The latest installment in the Legal Ops ACCELERATE webinar series from ELM Solutions, a CLM Matrix customer panel called End-To-End Contract Lifecycle Management Transformations, provided the chance to hear directly from customers on the front lines of contract management about the benefits their organizations have gained from implementing a top-tier contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution. We were joined by Kim Erdner, Manager of Procedures & Contracts Management for Client Contracts at Federated Hermes, and Cathy Wilcox, IT Business Systems Analyst at Woodward, who described how their organizations have improved their contract-related processes with CLM Matrix.

Why implement a dedicated CLM tool? 

The session started with a high-level introduction to the benefits that CLM tools offer. In recent years, CLM has become a must-have solution to address proactive contract performance and compliance management from creation all the way through renewal and disposition. CLM Matrix, in particular, increases efficiency while mitigating risks and optimizing profits. This is possible because CLM Matrix: 

  • Establishes consistent storage practices in a searchable contract repository 
  • Frees up legal resources with fast, compliant contract creation that ensures use of pre-approved legal language 
  • Removes bottlenecks and speeds time to revenue with easy workflow automation design and status transparency 
  • Mitigates risks of fines and revenue leakage with actionable, right-person, right-time obligation management alerts 

The positive impact of the CLM Matrix clause and template libraries 

Kim began by giving an example of one area where CLM Matrix helped her team make big improvements: with a clause library that helped them manage their contract templates and drafting process. Under Federated Hermes’ previous process, contract templates were bulky, often including either/or clauses that meant some contracts included language that was not pertinent. They were also created at different times and by different attorneys, which sometimes led to problematic differences in language. And when a change was made to the language in a clause that was used across several templates, that change had to be made to all of the affected templates individually. 

With the CLM Matrix clause library, Kim’s team has standardized much of the language in their contracts and each contract now includes only pertinent information. They now share clauses across multiple contracts so that, if language in a clause changes, the change is applied automatically in all the places where that clause is used. The increased efficiency has led to an increase in the templates the team can manage. Previously, due to so much manual work, they were managing about 30 templates. Now, with CLM Matrix, they have about 50 templates at their disposal. 

Better user adoption 

Cathy told the webinar audience that Woodward’s previous CLM solution was expensive and underutilized because it was difficult to use. It offered no central repository, so her colleagues would frequently use SharePoint and file shares to store and access the documents and information they needed, circumventing best-practices the company had ostensibly adopted. Their IT team had to be involved closely with the operations of their old system and wait times were long because that team has many responsibilities. In addition to the wasted cost on a solution that wasn’t meeting their needs, these difficulties led to extended cycle times and reduced productivity. 

Now that the team is using CLM Matrix, they adhere to the organization’s policies because the system makes it simple to do so. They have identified frequent bottlenecks in their processes and remedied them to shorten their cycle time. The changes were implemented smoothly and users quickly adopted CLM Matrix due to a user interface that was easy to understand and adapt to.  

The conversation also included discussion on how CLM has helped them better focus on client needs, the benefits of SmartForms that guide requestors with user-friendly prompts, and the help the solution provided when their teams suddenly needed to work from home in the pandemic crisis. To hear more from Kim and Cathy on these subjects, watch the on-demand webinar End-To-End Contract Lifecycle Management Transformations. And be sure to visit the Legal Ops ACCELERATE page for many more resources on CLM and many other ways to improve your legal operations.