Contract management software has many features and benefits to help contract and legal professionals track and manage the full contract lifecycle from initiation, or the request of a new contract, through drafting, review, approval, execution, and post-execution compliance tracking. Discover the top ten contract management software features that will help you gain control of your contracts and develop a better process.
CobbleStone at the 2019 NIGP Forum
NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement hosted its annual NIGP Forum on August 25th – 28th, 2019 in Austin, TX. The NIGP Forum is considered the largest educational conference exclusively for public procurement in North America and is a great place for procurement professionals to connect and collaborate on overcoming common procurement challenges. CobbleStone attended the 2019 NIGP Forum and exhibited our leading contract management and eProcurement software to attendees. Discover key conference takeaways and hot session topics from the event.
Contract managers, contract administration professionals, and corporate legal teams struggle to show clear contract management ROI to executive leadership within their organizations. This struggle to show value is not isolated to one contract management challenge, but rather, it is a conglomeration of issues with manual contract management systems, lack of communication, and misaligned goals. For organizations managing hundreds or thousands of contracts each year, the bottom line can be hit from multiple angles from increased costs to decreased revenue to lost time to missed opportunities to increased risk. This article analyzes the root causes of missed ROI and presents a strategy to get the most value out of contracts.
Government contracting is divided into three stages: procurement or acquisition planning, sourcing, and post-award contract management. The first two stages have had the most focused time and financial investment for improvement. This approach leaves post-award management as a secondary duty for contract officer representatives (CORs) who are then left unsupported andpositioned for ineffective compliance, risk management, and opportunity realization. Arguably, the contract management process after acquisition and sourcing is the most crucial stage for government agencies but has notoriously been given low visibility and insufficient resources. This article will address the challenges and present an actionable post-award contract management solution.
An infallible contract process has two variables: a trustworthy team and reliable contract management software. Although one of these variables can perform without the other, having both will result in the best performance.
Managing contracts effectively can be difficult without the right resources. Your team can be well-versed in contract management best practices, but without a contract management system to track their actions and process workflows, bottlenecks could be occurring, tasks may be overdue, and you have no way of knowing if you are losing out on opportunities. How do you know what’s going on within your team’s processes? If you’re not sure, it may be time for an upgrade to contract automation. Learn how to create an infallible contract process for your organization.
When implementing contract management software, organizations often have copious amounts of contract data that needs to be searched, analyzed, and populated into their new contract management system. Data extraction is a tedious task that can be time-consuming and overwhelming for contract management professionals. Leaving this task to software professionals who are familiar with data extraction, and who use AI technology to streamline data extraction processes, will allow for a better, faster implementation process. Discover five reasons why your organization should choose contract data extraction services.
Upon the release of Contract Insight Version 17.3.1, the contract management software is now available with Dashboard Launch Pads that take apps and taskbars to the next level with a better user experience within CobbleStone’s Contract Insight® Enterprise Software. Contract Insight is a robust system with configurable functionality to help users navigate through the system fast and easily. System Dashboards are full of functionality and are designed to provide a better user experience. Learn how CobbleStone’s Dashboard Launch Pads can help users navigate through Contract Insight easily while gaining insights into key contract data right from their system Dashboard.
Legal teams face ever-increasing volumes of legal work and struggle to achieve goals without enough in-house resources to complete the evolving complex demands of the legal function. General Counsel is now acting as an internal business advisor and strategist, leaving paralegals and legal assistants to lead the charge in a legal operations role that improves productivity and legal services quality, leverages technology to gain new insights, drives efficiency through automation, increases security, and decreases risk. When it seems like there isn’t enough time in the day to reach your organization’s goals, the path to better document management can be found with the right legal filing system.
CobbleStone Software recently exhibited at NCMA’s World Congress 2019 at Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA. Despite a heat index of over 100° F, committed contract management professionals showed up to this eagerly anticipated contract management conference ready to learn and network.
I exhibited on behalf of CobbleStone with Michael Donnelly, one of our seasoned account managers. We spent an immersive three days learning about the challenges contract professionals are facing in 2019 and demonstrated how CobbleStone’s award-winning contract management software could help them provide more value to their organizations by positioning them to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
What is GSA?
Discover GSA and its many benefits to government organizations.
When investing in contract management software, discuss with your chosen provider the option of purchasing through the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). GSA provides eligible agencies (often government) with the option to purchase products and services, such as contract management software, through a schedule, which is an approved and maintained contract through GSA. Using this method to purchase contract management software eliminates the need for negotiations and makes the purchasing process much more efficient for all parties involved.
