At Nimble, we use a contract management system to create, negotiate, execute and manage contracts for our clients (and ourselves!). We offer this as part of our Contract Review Managed Service. Automation and data are two of the great benefits provided by a contract management system. These systems typically enable you to automate the contract process by:
- the creation of contracts,
- setting up approvals and workflows,
- negotiating contracts within the system,
- executing contracts within the system,
- having a searchable contract repository, and
- managing executed contracts with notifications.
Besides automation of the contract process, one of the other great benefits is being able to run reports and analyze data. We review a lot of Non-Disclosure Agreements ("NDAs") as part of a Managed Service. We thought it would be interesting to look at the average Execution Cycle Times for NDAs for the fourth quarter of 2016. Here we're measuring the amount of time from a request to create or review an NDA until it has been executed by all parties.
Here are our numbers for the fourth quarter of 2016:
- Average Execution Cycle Time for NDAs: 3.95 days
- Average Execution Cycle Time for October 2016: 1.83 days
- Average Execution Cycle Time for November 2016: 4.67 days
- Average Execution Cycle Time for December 2016: 6.4 days
3.95 days seems like a great Average Execution Cycle Time to us. Particularly, when NDAs are typically the initial hurdle to a sale to a new customer or perhaps the exchange of ideas for the development of a new product. But, you'll note that the trend from October through December for Average Execution Cycle Time was getting longer. This is what makes it great to be able to look at the data because 3.95 days could be misleading or mask a negative trend. And while, 6.4 days doesn't seem too bad, the trend could be a little concerning. In this case, we think the reason behind the negative trend is due to the Holiday season and many taking vacation time and winding down for the year.
For some additional NDA related analytics. See this previous post entitled "Non-Disclosure Agreement Pain Points and Analytics". In addition to the recommendations in that post, here are some additional best practices:
- Automate as much of the contract process as possible. The more manual the process is, the longer it will take and leaves room for mistakes.
- Analyze the contract process and remove as many redundant steps as possible.
- Simplify your contracts. The more complex and confusing - the longer the contract process will take.
- Monitor the data from your contract process frequently. This will help identify areas for improvement.