In a world where we are constantly thinking of ways to reduce our green footprint, it seems natural to extend the same thought to our working life. Everyone’s been guilty of printing off the wrong document or accidentally printing duplicates and overtime this adds up. Research by Kyocera found that an average office worker in the UK uses around 45 pieces of copy paper daily and two-thirds is deemed as waste. With our demand for paper being said to double from 2005 to 2030, we need to act to prevent these predictions from becoming a reality.


Why client retention is so important

The age of the customer has meant those working in professional services have to do all they can to keep hold of their valuable clients. With the increase in competition for law firms, from other law firms or new law, clients are now inundated with choice, meaning client retention is increasingly important. Businesses in general benefit immensely when they have higher client retention with it being 6 to 7 times cheaper to retain an existing client than it is to attain a new one (Bain & Company). Additionally, Gallup found businesses focusing on their client engagement and retention have 85% higher sales growth than their competitors.


Barry kicked the webinar off with a short demonstration of Hubshare’s key features, which was followed by Dana Lunn from Harwood Andrews, answering various questions based around the Hubshare platform. She discusses how Harwood Andrews has been using Hubshare as their legal project management tool, which is perfect for their multi-generational organisation.


In the ever-growing client focused legal industry, it’s becoming increasingly important for lawyers to provide their clients with what they want and become a competitive alternative to the expanding list of available firms. Without changing to better accommodate in-house lawyers, firms will find themselves loosing clients, earning themselves a bad reputation and consequently loosing revenue.

During the webinar Barry discusses the 3 big ‘wants’ that we have found In-House lawyers look for in their law firms; Communication, Efficiency and to understand their business’ needs. This is followed with a demonstration of our solution, Hubshare, as Barry illustrated how Hubshare can help your firm meet these ‘wants’.


Hubshare was joined by our client and UK law firm Steele Raymond, who have been using Hubshare since it’s implementation in May last year. Yvette Moss, Steele Raymond’s IT Director, provides insight into how they have found using Hubshare, why it stood out from the rest and how Hubshare has enhanced their client collaboration!

Joining Yvette, was our Co-Founder and VP of Sales, Damian Jeal, Rebecca Welsh our Marketing and Sales Executive who provides a brief demonstration of Hubshare to illustrate how it can be utilsed to meet your collaborative goals and Head of Client Services, David Simpson, who explains the importance of collaboration, give some handy tips of how to enhance yours!

The session: 

  • Overview of the issues with collaboration – Damian Jeal
  • Q&A – Yvette and David 
  • Brief demonstration of Hubshare – Rebecca Welsh
  • Steele Raymond interview – Yvette Moss & David Simpson
  • General Q&A

Managing contracts takes a lot of time and effort, especially with the economy booming as we lead in to the year 2020.  With this increased workload, contract managers need smarter ways to manage their contracts better.  Legal professionals carefully review contracts with a sharp eye for details, excellent reading skills, deep comprehension, business acumen, and sufficient time management skills, but their process can be improved even more with new advancements in contract lifecycle management.

It is always beneficial to learn about the latest tools and tips to help us to do our jobs better (and smarter).   So, as we start the new year, below is a short list of tips to help with smarter contract management in 2020.  This is not a complete list but, rather, a series of best practices that can be implemented quickly – and offer a huge return.

Tip 1:  Implement a Contract Intake Process

This tip primarily focuses on organizing your contract review process by collecting data in an organized fashion.  Legal reviewers receive contract requests in many formats.  These formats include emails, paper requests, ticket systems, and sales and procurement systems.

A quick tip for getting organized is to create a contract intake process.  This task includes generating a spreadsheet to collect data fields about the contract you need to review.  An efficient contract intake process helps with the tracking of due dates, the status of the contract review, and counterparty (vendor/customer) names.

If your legal team has a contract software system, create a contract intake form with input fields.  Ask your employees to key in the required contract data fields, upload the file, and have the contract request submitted to you in an organized manner.  If you utilized Contract Insight® Software, then you already have a Contract Request form process built in.

Contract Request is like a legal form that is web-based and streamlines how your user requests contract review.  All you have to do is enable the users in the system and share the link for them to request a new contract review.   If you do not have a contract software system, then you can utilize a  free contract management spreadsheet.

