The many benefits of modern document management systems

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Contract Management
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Document Processing

Despite the wide adoption of digital record-keeping, the sheer volume and increasing complexity of legal documents continue to slow processes, take up valuable time, and introduce compliance risk if not handled properly. But modern legal document management systems can replace inferior practices still prevalent in corporate law and provide legal departments with many value-creating features.

Implementing a legal tech solution with modern document management functionality can address a series of pain points and unlock an abundance of benefits for corporate legal departments, ultimately freeing up time for internal resources to focus on higher-value tasks.

How do modern document management systems enhance processes?

Managing and organizing a high volume of agreements is a necessary byproduct of a most companies’ business operations. The most effective document management systems have been created with features aimed at solving specific pain points above and beyond organization.

Here are some of the most beneficial process-enhancing features:

Providing real-time document status

Modern document management software can increase process efficiencies beyond the organization and management of documents by providing the real-time status for any document in the negotiation process. Once the document is finalized, the status turns into an easy-to-reference summary of how the negotiation process unfolded. Such workflow transparency is unprecedented.

Developing advanced workflows

If in-house corporate legal teams aren’t personally negotiating routine legal work, like NDAs and service agreements, they may need to be informed when a key milestone is met in the negotiation process. Some document management software — including part of Ontra’s comprehensive solution that automates routine legal work processes — allows users to proactively set email notifications for themselves or others on their team when there is a particular status change that may require their attention. Reminders such as these give added efficiencies to negotiation processes.

Installing user-based access permissions

Entire teams should not need to have access to all legal agreements, whether for compliance or other reasons. A modern document management solution should allow for user-based access permissions to control the flow of sensitive information. Such permissions can even be used to add access to relevant third parties who may need to reference specific agreements, allowing for the sharing of necessary information while preserving the centralized nature of the system.

How can you implement the right document management solution?

If you’re interested in implementing document management software to achieve some combination of the above mentioned benefits then it’s time to evaluate your current solution. To choose the solution that will best meet your company’s needs, start with a legal technology assessment that summarizes what’s working and not working about your company’s current document management process.

To do this, evaluate the effectiveness of every step of the current process by speaking with stakeholders to gain a well-rounded perspective and consider creating a core working team dedicated to outlining the existing pain points that a new system could fix. Next, establish what success looks like with a new system. If the assessment findings reveal that internal staff spend a significant amount of time locating historic documents, for example, a key measure of success would be cutting down document retrieval times.

Companies looking to implement a modern document management system should also consider conducting a broader legal technology assessment across time-consuming processes, such as high-volume legal work, thereby exploring the potential for multiple technology areas to provide substantial value in tandem at various steps in a process. Technologies such as contract data extraction, data management, and legal managed services are all proven areas capable of bringing benefits if used the right way. It’s highly likely that a specific legal process stands to benefit the most from implementing a comprehensive solution that seamlessly blends multiple technologies into one easy-to-use software platform. That’s exactly what we at Ontra did to automate and enhance high-volume legal work processes for global companies.

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