With a team of five other lawyers, TCS Education supports 6 nonprofit institutions. When Deborah Solmor was brought on as General Counsel, TCS was not using a contract management system; instead, her legal team was tracking all of their intake and contract review in email.
Her interest in Lexion was spurred by “contract management envy.”
“I was tired of going to GC conferences where everyone talked about how great their contract management systems were, and we didn’t have one.”
Deborah worked with a member of her legal team to develop a homegrown solution that included an intake form and Excel tracking. It caught her President’s interest. “If you like this,” she replied, “imagine what we could do if you actually let me buy a contract management platform.”
With that, Deborah’s team had the go-ahead to seek budget approval to vet CLM solutions.
The legal team wanted to prove its value
Deborah was committed to proving the value of her legal team and she knew that a contract lifecycle system could be the answer.
The TCS legal team was looking for a CLM that solved three problems:
- Manual tracking — Any time a contract was reviewed, the team had to update the status in a manual tracker with notes and other key information. Most requests lived in an email inbox, giving no visibility to the external team and no ability to assign tasks to team members.
- Decentralized systems — The different systems TCS used for contract review and editing didn’t communicate with each other. Plus, with no centralized repository, keeping everybody up-to-date with the latest templates was difficult.
- Lack of reporting — “You can’t show value by presenting all the things that don’t happen,” said Deborah. Her legal team protected the company from risk, but without consistent KPIs, it was hard for her to show the value of their work.
When her team started vetting solutions, they also prioritized ease of use and visual appeal—looking for a modern software product.
Lexion saved time and streamlined data
TCS Assistant General Counsel, Aleks Dordevic was one of the TCS team members tasked with selecting a platform. He had used robust CLM solutions before, but as a nonprofit, TCS had to prioritize bang for buck. After reviewing 10-12 solutions, Lexion met all the needs and the budget: “Lexion was just the right fit.”
Among other reasons, here’s why Aleks and Deborah chose Lexion:
- Fast onboarding — “It couldn’t have gone any smoother,” said Aleks. From batch uploading to a clean interface, “the overall opinion [of Alek’s team] was that it’s very user-friendly."
- Requester visibility — The automatic visibility into contract status helped to build trust with external teams. Previously, business users would send an email request and have no way of knowing what the status was. With Lexion, all tasks “followers” are updated so they know what stage of review the contract is in—without ever having to ask.
- Quarterly KPIs — For Deborah, being able to track and report on quarterly KPIs has been one of the greatest benefits of Lexion. She’s able to share the legal team’s performance with her President and TCS’s partner institutions in a more sophisticated way, reporting on metrics like the number and type of contracts reviewed, the dollar value of each agreement, the time to completion or review, and more.
All of these improvements add up to major time savings for TCS. The contract review team is sending out three to five contracts a week—saving a few hours per agreement with Lexion. That’s an estimated 10 hours per week.
Creating contracts from templates and streamlining the review process has been critical for Aleks in his work with one TCS partner institution, the new Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (who enters into numerous clinical affiliation agreements to support opportunities for its students).
“The ability to create a contract within a matter of seconds, you can’t really put a price on that.”
Lexion provided buy-in for other investments
Before Lexion, TCS had somewhat of a contract “black hole,” but now, business users are more aware of the legal review process and more accountable for understanding their own risks with contracting partners.
Lexion also helps hold the legal team accountable—“people can see our statuses and keep us on target” said Deborah. “Lexion provided a way to create ownership and accountability in the entire process.”
While Lexion has streamlined the day-to-day operations of Deborah’s legal team, she’s seen business benefits beyond contract management.
“Lexion has been a godsend for us, but it’s also a piece of the larger puzzle. My continued focus is a mission to automate and ‘technologize’ the TCS legal team’s operations.” Deborah explained. “Because people have been so impressed with what Lexion can do, I’ve been able to get the buy-in to bring on other systems and technologies, including a new policy platform.”
“Lexion really is our showpiece. We’re showing people that automating your legal needs is a great investment.”