The contract lifecycle is a great way to categorize the steps of contract administration, from requests to renewals. But how can you embrace legal operations digital transformation to automate the contract life cycle process? Read this blog to find out.
Contract Life Cycle Process
The contract life cycle process is the paradigm you can use to classify the core steps involved in a contract. It begins with contract requests and ends with contract renewals. Leveraging contract management software can boost your contract lifecycle management ROI, decrease risk, reduce contract lifecycle bottlenecks, and increase revenue. Below is a graphic of the contract lifecycle.
Below are some benefits of automating your contract lifecycle management process.
#1 – Accelerate CLM From Requests to Renewals
Automating your contract life cycle process with leading CLM software equips you with robust CLM tools – including but not limited to:
- a safe and secure contract repository for storing and efficiently retrieving contracts, contract data, counterparty data, and more.
- centralized and streamlined contract requests.
- robust and user-friendly contract authoring tools to support seamless merging of contract data with pre-approved templates from your organization's template and clause libraries.
- a simplified and automated process for contract negotiation, contract collaboration, contract review, electronic signatures, and eApproval routing.
- automated contract analytics and contract tracking for enhanced contract compliance and contract obligations.
- automated key date and milestone alerts and notifications – such as those for seamless contract renewal
- highly configurable risk and opportunity assessment tools.
- easy yet robust contract management workflow configuration and contract lifecycle tracking for specific contract types.
#2 – Enjoy a Tight-Knit, Accurate Contract Clause Experience
Clause management can be automated and accelerated with contract lifecycle management software. Your contract management team can virtually effortlessly draft contract documents based on your organization’s pre-approved templates and contract clauses' terms and conditions. Some CLM features for contract clauses include:
- a centralized contract repository to store virtually limitless pre-approved contract clauses, standard contract clauses, fallback contract clauses, alternative contract clauses, and many others.
- a virtual storehouse of contract language for enhanced contract negotiations.
- easy access and insertion of standard and alternative clauses as redlines per your organization’s user permissions configuration settings.
- dynamic merging of relevant contract data fields with contract clauses from your organization’s template and clause library.
- oversight of near-limitless templates and versions with clause merging and approved data fields.
- administration of situational or specified templates - such as those leveraged for FAR, DFAR, and GSA contract documents.
- CLIN (or contract line item number) management and essentially effortless insertion of line items into templates.
- rapid exportation of contract documents and related documents as standard file formats such as MS Word documents and PDF documents.
- clause ownership to notify “clause owners” in the instance that other contract personnel attempt to edit or modify an assigned document.
- a contract management PC Helper App for streamlined clause inclusion on MS Word and MS Outlook.
- rapid signing and approval routing with electronic signatures.
#3 - Meet Contract Compliance & Other Requirements Easier
Contract lifecycle automation can significantly strengthen your contract compliance strategy. Some perks of leveraging contract management software to automate compliance include:
- configurable reporting and auditing tools – including visually engaging graphical dashboards - to assist your team in retaining optimal contract compliance administration internally and with external contract stakeholders, including DBE tracking for substantial supplier diversity.
- complete contract milestone tracking and contract audit trails, so your team remains aware of pending fulfillable contract obligations.
- dashboards that you can configure for important contract compliance areas.
- ad-Hoc reports and user-defined reports exportable to various formats – such as PDF, MS Word, and MS Excel.
- online report design tools so you can configure contract compliance report layouts and export them to multiple file types.
Automating contract lifecycle management with CLM software also allows you to streamline specific types of contract compliance, such as:
- OFAC search compliance according to the Office of Foreign Assets Control within the US Department of the Treasury.
- HITRUST compliance.
- COI tracking.
#4 – Integrate Mission-Critical Applications for Better CLM
Your contract management team should look to automate your contract life cycle process with seamless integration with mission-critical CLM applications, such as:
- Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) for concurrent, online document editing on Google Docs.
- MS Office 365 for concurrent, online document editing on MS OneDrive.
- ProBids to promote a more competitive bid process.
- the aforementioned MS Word and MS Outlook integrations
- the aforementioned OFAC search integrations.
- contract artificial intelligence, such as CobbleStone Software’s VISDOM® AI.
- electronic signature software.
#5 – Automate Contract Tracking
Your organization can automate contract life cycle tracking with contract tracking tools such as:
- robust version tracking and audit trail history.
- a centralized and secure contract repository to easily keep track of and retrieve contract data and contract documents.
- Contract tracking for essentially unlimited contract attachment types, including contract documents, purchase orders, invoices, supporting documents, etc.
- executive graphical dashboards for important contract analytics at a glance.
- full contract financials tracking.
Get Started With an Automated Contract Life Cycle Process
Now that you are aware of which tools you can use to automate the contract life cycle process, it is time to get started with the only contract lifecycle management solution with all of the advanced features mentioned above. That solution is CobbleStone Contract Insight®.
CobbleStone's award-winning contract life cycle management software solution can automate contract management, vendor management, procurement, and sourcing processes from start to finish with the foremost legal operations technology. Given how user-friendly, robust, and seamlessly integrated CLM solution is, it's no wonder Forrester names CobbleStone a Leader in CLM software!
Learn why thousands of contract managers across the globe trust CobbleStone with their contract management needs. To learn more about CobbleStone’s unparalleled contract software, book a free demo with a CobbleStone Contract Insight expert today!