Jason Smith, Senior Director and Legal Counsel at Apttus, discussed contract management and its importance for today's legal professionals during a Thought Leadership Spotlight Presented by Apttus at the 2015 Chief Legal Officer Leadership Forum in New York on Feb. 19. In his presentation, "Contracts: From Administrative Task to Strategic Asset," Smith described what it takes to eliminate contract bottlenecks between legal and non-legal professionals.
According to Smith, bottlenecks can result in lower revenue, increased risk and upset customers. In addition, bottlenecks can cause employees to explore ways to work around these issues, Smith said. If legal professionals can eliminate bottlenecks, Smith said, these employees can help an organization become more efficient: "The bottleneck’s coming from basically a whole realm of large volume of contracts, the need to review a lot of different things within the contract, and so we’re seeing this need for legal to figure out a better way to deal with the contracts as they come through so that we’re not always accused of being that bottleneck or that stumbling block in the process."
In addition, Smith pointed out that developing consistent contract management systems and processes is key for legal professionals. Smith also pointed out that contract management needs to be more than an administrative solution, and instead, needs to be included in an organization's corporate vision: "[Contract management] has to be a core strategic component to the overall corporate vision. If there’s anything you take away from this just from the title itself, it’s contract management should not be an administrative solution."