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We are excited to announce The Marshfield Method comprising the 10 Pillars of Contract Management, developed over our years of experience pioneering best practices and a refined approach to contract lifecycle management (CLM). This framework is not just a set of steps; it’s a philosophy that integrates our industry knowledge with practical, hands-on experience in managing agreements across various sectors and is applicable to organizations of every size.

The 10 Pillars of The Marshfield Method:

  1. Contract Preparation or Submission – Initiating contracts through automated templates or custom requests, ensuring flexibility and efficiency right from the start.  This could include generating contracts from templates OR submitting a 3rd party contract for review and by addressing can help streamline the overall process by making the way to create or request a contract easy for end users to accomplish.

Business Value Realization: Automated contract management reduced Beeline’s contract creation times from over 200 days to hours, saving 900 hours annually and streamlining audit compliance. Read the case study here.


2. Contract Review – Engaging necessary stakeholders like legal, procurement, and sales for targeted reviews, crucial for maintaining contract integrity.  There are typically reviews that are always required and include also those sets of reviewers who are engaged automatically, or on-demand, based on information available about the contract (e.g. value, payment terms, security terms, etc.) which may require additional specialized reviews by Senior Leaders or by specialists from areas like Finance, IT/Info Sec, Compliance, or others.

Business Value Realization: With streamlined processes, Corestream saw a 277% YoY increase in contract volume without adding staff. Reviews that once took six months now complete in one week, thanks to tracking and status updates in a DocuSign CLM dashboard. Read the case study here.


3. Contract Approval – Streamlined approvals tailored to contract specifics like value and departmental requirements, ensuring compliance and governance.  Approvals imply a responsibility and accountability and function as a way to manifest corporate policies and procedures within the CLM solution as business rules that automatically leverage variables like Amount, Division/Department, Contract Type, etc. to drive the proper approvals and ensure compliance to policy.

Business Value Realization: Provide now generates hundreds of approval letters each month using CLM, reducing document-processing time by up to 50%. This automation significantly boosts accuracy and consistency, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring uniformity across high volumes of documents. Read the case study here.


4. Contract Redlining – Efficient handling of contract modifications and negotiations, ensuring that all changes are captured accurately.  This includes the methods and means of sharing the redline-able contracts with counterparties in a low-friction way to promote collaboration as well as the toolkit offered by the CLM to quickly parse changes and compare versions prior to iterating through the review and approval processes.

Business Value Realization: By automating the redlining process, Corestream achieved a 277% YoY increase in contract volume without additional staff. Reviews that once took six months are now completed in one week, reducing the sales cycle and contract complexity while maintaining accuracy and efficiency. Read the case study here.


5. Contract Execution – Seamless integration of signature processes that accommodate various signing scenarios, enhancing execution efficiency.  This could be as simple as sending a document for signature using your own eSign provider or could encompass wet signing or even signing contracts using the counterparty’s eSign provider and having the proper methods available for recapturing the signed document into your process and CLM system.

Business Value Realization: Jump’s adoption of the Review and Send for Signature feature significantly reduced administrative burden and simplified the signature process. The Legal team now handles user and task modifications without code, cutting time and clicks, and making the process more intuitive and efficient. Read the case study here.


6. Contract Finalization – Meticulous final reviews to ensure all contract details are correct post-negotiation, solidifying the agreement’s terms.  Negotiations could have taken days, weeks or even months during which time the contract may have gone through countless iterations and rounds of negotiation.  Having a well designed Finalization process ensures that executed documents are always archived with the proper tagging to drive downstream processes accurately.

Business Value Realization: Contract lifecycle management ensures thorough final reviews, enhancing accuracy and consistency in contract details post-negotiation. This meticulous approach solidifies the agreement’s terms, reducing the risk of errors and disputes, and ensuring all parties are aligned.


7. Contract Renewal – Proactive management of contract renewals, leveraging automated reminders and renewal terms to maintain continuity.  Tracking expiration dates, notice periods, and renewals automatic or otherwise is a key activity around managing the contract renewal process to ensure that your CLM process extends through these processes vs. ending with a signed contract.

Business Value Realization: CM Group’s automated renewal workflow reduced contract costs by 20%, saving $60,000 monthly. With automated emails and notifications, manual intervention is eliminated, cutting the in-process queue by over 50% and allowing the Procurement team to focus on strategic initiatives. Read the case study here.


8. Contract Analytics – Advanced analytics providing insights into contract performance and lifecycle, enabling strategic decision-making.  Analytics cover the contracts themselves and any of the key contract data, terms, obligations that have been abstracted from the unstructured content of the contract, along with data generated that describes the contracts as they go through the contract process.  Knowing where your contracts are in the process, who is assigned, and how long they have been there as well as the tracking of overall cycle times of the process as well as broken out by individual step or stage of the process help unlock contractual insights and assist with the management function overall.

Business Value Realization: By integrating robust workflow analytics, Jump can now track contracts at any lifecycle stage, extracting valuable insights about steps, actors, and durations. This instrumentation enables strategic decision-making, improving efficiency and reliability in contract operations. Read the case study here.


9. Contract Readiness – Comprehensive preparation for CLM implementations, balancing new tool adoption with ongoing contract management iteration.  While a project to implement CLM takes place, the everyday normal work of Contract Management does not go away, so often key project resources are balancing completing their project deliverables and honoring their project obligations while simultaneously having to continue to do their day job.  Facilitating change management, user training and driving user adoption are all considered readiness topics and having a well thought out Contract Readiness strategy is important for long term success.

Business Value Realization: Effective contract readiness ensures smooth CLM implementation by balancing the adoption of new tools with ongoing management needs. This approach minimizes disruptions, enhances user adoption, and maintains continuous contract operations during transitions.


10. Contract Administration – Ongoing support and updates for the CLM system, ensuring it evolves with the business and remains efficient.  CLM is not usually a destination that your organization reaches and is more an ideal or aspiration and benefits from constant oversight and iteration to ensure CLM is able adapt to business changes, adjust with the scaling of resources up or down, and update with new features as delivered by the CLM tool of choice.  As such, thinking through how the CLM process is administered and what the right balance of internal and external support resources is critical to sustaining and expanding your successful CLM deployment.

Business Value Realization: Continuous support and regular updates to the CLM system ensure it evolves alongside the business, maintaining efficiency and addressing emerging needs. This proactive approach keeps the system current and effective, supporting sustained contract management excellence.

Why the Marshfield Method Matters

Implementing the Marshfield Method not only simplifies the complex landscape of contract management but also amplifies operational efficiency and business growth. Companies that adopt this method, much like Marshfield Consulting itself, experience streamlined processes, reduced operational overhead, and a boost in contract compliance and governance.

Experience the Transformation for CLM

Explore how the Marshfield Method can revolutionize your contract management approach. As a leader in CLM solutions, Marshfield Consulting is uniquely positioned to enhance how your contracts are handled, driving both performance and satisfaction. Engage with us to see these benefits in action and to discuss how we can tailor our approach to fit your organization’s unique needs.

At Marshfield Consulting, we pride ourselves on being the only DocuSign Platinum Partner dedicated exclusively to the DocuSign Agreement Cloud.

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