Recipe for Selecting Right CLM Software

Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) optimises, streamlines, and reduces cost and manual tasks. We explored why CLM has become necessary for organisations in the previous edition. Now that there are many solutions available in the market from which an enterprise can choose for automating their CLM processes, it is imperative to select the right CLM solution and ensure it would be able to cater to the current and future needs of your business. To attain a final outcome that is satisfactory, it is a prerequisite that organizations go through the steps of the perfect recipe for selecting the right CLM solution. 

  1. Decide on main ingredients: Identify Relevant Stakeholders

Organizations need to identify the relevant stakeholders for a CLM implementation including departments/businesses that will benefit from it and assess if there is an enterprise-wide agreement. Evaluate how various stakeholders will be affected by the implementation of a CLM solution to ensure alignment between expectations and outcomes. Identify individuals from each department who would be most suitable to contribute to the selection process as per the requirements of their department and can give insights into how the current process can be improved. Further, identify the Project Sponsor i.e. which department will fund the CLM Implementation. Build a committee and document all the suggestions to shortlist CLM solutions. 

      2. Heat the Pan: Determine the Current CLM Process and Expected Outcomes from a CLM Solution

Analyze the current Contract Management process, and note the existing efficiencies and gaps. Understanding the complexity of current processes, teams involved, the extent of manual interventions, and integrations with other third-party systems, etc. Discuss with the concerned stakeholders – how the current process can be improved. 

Ascertain outcomes that the organization wants to achieve through CLM solution which could be increased compliance, reduced risk, reduced contract cycle time, the increased value from contracts, etc. 

      3. Let it Simmer: CIO’s Expertise and Rubric

Involve the CIO or the IT team that looks into enterprise-wide technologies and systems, as they would be able to give insight into the complexity and compatibility of existing systems,  processes, and if & how can they be synchronized with the CLM solution. CLM may be required to be integrated with the overall IT ecosystem making this step crucial in decision-making. Alongside, stakeholders should construct an evaluation rubric keeping the business priorities in consideration.

      4. Garnish: Identify the Right CLM vendor

This is the step where you take demos and utilize the checklist, rubric, and committee to shortlist the best CLM solution as per your business requirements (buy side/ sell side contracts). Understand requirements around AI capability, legacy migration, and evaluate CLM vendors on parameters such as ease of implementation, license, implementation cost, and change management support provided.

Post selection and implementation, the organization should be able to obtain training modules, change management, and post-go-live support to ensure quick user adoption.

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