Tip 2: Work in Queues and Lists

Many employees work sporadically throughout the day, jumping from task to task.  Legal reviewers should consider batch processing.  Batch processing has been used in many business environments – from the assembly line to modern accounting settings.  Batch processing involves queuing up several items that need to be worked on that are related.  For example, a legal professional may have to read emails, read contracts, review contracts, draft contracts, research law, and attend meetings throughout their workday.  Working on one of these items, then moving on to the next, does not create a rhythm.  The worker must jump from one task to another.

To help improve contract management in 2020, try to arrange your organization’s work into queues or batches as a productivity tool.  If your organization does not have ContractInsight® Software, utilize the contract spreadsheet tool mentioned above.  Then, check the spreadsheet several times a day and work on the contract reviews in batches.

If you have Contract Insight Software, implement a dashboard.  A dashboard enables you to create a report of open contract requests (in Tip 1 above) listed by status.  Then you pin the report on your dashboard and when you log, you will see the open Contract Requests in a list (like a queue).  With dashboards, users can easily view records for requests, legal reviews, and key dates. This will help with smarter contract management this year.

Tip 3:  Utilize Contract Artificial Intelligence and Auto Extract Engine

Frequently, when a new contract document or legal file must be entered into a system, the user must re-key many data fields, such as the counterparty name, legal description, name, dates, key clauses, governing law, limitation of liability, warranty and other legal fields.  To help automate the contract entry process, leverage CobbleStone Software’s VISDOM® Artificial Intelligence.  VISDOM helps users locate key terms and phrases in a contract document and auto-extract terms – based on imported legal phrases – and place the data into the entry fields on the Contract Data Entry screen.

Tip 4:  Leverage Drafting Contracts with Contract Templates

Legal professionals are tasked with the responsibility of providing legal documents to their vendors and customers.  We find that many legal teams have Word documents on a network folder.  While this process is helpful, it is better to have a more automated method of drafting agreements utilizing your organization’s contract templates.

With Contract Insight®, there is a feature included that automates the contract drafting process.  Your organization simply takes its Word contract templates, sets placeholder fields on the documents, uploads the document and…presto!  You can merge the contract data fields into the contract template document in Contract Insight and route the contract for approval (and electronic signature).  For advanced contract authoring, leverage Contract Insight Software’s clause merging functionality to draft and create complex contract documents based on region, the jurisdiction of law, products, and entities (to name a few).

Tip 5: Use Tasks and Reminders

Okay, let’s face it, we are all busy.  An occasional reminder could be a big help.  Well, if your company is using spreadsheets and emails, that is okay, you can still use tasks and reminders.  Here is how.

First, utilize Outlook or an email tool that has tasks and calendaring.  Set a task or a calendar reminder.  Contract Insight’s comprehensive task alerts and reminders regarding contract expiration dates, annual contract review dates, and early warning dates make it so tasks are performed on time by members of your team.

Contract Tasks and Workflows are simple.  Workflows track contract records, look for values, and automatically alert users for contract review, expiration notices, and more.  As a bonus feature, Contract Insight will e-mail you and your team members task alerts, set calendar alerts with your email provider, and send early reminders.  If your organization is looking for the best contract management software going into 2020, Contract Insight is the answer.

Tip 6. Reduce Data Entry

Legal resources are valuable, so the more time you and your team spend keying in data, the less time you must focus on the strategy-driven review of the contracts.   So why not enable data integration?

 “Wait…that sounds hard.”

On the contrary, data integration is easy with Contract Insight.  Let your vendors and suppliers register online.  By leveraging Contract Insight® Enterprise, your organization has the option to enable supplier/vendor registration.  This feature allows your vendors to key in their company name, contact name, street address, city, state/province, country, postal code, contact email, phone number, tax ID number, and other data fields.  This streamlined data integration process can save you thousands of keystrokes per year.

Perhaps you don’t want duplicate suppliers in your system.  No worries.  Simply enable a watcher field, and Contract Insight will prevent duplicate entries.

Maybe your organization has thousands of customers records each year.  No problem.  Just integrate Contract insight with your favorite CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system or enable your customers to register into the customer portal and route the new customer entry to the sales department (and/or legal department) to process the new customer request in Contract Insight Software.

Although each contract data project poses unique challenges, following some basic steps and utilizing a contract database software built for contract management can help.

