Are Your Legal Operations Keeping Pace With Your Growing Business?
- Andrea Policky
- October 29, 2018
How one Denver-based company reduced risk and improved contract outcomes by rethinking contracts management
The most successful companies have operationalized legal. As they seek to increase valuation, minimize costs, increase flexibility and effectively manage their essential legal needs, best-in-class companies are causing a global paradigm shift in the legal marketplace by fundamentally changing how they use legal services. Innovative companies are seeking legal assistance from a growing number of non-lawyer professionals and testing new alternative billing models, so they can “do more with less.”
At the same time, businesses make decisions more quickly and with more real-time information than ever before. In any growing business, legal operations must keep pace to avoid missing out on key opportunities or making decisions in the dark.
For one fast-growing company based in Denver, this required a new approach to catch up with business demand and protect the organization from losing track of its numerous agreements and the obligations in those agreements.
After doubling its staff to nearly 350 employees, the company was on pace to grow by 150-200 additional employees the following year. This rapid growth quickly overwhelmed the once efficient two-person legal group, who struggled to manage the tremendous volume of contract requests and communications with various business units.
They lacked a comprehensive centralized location to archive and manage all contracts, and were struggling to keep tabs on what contracts were being signed, who was signing on behalf of the company and who was handling approvals. And once terms had been negotiated, there were no scalable processes in place to monitor or manage contract leakage. On the flip side, they struggled to keep up with relationships where contracts had expired, while the parties continue to do business together.
Continued growth meant that these issues could become serious business risks for the organization. “The performance gap between top companies and those not modernizing their legal operations has grown and will continue to increase,” says KO partner Ben Oelsner. “Transaction cycle time and costs can be reduced by up to 50 percent with better legal solutions in place. On top of that, higher-quality agreements are easier to manage and bring greater compliance with lower risk.”
For this company, addressing these pain points meant getting organized, ensuring the legal team was on the same page and hiring legal operations manager, Andrea Policky. Andrea initiated a comprehensive assessment to create a more efficient contracting process. Next, the company created one centralized repository on their servers, housing all legal and related documents including company corporate documents, templates, drafts and executed agreements. This paved the way for implementation of a digital contracts management system.
“When adopting a contracts management system, businesses can use non-lawyer professionals, implement legal operations procedures, and leverage existing technology tools to maximize current resources, build off of system familiarity, and often reduce costs,” says Andrea Policky, now KO contracts manager. “But even if the organization selects a new platform, a phased roll-out allows the legal team to cater to internal client needs that can deliver unprecedented communications, visibility and process management.”
In this case, it took about six months to build out specific workflows for one department, but once it was up and running, other departments immediately recognized its value and wanted a piece of the action.
“We created a tool that allowed seamless communication between all departments,” recalls Andrea. “We uncovered a level of visibility into the contracting process that internal clients never had before. The sales team could keep a pulse on their deals, the accounting team had more visibility into the upcoming finances and had more of a say in those transactions, and the legal team had greater capability of managing the process.”
Other departments were now standing in line ready for us to build out their instances, even if that meant learning a new process.
The company’s story is a great example of how successful contracts management can unlock the value of any legal operations team, helping organizations overcome resource strains, streamline processes and improve contracting outcomes. Businesses taking this proactive approach are poised to outperform their competition.
As a legal services innovator, KO offers contracts management solutions that allow emerging and established growth companies to save time and money on their contracting process, while building better engagement and retention with clients and partners.
Solid contracts management and legal operations help companies:
- Reduce legal, sales operations and employee costs
- See higher value from contracts, including higher revenues
- Complete transactions in less time and at a lower cost
- Prevent financial losses
- Avoid contract penalties and liabilities
- Recapture revenue through contract enforcement
- Better manage renewable contracts
- Become easier to do business with
- Achieve better valuations when raising money or exiting
To learn more about how KO Contracts Management can help your business realize stronger growth, higher profits and better client satisfaction, reach out to Ben Oelsner or Andrea Policky, or call (303) 672-0100.