Contract Review Software vs. Contract Lifecycle Management Software

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Rapid advances in legal tech have resulted in an assortment of solutions that can leave buyers confused when trying to determine the right product to fit their needs. There is a good chance you’re wondering just what the difference is between solutions for contract review , contract negotiation, contract analysis, contract lifecycle management, contract management, and contract tracking.

Illustration represents contract review software vs. contract lifecycle management software

Here we’ll take a close look at the difference between contract review software vs. contract lifecycle management software, as innovations in these two legal platforms have revolutionized contract review and negotiation during the past few years—and contain all of the products listed above.

Contract Review Software Explained

Including Solutions for Contract Analysis and Contract Negotiation

Contract review and negotiation comprise the most time-consuming stages of the contracting process. And because contract reviewers often are junior-level staff members tasked with tedious and time-consuming work, mistakes and omissions occur frequently. Not surprisingly, these are also the areas where technology has significantly advanced efficiency, productivity, and accuracy. 

At the most basic level, contract review solutions seek to make short work of comparing present and past agreements, standardizing contract language, and adhering to company playbook rules. Rather than this work taking hours and days to complete, contract review solutions scan the contracts and proposes suggestions in minutes.

Features

The features offered by contract review solutions vary widely from product to product but may include:

  • Comprehensive digital playbooks to ensure adherence to company standards
  • Automated redlining of words, phrases, or sections that deviate from standards
  • Risk analysis using charts, lists, color-coding, or letter grading
  • Context-based suggestions for agreement revisions
  • Auto-corrections based on set parameters
  • Automated tracking and emailed drafts sent to parties
  • Analytics data like time-to-approval and number-of-revisions

The most advanced contract solutions employ artificial intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to provide unparalleled speed and accuracy in contract review and negotiation. 

Lifecycle Stages Covered

Some contract review solutions cover just the review portion of the process; other contract solutions may also cover the negotiation aspect by providing corrections and advanced suggestions based on set parameters, playbook preferences, and standard negotiating positions. The contract review and negotiation process presents significant risks, which is why corporate legal departments choose to enhance this part of the process with highly specialized contract review solutions.

Benefits

Contract review solutions can be ideal for many contracts, including Non-Disclosure Agreements, Master Service Agreements, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Software Licensing Agreements.

Consider the following benefits that contract review solutions can provide:

  • Search and compare contracts across the portfolio
  • Automate contract review that does not require escalation
  • Increase confidence in the quality of drafts produce
  • Track and alleviate bottlenecks across contract review and negotiation
  • Mitigate risks
  • Reduce costs

Advanced contract review solutions streamlines the contract approval process, enabling companies to successfully negotiate and close more deals. 

Implementation

Once a contract review solution is deployed and the company playbook and past agreements are integrated with the technology, reviewing a new draft is as easy as emailing or uploading it to the platform and awaiting the reply. Typically, a fully redlined review that includes revision suggestions based on the AI Digital Playbook and successful past agreements will require less than five minutes.

Contract Lifecycle Management Software Explained

Including Solutions for Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM), Contract Management Software (CMS), and Contract Tracking System (CTS)

Contract lifecycle management solutions can focus on any area within the greater contract lifecycle of creating, implementing, and renewing contracts. Typically, contract review solutions integrate within larger contract management systems, allowing parties to enjoy robust contract review and negotiation tools while receiving support from drafting through signing and beyond.

Contract Lifecycle Management Software Features

CLM features may include:

  • Contract request and intake
  • A centralized document storage repository
  • Powerful search capabilities
  • Automated alerts and reminders
  • Reporting dashboards
  • Customizable security
  • Contract clause and template libraries
  • Automatic versioning 
  • E-signatures
  • Workflow tracking

Lifecycle Stages Covered

With contract lifecycle management solutions, users can be confident that these platforms cover a broad spectrum of processes. The most robust CLM platforms seamlessly take users through the early stages of vendor vetting, requests, authoring, and template creation, to the mid-level stages of reviewing, negotiating, approving, and signing, to post-agreement tracking, analytics, and renewal. 

The right CLM solution will:

  • Facilitate the creation of standardized templates and terms
  • Connect the dots between order fulfillment and billing
  • Eliminate errors and reduce risk
  • Lower administrative expenses
  • Improve visibility and revenue forecasting
  • Provide deep insights and competitive advantage

Implementation

Smaller CLM tools are out-of-the-box ready but may specialize in one focus area, such as electronic signatures or email reminders. More robust solutions, on the other hand, will require hands-on implementation assistance and provide a more feature-rich toolset that may cover complex buy and sell-side transactions, government contracts, and legislative compliance tracking. 

Choosing Contract Review Software vs. Contract Lifecycle Management Software

 

Contract Review Software

Contract Management Software

Why Invest?

  • Automate your contract review process to save labor, time, and money. 
  • Improve adherence to legal playbooks and standard terms, even while training new staff.
  • Automate contract risk analysis and accelerate the contract approval process while ensuring questionable contracts are escalated for senior attorney review.
  • Streamline core contracting processes for greater efficiency from procurement to renewal.
  • Update from manual contracting methods to incorporate email and e-signature.
  • Access advanced analytics that aid in corporate decision-making and process refinement. 

What’s Covered?

Automated contract review, negotiation, and risk analysis.

One focused aspect of the lifecycle or the entire process from procurement and contract authoring, through signing and renewal.

Price?

Varies, but is generally mid-level. Often less costly than full-service CLM.

Varies depending on feature set. Generally structured as a monthly service plan. Some products can be bought for a one-time charge.

 

Before choosing a legal tech solution, it’s important to consider areas where bottlenecks, risk, and waste reside in your current process. Smaller organizations may find many problems alleviated by implementing a few contract management tools, while larger organizations may benefit from both a more robust contract lifecycle management platform as well as a contract review and negotiation solution. Contract review and negotiation solutions focus on that part of the contract lifecycle that typically requires the most resources—a great place to start when streamlining your legal department processes and enhancing its capabilities.

When exploring contract review software vs contract lifecycle management software, remember that fully automated contract review and negotiation is available with LexCheck. To learn more, reach out to us at sales@lexcheck.comRequest a demo to experience the technology first-hand. 

gary-sanghaGary Sangha | Founder & CEO

Gary Sangha is the Founder and CEO LexCheck. He's a serial entrepreneur and an academic. Gary previously founded Intelligize, a legal technology company that was acquired by LexisNexis. He's affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University and started his career as an attorney at Shearman & Sterling and White & Case.