10 Top Tips for sourcing a Contracts Management Solution (“CMS”)
Halebury’s Richard Dalby writes for the In-House Experience on his top tips for choosing a CMS for your business or in-house legal team.
In today’s businesses, legal teams are increasingly expected to deliver “more for less”. Keeping up with the latest technology that makes this achievable is essential. One of the key solutions available is a CMS which can deliver faster and more secure deal making together with a safer, searchable document repository. However investing in a new solution is a substantial step requiring appropriate project management.
At Halebury, we have significant experience in helping our clients through this process and with this in mind have put together a simple checklist to highlight some of the key stepping stones to a successful adoption.
- Look at your business as a whole. What other systems exist or are planned? How does the legal process fit in the overall functionality of the business and what do you want it to do better?
- Consider carefully what CMS features are important to you?
- Review your existing processes. This is an opportunity to analyse them, map them and, where necessary, to improve them.
- Ensure your agreements, clauses and playbooks are market-fair and written in plain English.
- Get stakeholder buy-in across all those areas of the business that will be affected by the new system and at a sufficiently senior level.
- Look across the market at the different types of solutions; some have niche appeal, some are more bespoke while others are usable straight from the box.
- When you have selected your preferred 2 or 3 ask them to organise a hands-on demonstration where you can use the system for yourself and populate it with scenarios of your own creation.
- Seek references from at least 2 users of the system
- If the scale warrants it ask the suppliers to create a proof of concept trial in part of your business with a select number of users.
- Finally, think about whether your teams will enjoy using the solution and will adopt it wholeheartedly. A successful implementation is absolutely dependant on enthusiastic take-up and speedy problem solving.
With this checklist to hand you can start to review your existing processes and scope the market for best solutions. Here at Halebury, we’ve done this before so let us know if we can be of help.
Richard Dalby is a senior consultant at Halebury and specialises in new technology and legal operational matters.
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