How to choose CLM for Your Legal Department

How to Manage Productivity & Prevent Security Risks of Business

Traditionally, legal departments spent finding out how to reduce costs while maintaining high-levels of efficiency. Now, by using CLM, managing contracts has never been easier. Moving away from cumbersome paperwork to automated digital systems ensures a streamlined process that is risk and error free.

Every legal department will benefit from a contract lifecycle management solution where different types of contracts are regularly processed. Whether you specialize in mergers and acquisitions, leasing or sales contracts, employment agreements, Non-disclosure agreements, or vendor agreements, CLM applications can manage any contract type that is high volume and high risk.

Main Benefits

CLM software improves legal operations from all aspects through increasing revenue, freeing up qualified resources from repetitive administration, improving contract accessibility, and making the approval process happen quicker.

  • Automation reduces costs incurred through errors.
  • Technologies offer a safeguard against penalties related to compliance.
  • Identify specific contract terms and high-risk clauses in contract reviews.
  • A centralized system helps legal department access and manage every aspect of a contract through full visibility.
  • A digital process protects against physical destruction, theft, and loss of paperwork.
  • Reduce manual efforts searching for and editing contracts.
  • Create contracts easily using templates with standard legal clauses.

CLM automates and accelerates the entire contract lifecycle management and reinforces contractual, regulatory, and operational compliance.

How to select the best CLM

CLM applications are designed to help legal departments and companies manage contracts from contract inception to approval, while monitoring obligations and expiration. The best CLM solutions should include specific features that will ensure your legal team achieves their goals in going digital.

Contract Repository

Solutions must offer a secure, central repository that provides instant access and visibility to every contract. It should include customizable dashboards, reporting views, and contract alerts that gives you a full view on the status of every contract. A comprehensive search facility will allow you to quickly find contracts using multiple search terms.

OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

OCR is a must-have feature that allows you to scan and upload existing and supporting documentation. The scanned file is converted from an image to a searchable document while preserving the original format.

Word and PDF Integration

Create templates in Word and PDF with the ability to arrange data into printable formats that are attached to contracts or distributed to stakeholders. You should also be able to convert Word to PDF documents. Document revision tracking is important to monitor editing and keep an audit trail of all contract changes.

Automated Workflow

A key feature in any CLM is the ability to automate the contract creation, reviews, and approval routing process, regardless of complexity. You must be able to manage the workflow with external parties through integrated messaging and email capabilities.

Automated Contract Authoring

Templates allow you to create a full contract for each type of agreement with the click of a button. Adding and configuring custom fields and placing dates and formulas should be quick and straightforward.

Electronic Signature Integration

Once contracts need to be finalized and signed, you should have a feature that supports secure digital signatures whether it’s part of the system or uses an easily integrated third party application such as DocuSign or Adobe Sign to digitally collect the required signatures.

Security Levels

Any CLM system should have a robust security system that protects online data from unauthorized access. The infrastructure should allow for two factor authentication, redundancy, and different access roles that can be controlled at the individual contract level.

Improve Performance with CLM

There are many challenges for legal departments to manage the contract lifecycle while being able to show executives and stakeholders the importance of this complex and unappreciated process. You can also find out why this is so important at To improve visibility while having to increase productivity and reduce risk are fundamental to an effective legal operation. 

Legal departments can monitor and measure the value of their contracts using key performance indicators (KPIs). Legal operations need to be smart and timely and the success of any department or organization depends on strategy and performance.

A legal department and its contract management process can be gauged by cost and contract effectiveness, productivity statistics, accountability, and contract risk. Below are a few examples of how KPIs can be implemented and measured using CLM.

Legal KPIs

From a manual perspective, it would be extremely difficult to be able to monitor every contract and report on KPIs. But with contract management tools, it’s possible to provide the right information to the right people to properly measure success and ensure that the organization’s legal operations are providing sufficient value.

  • Cost effective indicators could include an annual contract value, or value by contract type, spending, and comparison with historical values.
  • Contract effectiveness measures the total number of contracts, compliance, and opportunities for renewal.
  • Productivity statistics can encompass the contract lifecycle time, time captured against legal tasks and administrative jobs, missed obligations and milestones, and trends in the negotiation and request process.
  • Contract risk can include contracts concluding without set renewals, delayed approvals, and disputes.

Having this data captured in your contract management software allows executives to analyze and leverage reporting to improve performance across legal operations.

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