Sometimes, a company is so accustomed to a process that people don’t realize how manual it actually is.
This is especially the case for contract management.
Many corporations rely on manual processes to handle contracts, leaning on paper, spreadsheets and email. While it lets you work in programs you use every day, it also means you’re cutting and pasting information into templates, entering data, writing and sending emails, searching for documents and saving items to multiple drives.
The process is a nuisance, yes. But it also invites risks, such inconsistent legal language, a lack of insight into content and status and an inability to anticipate and accommodate renewal data, pricing changes and emerging legal requirements. (We break down more challenges regarding manual contract management in this blog post if you’d like to read more about them.)
What’s the new evolution of contract management?
A contract lifecycle management solution.
It allows companies to capture, automate and analyze the entire contract lifecycle from initiation through approval, compliance and renewals. It eliminates data silos, automates workflows and reduces the overall time spent. Studies have shown that businesses with a streamlined contract lifecycle management process can compress their time to revenue, mitigate risks and increase customer satisfaction. In short, a contract lifecycle management solution contributes value.
Contract Lifecycle Management Solutions Checklist
How can you pick the best solution? Start with this checklist to ensure that the solutions you’re vetting offer you the features that work best with your corporate legal department.
- Collaboration – A secure collaborative capability facilitates editing and communication among team members.
- Client and partner self-service – Highly intuitive, streamlined portals give authorized individuals access to commonly used contract templates and verbiage.
- Easy-to-access requests – These allow anyone within the corporation to initiate the contract process. They don’t have to set up an account.
- A central repository – A single source for all contracts and associated documentation means no more searching for information.
- E-sign capabilities – Timely signatures are vital to the contract process. Users should be able to sign contracts electronically and manage them within the contract lifecycle management software. It should integrate with tier-one e-signature solutions. Upon completion, the solution should automatically store the contract in the central repository with all of the expected notifications without any additional intervention.
- Routing and approval – The technology should enable the easy building of configurable workflows to route contracts for review and/or approval.
- Human-centric user interfaces – The system should be intuitive and lightweight, requiring little to no training.
- Microsoft Word integration – Word is used extensively in creating contracts. An integration with Word captures changes and notes as they occur to contracts, speeding up the entire process.
- Notifications – Proactive alerts such as notifications or reminders should be sent by the technology as the contract progresses through its lifecycle.
- Enterprise contract management – The software should manage sell-side, buy-side and corporate contracts.
Are you interested in learning more? Download this white paper: “What to Expect from a Contract Lifecycle Management Solution.” You can also read more about Onit Contract Lifecycle Management or request a demo.