Achieve Smarter Contract Management with CobbleStone

CobbleStone Software provides Contract Insight® contract management software as a cloud-hosted (SaaS) or deployed (on-premise) solution.  Contract Insight Software is used by thousands of legal professionals for their contract management software needs.  Founded in 1995, CobbleStone was among the first and most experienced companies to offer a contract management software product, and we continue to be a leader with full contract lifecycle management software.

Discover CobbleStone’s Contract Insight® Contract Management Software and data extraction services.

 

Written by Mark Nastasi – Originally Published on CobbleStone Software’s Blog

Mark Nastasi is the Executive VP and founder of CobbleStone Software with over 20 years of professional experience in the industry.  He launched the first commercial contract software in 1995 named CMTS (Contract Management Tracking System). He has worked extensively with general counsel, paralegals, lawyers, and legal professionals to help manage contracts better.  You can reach Mark by email at mnastasi@cobblestonesoftware.com


Contract management professionals oversee important contracts and agreements with sensitive data, clauses, details, and information.  Given the importance that such classified data is kept confidential, rules pertaining to data access and classification must be precisely and carefully reviewed.  Learn how AI-based contract management software can help contract managers to categorize, safeguard, and protect data.

Intelligent Data Redaction

Locating and sorting sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII) and payment card information (PCI) is critical in the avoidance of compliance issues and compromised security.  Contract management artificial intelligence can help software system administrators to identify contract data such as names, phone numbers, email addresses, bank routing numbers, locations, dates, counterparties, and other potentially private details.  This functionality can help users decide whether or not such data should be redacted.

With contract management AI, system administrators can select desired data points and define rules for the usage and security of said data points based upon contract types.  Once these rules are set, they can be automated with contract AI, reducing instances of wasted time performing tedious data import analysis.

Suppose that, as a rule, XYZ Company would like to automatically have personally identifiable information, payment card information, bank routing numbers, and social security numbers identified to be eliminated from consulting agreements.  An AI-based CLM tool could identify classified data, and then subsequently notify contract managers to withhold the information based upon an organization’s preferences and regulations, giving contract management professionals from XYZ Company the time to focus on more data-driven and client-facing facets of the field.

Advanced Access Control

The last thing contract managers want is for data to enter the wrong hands.  If unauthorized personnel have access to sensitive contract data, organizations can be put at risk – possibly leading to compliance issues, data exposure, and even lawsuits. Reputable contract management software helps organizations decrease the risk associated with their sensitive data.

Contract management software artificial intelligence equips organizations with visibility and oversight regarding data access. System administrators can assign access to information to different groups of people (such as individual employees, departments, jurisdictions, companies, etc.).

This function makes it so that organizations have the option to assign and monitor access based upon security groups.  Thus, access does not always need to be granted to a sporadic group of individual users.  Additionally, administrators can assign access based on aspects of a given contract (such as dollar amount, contract type, and other highly configurable options based upon fields).

Furthermore, the level of data access can be controlled.  For example, an organization may assign some users with permission to view and edit contract data while allowing others to simply view it.

Enhanced Contract Lifecycle Control with Contract Management Software

Governance and control of contract data are not the only benefits of contract management software.  Now that you know how a reliable source-to-contract platform can revolutionize data security, it is time to enhance every aspect of your organization’s contract management lifecycle with CobbleStone’s Contract Management Software, Contract Insight®, an award-winning leader in contract management solutions.

Contract Insight’s array of user-friendly features empowers organizations to manage contracts more efficiently and effectively.  Users can secure and unite contracts and relevant documents, successfully oversee compliance, track costs, receive alerts, sign without difficulty with E-signatures, reduce high cost due to out-of-date contract administration, and increase productivity.

CobbleStone’s contract management suite is trusted by thousands of contract, risk, legal, procurement, and sales professionals around the globe.  Request a free demo of our acclaimed contract management, procurement, and eSourcing platform today!

 

Written by Sean Heck – Originally Published on CobbleStone Software’s Blog


Business continues to accelerate globally.  The resulting rapidly shifting regulatory environment generates increased risk along with more opportunities, propelling organizations to rely on contracts more heavily to protect business interests and assets.  General Counsel and legal teams have a chance to create a new perception of the legal department that moves away from the appearance of a cost center for the organization to the forefront of organizational strategy by leveraging contracts as a growth driver.

