problems you need to solve. Evaluate how each software option aligns with these problems and consider whether it provides effective solutions. Remember, the goal is to achieve clear and tangible "wins" that improve contract management processes in your organisation.
  • Rely on legal ops: an increasingly necessary profile: Legal operations professionals (legal ops) play a crucial role in optimising processes and technologies in the legal domain. Their experience and expertise can be invaluable when selecting and configuring a CLM. If you do not have a legal ops expert, consider hiring external advice or investing in training someone within your team for this role.

But let's get even more down to earth in our quest. These theoretical ideas are very important, but practice imposes a series of challenges that we will be grateful to take into account before they become sticks in the wheels of our bicycle. You can't lose sight of the following aspects:

  • Budget. A budget for technology is a must. The CLM as such is software for which the company will have to pay a recurring amount for its use. Take into account this recurrent, the price per user as well as the implementation price. Assess these aspects, as well as your current technologies and how CLM fits in with them.
  • Integrations. Following on from the above, carefully assess the integrations that the implementation of the new software will require. Databases, existing software in the department... Make sure that all integrations are possible and that they do not involve a disproportionate waiting time or an exorbitant extra price.
  • Implementation timelines and roadmap. Looking for practical projects and short- to medium-term wins is key. Evaluate when the tool will be available for use at cruising speed. In addition, it is key to know the roadmap of the chosen solution, to measure the path that the CLM tool will take, and how it will evolve.
  • Scope of application in processes. Assess which processes you need to automate, and which phases of the contract lifecycle are the most time-consuming and manual, the most error-prone and cause the most headaches. Reflect on where CLM fits in and how it will help in each of these.
  • Contract complexity - can the CLM handle your most complex contracts? Evaluate your contracts and ensure that the CLM fits in with them, that it can cope with their complexity.

A lawyers hand writes on a laptop keyboard. Article by Bigle Legal CLM.

Why you should consider AI when looking for a CLM

When choosing the right Contract Lifecycle Management system for your company, it is crucial to consider the advanced capabilities offered by the latest innovations in artificial intelligence (AI). Here are two essential points to consider:

Generative AI: legal chatbot and content generation

Plugging a legal-specific generative AI into your CLM can revolutionise the way you interact with contracts. A legal chatbot assists in quickly answering legal queries and facilitates the search for specific information in contracts. In addition, the ability to generate content based on prompts, such as draft contracts or customised clauses tailored to the legal department's knowledge.

AI entity detection

AI entity detection functionality is another powerful tool you should look for in a CLM. This technology allows you to automatically identify and classify key information within large volumes of text, such as names, dates and specific legal terms. This capability ensures more efficient and accurate contract management, helping to mitigate risk by highlighting important elements that may require additional attention.

By including these advanced AI technologies in your CLM, you not only optimise contract management but also raise the level of sophistication and efficiency of your organisation's legal operations. Choosing a CLM with these capabilities can mean a significant competitive advantage, aligning cutting-edge technology with your company's legal needs and strategies.

Discover Libra, Bigle Legal's legal AI assistant in a free demo.