The Expanding Legal Department and its Impact on General Counsel

The value of the legal department stretches well beyond just mitigating risk. General counsel (GC) is a part of strategic business decisions including finance, marketing, human resources, sales, and risk management – to name a few departments. Having a full legal department with effective tools in place instead of a one-person show with limited resources can enable general counsel to work strategically with those other departments in a new way. With more time, general counsel can focus less on tedious legal tasks and become an integral contributor to corporate planning. When general counsel is free to focus on strategic, high-level business goals instead of being bogged down with administrative or contract-based processes, a natural efficiency will occur. 

But the reality for many companies is that GCs are not provided a budget to expand the team. General counsel – especially in smaller organizations – must demonstrate the value of expansion without actually expanding. Once they can prove expansion’s value, then they have a better chance of getting money to expand the team with people.

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Meet Mark Rhodes, Managing Director, Europe

At ContractWorks, our employees come from a variety of experiences and backgrounds, each with a unique set of skills and talents that align with our overall mission of providing simple, smart document management solutions.

We’re proud of the team we’ve assembled, and we think it’s about time you get to know the people that are innovative, agile, and committed to fulfilling the needs of our customers.

This month we’re catching up with Mark Rhodes, Managing Director, Europe. Mark is one of the newest members of the ContractWorks team, and will be leading the efforts for the brand new office in London.

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ContractWorks Responds to Growth in Europe, Opens New London Office

ContractWorks is thrilled to announce its expansion into Europe with the opening of our new office in London, England.

This marks the second office location for ContractWorks, in addition to our headquarters in Santa Barbara, California. ContractWorks and its parent company SecureDocs, Inc. already work with businesses around the world, and opening a location in Europe will create an even greater opportunity to serve the needs of current and future customers.

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5 Tips for Spearheading Adoption of New Legal Technology

The legal industry is currently being shaken up by a variety of new technologies: contract management, AI and machine learning, cloud computing, automation, and much more.

Yet despite the promise and the excitement of legal tech, implementing these new developments at your own organization may be easier said than done. According to a survey by the Standish Group, just 29 percent of IT projects are ultimately successful, while 19 percent are considered failures. So what do you need to do to ensure your next tech project goes according to plan?

Here are 5 tips for implementing legal technology at your company that will give you the best chance of success.

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7 Industries That Can Benefit Most From Contract Management Software

Implementing contract management software is a best practice for organizations of virtually all sizes and industries. Some of the advantages of contract management software include:

  • Securely storing your contract documents and related files in one, centralized location

  • Automated alerts and reminders for critical contract milestones

  • Reporting tools for in-depth insight into the health of your contract portfolio

While nearly every business can become more productive and efficient by implementing contact management software, certain fields face particular challenges that make contract management software a smart choice. Here are seven industries that can benefit most from adopting contract management software.

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Can SharePoint and Contract Management Software be Used Together?

SharePoint and contract management software are two very different software solutions designed to address entirely separate business needs. For those looking for a collaboration and communication portal, SharePoint is an easy-to-use software solution that works well with many other Microsoft Office products. For those looking for a system to help take control of their complex contract portfolio, dedicated contract management software includes a robust set of features built to help contract managers stay on top of corporate agreements and deadlines, reduce organizational risk, and improve operational efficiency.

While the two solutions are designed to address very different areas of a business, there are situations where the two tools can be used together.

Here are two ways legal teams surveyed by ContractWorks are using both solutions together to take advantage of the strengths of each type of software.

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What Does an Effective Contract Management Process Look Like?

Having an effective contract management process should be the goal of every organization—but far too many fall short of this ideal.

According to industry surveys, more than half of businesses say that their contract approval processes are causing deals to stall, and only about one in three companies are using a dedicated contract management tool.

With so many organizations struggling to implement an effective contract management process, it's clear that there's plenty of room for improvement. Previously, we’ve written about signs of poorly performing contract management. In this article, we’ll discuss the opposite end of the spectrum: signs that you have a strong contract management process in place.

Here are five indications that your organization has achieved an effective contract management process.

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Improve Legal Department Operations with Contract Lifecycle Management

Legal departments have spent the last 10 to 15 years trying to figure out ways to reduce spend and maintain high levels of efficiency. One of the biggest areas of opportunity: improving the way contracts are managed.

The International Association of Contract and Commercial Management issued research showing that improving contract management can increase corporate profitability by nearly 10 percent annually. Implementing a contract lifecycle management (CLM) system helps legal operations not only contribute to such an increase in revenue, but to streamline the management of each contract so volumes of vital contracts remain error- and risk-free. CLM helps an organization integrate automation into the lifecycle of a contract so humans aren’t burdened with repetitive tasks, contracts are secure through software-based storage, and approvals happen more quickly.

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The Value of Analyzing Contracts

Contracts are extremely valuable tools in the business world. Primarily, these legal agreements establish the framework and rules of engagement for any business deal into which your company enters. A detailed contract will describe all of the precise deliverables attached to an agreement, along with fees (and related considerations such as currency caps), timelines, and other requirements.

But while much effort goes into preparing and negotiating agreements, contracts are all too commonly filed away after they have been signed. If they are pulled and reviewed, it’s often to monitor the performance of the business arrangement or because something within the agreement has gone wrong.

This is unfortunate and short-sighted. In addition to providing the framework of the business deal to which it pertains, analyzing contracts can yield useful business insights and lead to better contracts in the future.

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Top ContractWorks Blog Posts from 2019

We’ve made it to the end of another year! The ContractWorks team is looking forward to an exciting 2020, but we also think it’s important to look back and reflect on the last 12 months of contract management news, tips, and best practices. 

This article covers some of the top ContractWorks blog posts from 2019, including posts on the stages of contract management, contract breaches, contract monitoring best practices, and more.

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