General Counsel has more opportunity than ever to drive value and achieve higher returns by reducing risk, improving efficiency, facilitating collaboration, reducing costs, and increasing revenue with improved contract oversight.  Legal documents may include product and material sourcing, distribution agreements, founder/partner agreements, merger and acquisition agreements, and more.  The growing challenge is the increasing complexity and volume of contracts combined with an inefficient contract management process.  This article identifies General Counsel’s toughest contract management challenges and discusses contract management strategies and tools that can position General Counsel and legal departments to contribute measurable value to their organization.

A Contract Management Abstract

Technology has rapidly advanced; however, too many organizations still rely on manual contract management processes and don’t know where their contracts, or the obligations within them, are stored.  This approach puts the legal department at a disadvantage when enforcing contracts and assessing risk, leaving them unable to meet their organization’s evolving expectations for success that are focused on probability, adaptability, compliance, efficiency, and cost-sensitivity.  General Counsel’s challenges also increase with poor contract management because the C-suite expects General Counsel to assume the role of business leader and partner, while also safeguarding the organization’s integrity and reputation.

manual contract management system built around spreadsheets, shared storage, emails, filing cabinets, disparate legal management systems, or repurposed content management systems that lack data connection, do not provide the tools necessary to improve contract management quickly.  This approach increases risk and is the cause of missed opportunity, slow review and approvals, contract process bottlenecks, revenue leakage, and compliance failures.  Furthermore, manual contract management systems can’t provide General Counsel with the necessary data to answer the C-suite’s questions about milestones, market disruption, acquisitions, financing, and security.

An alternative to manual contract management is to implement a leading enterprise contract management system that integrates contract management software with document assembly, vendor management, and electronic signatures.

General Counsel’s 7 Toughest Contract Management Challenges

General Counsel’s core issue may be manual contract management processes and ineffective or non-existent technology, but the day-to-day symptoms may not be as apparent.  Following is a breakdown of the top challenges of legal departments and General Counsel. Examples show how contract management software features can help by revealing the clear correlation of challenge and remedy.

Challenge #1: Compliance

Remedy #1Dynamic templates and clauses streamline document assembly and ensure the use of approved contract language and clause ownership.

Challenge #2: Meeting key dates and milestones

Remedy #2: Email, task, and calendar alerts ensure review, approvals, signatures, executions, and renewals occur on time, every time.

Challenge #3Completing tasks, reviews, and approvals

Remedy #3: Intelligent workflows, electronic approvals, and e-signatures support on-time task completion and task escalations, timely reviews and approvals, and streamlined signing anywhere, anytime.

Challenge #4: Document storage, version control, and redlining

Remedy #4: A secure, cloud-based repository with unlimited storage ensures you have access to the most up-to-date version of contracts, documents, and agreements.  You’ll also have access to version history for faster negotiations and streamlined redlining with an MS Word integration.  The repository makes contract language analysis for compliance easy and will allow legal teams to ensure they are viewing every active contract so language and templates can quickly be updated in response to new regulations.

Challenge #5: Risk Assessment

Remedy #5: Contract artificial intelligence with machine learning analyzes contract language when new contracts are added and screens old contracts for sensitive data and red flags.  As contract volume, complexity, and risk increases, proactive risk assessments prepare General Counsel for contract performance reviews, renewals, and negotiations.

Challenge #6: Security

Remedy #6Leading contract management software helps monitor milestones, penalties, discounts, business terms, and more.  Consistent monitoring and protection keep contracts GDPR compliant.  General Counsel is expected to collaborate with IT to ensure the security of corporate and client data and to have a process in place to address data breaches.  Configurable rules-based user permissions ensure only the right people have access to documents within secured contract storage that is accessible across different devices.

Challenge #7: Visibility and reporting

Remedy #7: Contract searching and reporting allows legal teams to find the correct versions of documents and see where they are in the contract process.  Intelligent, automated workflows create recurring contract reports and actionable recommendations based on real-time contract data.  More contract visibility helps General Counsel quickly analyze data to answer the C-Suite’s strategic questions.

Contract Management Adjourned

CobbleStone Software helps General Counsel and legal teams bring more value to their organizations while reducing the costs associated with contract creation, review, and contract lifecycle management.

With enterprise-wide capabilities, a user-friendly platform, fast implementation, and clear ROI within as little as 30 days, our legal contract management solution supports your organization’s overall contract administration process, so you can easily meet contract compliance regulations, centralize committal and contract management, and improve team collaboration.  To learn how CobbleStone can help your legal department drive value, request a free demo today.

