Managing contracts can be challenging for legal, procurement, and contract management professionals - especially when primarily relying on outdated tools such as spreadsheets, emails, and shared drives. Without leveraging the advantages of online contracts within a leading contract lifecycle management software platform, you can find yourself running into compliance issues and minimizing contract value – among other setbacks. Contract lifecycle management requires careful planning, the right technology, a well-planned contract strategy, and strong online contract management processes. Fortunately, leading contract management software can help streamline your online contract management process flow. Read on to discover five key advantages of online contracts.
The Difference Between a Contract and an E-Contract
A contract is a legally binding agreement between at least two entities. A contract can be paper-based or electronic. A contract can be managed with either physical or electronic processes – including a combination of both. An e-contract is a legally binding agreement between at least two entities that is digitally processed from request through renewal, including eSignatures.
What Is SaaS Contracting?
SaaS means software as a service. SaaS contracting digitally unifies contract lifecycle management processes from contract requests through renewals in a centralized, web-enabled system hosted on a CLM software provider's server that can include eSourcing and eProcurement functionality for source-to-contract management success. Leading SaaS contracting software unifies people, processes, and technology for streamlined CLM success.
What Are the Advantages of Online Contracts?
The advantages of online contracts allow stakeholders – including contract managers – to retain optimal contract lifecycle management oversight from contract requests through renewals within a centralized, web-based contract management system. Rather than waste time with manual and disparate processes, a web-enabled CLM software platform can unify people, processes, and technology for online contract management success.
Advantage #1 – Online Contract Lifecycle Automation from Requests to Renewals
Overseeing each stage of the contract lifecycle process can consume tremendous time and energy while running the risk of human error in manually managing multiple documents. You can find yourself struggling to maximize contract performance throughout the entirety of the contract lifecycle. Fortunately, intelligent contract workflow automation within web-enabled contract management software reduces bottlenecks by connecting the right people at the right time with virtually unlimited task reminders and contract notifications.
You can leverage SaaS contract management software for advanced reporting and analytics tools, contract process management, user-defined fields, audit trails, and more. Contract lifecycle automation tools can track each stage of the contract management process - including contract collaboration, contract negotiations, and approvals. Contract management SaaS solutions allow you to anticipate milestones and key dates, including contract renewals, with integrated automated alerts. Moreover, SaaS contract management software supports audit trail history that tracks up-to-date contract changes. Automated CLM process flow can help you focus on contract performance management by allowing more time for online contract content analysis.
Advantage #2 – Streamlined Online Contract Assembly
Contract generation can be challenging, especially with multiple people involved. Creating, reviewing, and revising contracts can consume large amounts of time and energy. Manual contract assembly can increase errors when static documents become obsolete, and parties involved are unaware of the most up-to-date templates and versions. Clauses, contract language, and templates that are not current or standardized increase the risk of contract managers inadvertently creating non-compliant contracts.
Fortunately, an integrated contract management system tool for automated contract assembly can streamline online contract management processes with intelligent contract management software that centralizes and automates the creation of agreements, contracts, and documents. You can leverage SaaS CLM to create compliant contracts that seamlessly merge with your organization's approved data fields and clauses.
A leading SaaS contract management software allows the merging of various online contracts from an organization's pre-approved language library – including FAR, DFAR, and GSA contract templates. Those involved in the online contract drafting process can remain abreast of its evolution with version tracking tools. SaaS CLM system administrators can also gain better control over contract access by configuring user permissions regarding contract and version access through SaaS contract management software approval routing and audit trail capabilities.
Advantage #3 - Secure & Speedy Signing With Online eSignatures
Gathering required signatures for a contract can be difficult, especially when signees are in different locations. As signatures finalize contracts and propel their execution, this highly anticipated step can be delayed with manual wet signatures requiring wasting paper-based resources.
Fortunately, electronic signature software - a vital online contract management benefit - can make signing online contracts a breeze by enabling signees to sign in the office or on the go - with the proper electronic device and adequate internet access. Leading SaaS contract management software offers mobile signature signing functionality for added convenience. Additionally, signees can leverage the use of digital signatures that virtually ensure a signature's date of signing and that it was untampered with after that - reducing the need for a licensed notary.
Watch the video below to learn about CobbleStone Software's proprietary electronic signature software – IntelliSign®.
Advantage #4 - Robust Risk Management With Web-Enabled AI
Reviewing contract risk can be time-consuming and challenging. Manually assessing risk factors can cost your organization extra time and money while increasing the probability of human oversights. Thankfully, advanced web-enabled contract management software with AI and machine learning can identify up-to-date and pressing risk variables and notify you of overlooked risk variables. You can also assess if your vendors are compliant under the Office of Foreign Asset Control's national sanctions lists via an integrated OFAC search functionality offered by leading cloud-based contract management software. AI-powered contract management software can also provide organizations with a risk assessment matrix that displays risk exposure and risk probability patterns in a visually engaging and easy-to-digest mapping matrix. Such oversight can substantially reduce risk in online contracts.
Advantage #5 – Detailed Online Contract Tracking Oversight
Tracking contracts with an approach involving emails, spreadsheets, shared drives, and other manual processes can create an inefficient and ineffective contract lifecycle process. Manually tracking contracts can place an organization at risk for compliance issues, contract failure, financial instability, and more. Contract filing and tracking processes relying on disparate folders from ranging sources can hinder version control and increase the possibility of overall loss to their organization's bottom line. While spreadsheets can organize contracts, they cannot alert contract managers of vital opportunities and warnings, including contract version tracking alerts and opportunity alerts in upcoming contract renewals – which are crucial to post-award contract management success. These methods can undermine the contract tracking process with unclear audit trails, continually changing timelines, and other delays caused by manual contract management processes.
Thankfully, leading online contract management software can equip organizations with the mission-critical tools to track contracts effectively and efficiently. A centralized web-enabled contract management software platform provides advanced contract tracking with a secure contract repository, approved clause libraries and templates, detailed audit trails, performance insights, and improved collaboration. You can manage online contracts throughout the contract lifecycle with the help of task alerts and notifications that can be configured via email - especially with the help of an MS Outlook PC Helper App.
Robust online contract tracking features can empower you to track contract compliance, obligations, and renewals with robust and timely oversight. Moreover, with the help of CLIN (contract line-item number) and flow-down subcontract document management, you can track contract document numbers and ancillary flow-down sub-contracts. Rather than use a manual contract repository system, you can leverage proven online contract lifecycle management processes that assist with the crucial stages of the contract lifecycle and equip the collaboration of necessary stakeholders from virtually anywhere with suitable WiFi.Effective Online Contracts With CobbleStone Contract Insight®
Leverage effective and efficient online contracts with CobbleStone Contract Insight, a leading CLM software platform, for robust contract lifecycle management process-flow success.
CobbleStone Contract Insight has remained a visionary leader in CLM software for over twenty years. CobbleStone's award-winning and feature-rich contract management software streamlines the contract management process with optimal governance, reduced friction, and high flexibility from contract requests to renewals. Thousands of contract managers trust CobbleStone Contract Insight as their go-to CLM software solution. Moreover, CobbleStone Software - as a CLM software provider – is SOC 1, SOC 2, and HITRUST compliant. CobbleStone's user-friendly, robust, and scalable solution seamlessly connects with mission-critical applications for unified and seamless contract management. It's no wonder why Forrester names CobbleStone a Leader in CLM software!
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*Legal Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. The content of this article is for general informational and educational purposes only. The information on this website may not present the most up-to-date legal information. Readers should contact their attorney for legal advice regarding any particular legal matter.