Managing contracts can be challenging - especially when primarily relying on outdated tools such as spreadsheets, emails, and shared drives. Without accountability, visibility, a clearly defined process, and actionable insights within a contract management software platform, you can find yourself confronting contract management bottlenecks. Contract lifecycle management (CLM) requires careful planning, the right technology, a well-planned contract strategy, and robust contract lifecycle management processes. To gain the most out of contract lifecycle management, you need to ask key questions in order to find the right answers. Read on to discover seven key questions to consider when implementing contract lifecycle management, including key features to look for when leveraging a CLM software platform.
Contract Lifecycle Management Questions
Contract lifecycle management questions are inquiries made to understand the key components of contract lifecycle management and how industry-leading CLM tools can be leveraged to maximize your processes as a contract manager in an increasingly digitally transformative age. While contract management can be implemented without technology, contract lifecycle management leverages technology to unify and streamline the contract lifecycle.
#1 - What Is Contract Lifecycle Management Software?
Contract lifecycle management software, also known as CLM, 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 also include eSourcing and eProcurement tools for source-to-contract management success. Leading contract lifecycle management software unifies people, processes, and technology to streamline the contract lifecycle stages.
#2 - How Can I Automate Contract Lifecycle Management?
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 contract lifecycle management software can reduce bottlenecks by connecting the right people at the right time with virtually unlimited task reminders and contract notifications.
You can leverage contract lifecycle management software for advanced reporting and analytics tools, contract process management, user-defined fields, audit trails, and more. Contract lifecycle automation tools can track key stages of the contract management process - including contract collaboration, contract negotiations, and approvals. Leading CLM software can allow you to anticipate milestones and key dates, including contract renewals, with helpful automated alerts. Moreover, contract lifecycle 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 contract content analysis.
#3 - How Can I Streamline Contract Assembly & Approvals?
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 automated contract assembly solution can streamline contract lifecycle management processes by centralizing and automating the creation of agreements, contracts, and documents. You can leverage CLM software to create compliant contracts that seamlessly merge with your organization’s approved data fields and clauses.
Leading contract lifecycle management software can allow the merging of various document versions and templates from an organization’s pre-approved language library – including FAR, DFAR, and GSA contract templates – that can be exported to various file formats. You can remain abreast of its evolution with version tracking tools. CLM system administrators can also gain better control over contract access by configuring user permissions regarding contract and version access through contract lifecycle management software approval routing and audit trail capabilities.
#4 - How Can I Speed Up Contract Signatures?
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 that can require wasting paper-based resources. Additionally, postage expenses can grow exorbitant as contract volume increases; lost revenue due to delayed or canceled contracts that never seem to arrive for signature needs to be taken into account as well.
Fortunately, electronic signature software - a vital contract lifecycle management software benefit - can make signing contracts a breeze by empowering signees to sign in the office or on the go - with the proper electronic device and adequate internet access. Leading CLM software also 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 thereafter - essentially eliminating the need for an in-person notary.
Watch the video below to learn about CobbleStone Software's electronic signatures.
#5 - Can I Manage Contract Management Risk With The Help of 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 error. Thankfully, advanced contract lifecycle management software with AI and machine learning can identify up-to-date and pressing risk variables and notify you. You can also assess if your vendors are compliant with the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s national sanctions lists via integrated OFAC search functionality. 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.
#6 - Can I Track Contracts from Requests Through Renewals With Clear 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 disparate contract management processes.
Thankfully, leading contract lifecycle management software can equip you with the mission-critical tools to track contracts effectively and efficiently. A centralized CLM software solution provides advanced contract tracking with a secure contract repository, approved clause libraries and templates, comprehensive audit trails, performance insights, and improved collaboration. You can manage contracts throughout their lifecycles 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 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 merely utilizing a contract repository system, you can leverage proven contract lifecycle management processes that assist with the stages of the contract lifecycle and equip the collaboration of necessary stakeholders from virtually anywhere with suitable WiFi.
#7 - Can I Use a Mobile App for Remote Contract Lifecycle Management?
Managing contracts can prove challenging - especially when working on the go, remotely, or from home. Without a mobile-friendly contract lifecycle management software solution that can seamlessly adapt to your work agility, you can incur unwarranted contract workflow inefficiencies. When dealing with an influx of contract management processes - in both the pre-award and post-award contract stages - the lack of CLM software mobile integration can slow contract processes.
A leading CLM software mobile app offers unparalleled contract lifecycle management efficiency by offering web-enabled functionalities right in the palm of your hand. A contract lifecycle management software mobile app, available on Apple iOs and Android devices, can empower you to fulfill online CLM tasks. A user-friendly mobile interface can offer contract lifecycle management features at the touch of a finger.
The feature-rich mobile app offers themes and color schemes that resemble a contract management software desktop experience with mobile-friendly responsiveness. CLM mobile app users can quickly access their core contract lifecycle management tools with ease – all within a sleek and future-minded interface that can help you:
- Generate Contracts.
- Configure & Receive Task Alerts.
- Configure Automated Workflows.
- Request eApprovals.
- Gather eSignatures.
- Track Key Dates.
- Track Post-Award Contract Compliance.
- Search for Contracts.
- Create Ad-Hoc Reports.
- And Much More.
The Answer to Your CLM Questions - CobbleStone Contract Insight®
The answer to these seven key contract lifecycle management questions can be found in CobbleStone Contract Insight, an industry-leading and award-winning CLM software that is trusted by thousands of contract management professionals. Don't waste any more time manually managing contracts and confronting contract management bottlenecks. See industry-leading CLM software in action by booking your free demo with a CobbleStone Contract Insight expert.
CobbleStone's trusted, award-winning, highly-integrated contract lifecycle management software streamlines the contract management process with optimal governance, reduced friction, and high flexibility from contract requests to renewals. CobbleStone's user-friendly, robust, and scalable solution seamlessly connects with external applications, including MS Word and MS Outlook, and offers VISDOM® AI with machine learning for natural language processing and risk management. Moreover, CobbleStone's IntelliSign® eSignatures can make one-off and bulk electronic signing a breeze. It's no wonder why Forrester names CobbleStone a Leader in CLM software!