Written by Maria Votlucka – Originally Published on CobbleStone Software’s Blog


5 Ways Law Firm Office Administrators Are

OVERPAYING FOR PRINTING AND COPYING

CASE STUDY:  How the Law Firm Pullman & Comley LLC, Saved $189,000,

Without Risking a Dime on IT Consultants, While Actually Improving

Up-time and Performance …

If document management, printing, and copying costs are burning a hole in your budget…

…And you’re wondering if you even have a handle on your total cost of ownership, which is more than you probably think.

…Then the information contained in this whitepaper is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Your eyes will be opened to hidden cost savings and operational efficiencies, both direct and indirect… without sacrifice to output quality, user productivity, security, or the environment.

…And how to streamline procurement, maintenance and management of hardware, software utilities, support procedures, and materials in every way.

Reducing Copier/Printer Management & Services Costs With Improved Efficiencies & Deadbolt Security AT ZERO Upfront Cost!

Sitting on YOUR Side of the Table as an Unbiased Vendor Neutral 30 Year Copier/Printer Industry Expert ADVOCATE FOR YOU

Document and Data Security

How less-than-best practices in device security, access security, document security and end of life security (Hard Drive Disposal) may be leaving you wide open to a data security breach, leaving your clients vulnerable, and your firm open to expensive litigation, and your reputation at risk.

 …Copier Analytics can examine this.

American Bar Association 2019 Legal Tech Report Finding: 

ONE IN FOUR Law Firms Have Experienced a Practice Threatening Security Breach…

And that percentage is climbing compared to previous years.

 

Copier Analytics’ Unique Contingency-Based Consulting Services

Document  Management, Printing & Copying Experts

Zero-Cost COMPLIMENTARY Total Cost of Ownership Analysis & TCO Report

To determine your security vulnerabilities and all components of your Document Management and Printing & Copying expenditure, and how much you can save.

Free Consult Here…


Copier Analytics — Your Invaluable Resource

By utilizing the resources of Copier Analytics, you can not only  free-up your internal resources — you can free-up significant amounts of money that can be reinvested toward your other primary objectives.

  • Your internal staff can avoid the time, effort, hassles, frustration, cost and stress of the steep learning curve when it comes to gaining a baseline and identifying  what opportunities exist for this commodity.  And relying on the vendors who maintain your equipment is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

Giving you an almost unfair negotiating advantage… You’ll have an unbiased and objective team of experts at your side to construct and deliver an                RFP, negotiate, and deploy contract renewals, up-grades and wholesale technology migrations.

  • It gives you the power to blow away anyone who doesn’t have this advantage, because it compresses years of painful trial and error into an indispensable brain-trust that frees you from the drudgery of experimentation.

Forward-thinking administrators are using our Zero-Cost Complimentary Analysis NOW, because it’s the no upfront cost strategy for stopping printing and copying costs from burning a hole in your budget.

  • Instead of madly juggling your operational budgets and wondering where you can chop a little here and slash a little there… you can safely reallocate tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in one fell swoop…

         …Along with getting productivity upgrades, enhanced technology utilization, enhanced deadbolt security, best practices, and environmental stewardship,        with improved efficiencies…

  • Instead of laboring under inefficient financial management of your printing and copying infrastructure, you can centralize billings and gain crystal clarity on where the money is going and why …
  • Instead of being plagued by an expensive, wasteful (and sometimes dramatic) supply chain for consumable supplies… your toner, ink, maintenance, and repair can become a non-event, arriving automatically, and just-in-time  
  • Instead of being plagued by outdated, unreliable and less-than-secure equipment that robs your organization of productivity and morale… you can be at the top of your industry’s game. 

     From the experience of our many clients … this is what awaits you when you bring Copier Analytics’ unique contingency-based consulting services to bear.

Copier Analytics’ Unique Contingency-Based Consulting Services

Our proven 5-Step Process has saved our clients over $100 MILLION and Counting — Why not YOU?

Free Consult Here…

Document  Management, Printing & Copying Experts

Zero-Cost COMPLIMENTARY Total Cost of Ownership Analysis & TCO Report

To determine your security vulnerabilities and all components of your Document Management and Printing & Copying expenditure, and how much you can save.