In the first post, we focused on a couple of key domains such as revenue resiliency and post award analytics to turn your contracts into assets.
In this post, let’s have look at some observations of the current situation as well as potential development in CLM space resulting from the crisis.
Worldwide Remote Access
We talk about making it easier and quicker to have customers sign contracts, and this is a good thing during any economic climate – but are their things we’ve learned at the onset of this pandemic that we can use for the next few quarters?
As obvious as it might seem – people are not coming to the office anymore. Social distancing at work has really translated to a national Work from Home initiative. As a career, a New Jersey/New York person with history that includes terrorist attacks, superstorms that flooded downtown and suburbia alike and a very close-to-home financial collapse – we’ve seen how individuals, families, communities and regions rally to support each other and take on a common foe. A key learning from 9/11 was the requirement for alternate workspaces. I’ve seen multinationals trade their DR sites with each other to match current staffing requirements, even splitting floors in buildings between companies and sharing cafeteria costs.
But this time it is different. No one is supposed to be coming to work. So how do we get customer contracts reviewed internally, track who sees which parts, who has authority to make changes, who needs to sign based, etc. when the support and administrative teams – that today are still a backbone function of most legal operations, sales operations, or contract team, are no longer able to easily communicate?
And now of course, it is not like a one-day snowstorm, or a 3-day state of emergency due to a superstorm that wipes out power across the region. We thought it would be a week, or maybe two. Now we are thinking in terms of months.
So back to the point – a cloud based solution is much easier to get our arms around now – remote access from everywhere across laptops, tablets and mobiles, easy to reconfigure workflows to address team availability in real-time, e-signature that works on multiple device types, and embedded AI to keep contracts compliant is available today and will serve us all well into the future.
Keeping your current customers happy is another aspect of revenue resiliency. With these challenging times the speed and accuracy associated with automated amendment generation can help increase customer retention.
Afterall, customers come in all sizes and based on the specific industries, trade, or geography you will need to quickly analyze the value and risk profile that each brings, and quickly reinforce your value proposition to them.
Imagine being able to generate contract amendments to extend payment terms an extra 60 days for those small businesses who count on you in a matter of minutes so that you can proactively let your customers know you are empathetic (and back it up in writing).
Contract Risk Analysis
Just a thought on the impact of putting things in writing – especially when it comes to customers. Our HQ is in Princeton, New Jersey, right in the middle of “Einstein Alley”. In the last week, the Governor had announced mortgage relief for people impacted by COVID-19, basically a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments, and service turn-offs for non-payments. The Mayor of New York has instituted an eviction freeze. Regardless of your politics, or thoughts on the economic impacts, I wanted to make the point that these announcements are made live, on broadcast TV and Radio, and come from publicly elected officials – so the permanency of these claims is high.
While it’s a bit ethereal, I would think that for businesses, especially those who are now forced out of their brick and mortar (or steel and glass) the next best representation is the contract, whether it be a simple amendment, a full-on restatement, or simply a supplemental schedule – putting it in writing, even if virtual and electronic – is the next best thing to being there.