As a hyper-growth SaaS company, we face the same fundamental legal challenge that all companies do: we need to process contracts quickly, systematically, and in a way that minimizes our risk exposure.
Unlike most companies, we power contracts with our own software. Whether it’s a photo release or an NDA or a sales agreement, every contract we handle goes through Ironclad, our contract management solution.
Traditionally, legal teams have had to make an impossible choice when faced with high contract volumes: either process contracts efficiently or accurately. To do both, legal teams have traditionally relied on more headcount or more man-hours. We have never accepted this trade-off. With Ironclad, contracting isn’t a resourcing issue, but a process automation problem.
As Ironclad’s internal Legal Engineer, I’ve worked closely with our internal teams to turn each of our contract types into an Ironclad workflow, or a consistent set of rules and templates that determines what language goes in a contract, where a contract needs to go next (e.g., for approval or processing), and how it should be archived after completion.
For example, one-way NDAs require one signature. Inbound contracts, which tend to require multiple rounds of negotiation, require sign-off from multiple departments. Traditionally, these contracts have been shuffled from inbox to inbox and have been nearly impossible to track. Ironclad has changed the game by eliminating manual coordination and back-and-forth from the contracting process–all the things that lead to bottlenecks and contracting delays. It routes each contract to the right person or department and stores every contract version in a central system of record, rather than an inbox or local drive.
Unlike most legal and contracting teams, we don’t spend time looking for contracts or sending reminder emails to other departments. Everything happens in Ironclad. To me, believing in your own product means putting it to the test, and that’s what we’ve done.
Using Ironclad has:
- Enabled our legal team to stay lean, even as business has multiplied. We’ve made it a priority to maintain or improve on turnaround times, even as our business has grown significantly. Today, we process the average NDA in one day. Our average deal cycle time is 9 days, even when you include complex inbound contracts that require a lot of back-and-forth negotiation. Ironclad augments our capabilities and helps us handle more contracts than companies with far larger legal teams.
- Streamlined due diligence, giving leadership and investors transparency into the business. When most companies undergo due diligence, it takes lawyers weeks, if not months, to pore over email records and produce the final versions of every contract. All our contracts are automatically stored and made searchable in Ironclad, so due diligence is a breeze for us.
- Helped us refine our product and expand our feature roadmap. When we built Ironclad’s own order form and customer fulfillment workflows, we realized that we needed to expand our existing Salesforce integrations. We communicated that to Product and they delivered a solution. After we did that, all our customers could benefit from the same integrations, if they needed them. Thinking through our own contracting needs has helped us push Ironclad forward, and it means more flexibility for our customers.
Ironclad is the #1 contract lifecycle management platform for innovative companies. L’Oréal, Staples, Mastercard, and other leading innovators use Ironclad to collaborate and negotiate on contracts, accelerate contracting while maintaining compliance, and turn contracts into critical carriers of operational business intelligence. It’s the only platform flexible enough to handle every type of contract workflow, whether a sales agreement, an HR agreement or a complex NDA. The company was named one of the 20 Rising Stars on the Forbes 2019 Cloud 100 list, and is backed by leading investors like Accel, Y Combinator, Sequoia, and BOND. For more information, visit www.ironcladapp.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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