The Association for Health Care Resource & Materials Management is hosting AHRMM19, its annual conference and exhibition, in San Diego, CA July 28-31, 2019. The conference is a 3-day, information-packed learning experience for health care supply chain professionals, covering topics like strategic planning, logistics and distribution, professional development, and more. The conference agenda includes “Learning Labs” with sessions like, “Developing Your Strategic Sourcing Toolkit: Types of RFx and When to Use Each,” and, “The Culture of Change: Necessary Steps to Implementing the Next Big Thing.”
CobbleStone’s new release, Contract Insight® Version 17.3.1 has arrived with many new features to enhance and improve your contract management system! New features like CobbleStone’s Launch Pad Tiles, survey tools, and Google Drive integration will help you and your team become more organized and equipped with tools to succeed. Discover what’s new with Contract Insight and get started today with better usability and governance over your CLM system.
While there's a lot of buzz around the advantages of cloud-based technology for CLM software, organizations should understand the benefits of choosing the primary method of hosting software, on-premise, in order to assess the advantages and come to a conclusion. Both SaaS (Software as a Service) and on-premise deployment options are convenient in their own way, depending on what your organization is looking for. In this post, I've uncovered the six biggest benefits of on-premise hosting for contract management software.
Hospitals, healthcare providers, and health systems are facing complex challenges around cost control, regulatory compliance (HIPAA, JCAHO, Stark Law regulations, Medicare billing rules, etc.), and operation and service efficiency. In healthcare, successful contract management is critical for organizations managing hundreds or thousands of contracts covering different departments or facilities, and multiple vendors, providers, or agencies. Mismanaged contracts can not only lead to increased costs, thinning margins, and lack of productivity; they can lead to compliance failures that result in reputation and accreditation issues.
The development of cloud-based technology has raised the question, “What are the benefits of a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution versus installing software directly on-premise?"
Contract management systems contain highly sensitive information, and organizations should make data security their top priority when selecting a deployment method for their CLM solution. Many would argue that contract management SaaS is the ultimate deployment method for software because the data center upkeep duties are left to the provider rather than giving organizations one more solution to manage. Others may want their IT team to retain control by managing hosting in-house. While both approaches have up-sides to different organizations, SaaS has become the more popular option due to added benefits and most organizations are choosing to leave the responsibility to the software provider. This article discusses the benefits of choosing a SaaS solution over on-premise and what you can expect from CobbleStone Software when selecting us to host your CLM software.
CobbleStone Software, the leader in contract management and eProcurement software, is exhibiting at NCMA's World Congress on July 28-31, 2019 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA. This annual event is considered one of the largest industry gatherings with thousands of contract management, procurement, and acquisition professionals expected to attend.
Business continues to accelerate globally. The resulting rapidly shifting regulatory environment generates increased risk along with more opportunities, propelling organizations to rely on contracts more heavily to protect business interests and assets. General Counsel and legal teams have a chance to create a new perception of the legal department that moves away from the appearance of a cost center for the organization to the forefront of organizational strategy by leveraging contracts as a growth driver.
Contract Insight’s® Quick Search feature allows system users to easily search for specific requests, contract records, contracts, and related documents by searching for keywords or phrases. This process is similar to common search functionality we use on most online platforms (it’s fast and easy!). Learn from this Contract Insight video tutorial how to easily search within your system.
When examining successful organizations, you’ll likely find that they have mastered vendor management. What does vendor management mastery look like? Effective vendor management drives value from contracts, nurtures long-term relationships, and is repeatable for organizations managing as many as thousands of different vendors. The strategy behind sound vendor management is to evaluate vendor performance over time, in core areas, including vendor reliability, vendor quality, vendor cost structures, and more granular areas based on your industry. This article addresses the critical need for better vendor management by outlining vendor performance management best practices.
In an interview with CobbleStone Software Account Manager, Michael Donnelly, he describes the reasons why CobbleStone’s training events are essential to Contract Insight® users, and what you can expect from attending one. Michael is a Contract Insight expert at CobbleStone who has worked with numerous clients, spanning over twenty industries. He has seen significant amounts of contract management success from those who choose to attend CobbleStone’s user conferences and other training events. See what he has to say.
Organizations and their vendors often deal with a great number of invoices, POs, and other physical documents, resulting in numerous paper documents for just one service. Processing and managing these service agreements and associated files manually can be challenging and often results in duplicate billing, unclear payment deliveries, and more. With automated legal billing software, organizations and their vendors can eliminate these process challenges by providing both parties with a clear understanding of payment status, invoices received, and more.
In early June, CobbleStone exhibited at BIO 2019 in Philadelphia, PA. There was an abundance of amazing keynotes, super sessions, fireside chats, receptions, and educational sessions ranging from “Biofuels & Renewable Chemicals” to “Value, Patient Access & Reimbursement.” The sessions on “Business Development & Finance,” “Emerging Opportunities in Global Markets,” and “Intellectual Property” made it clear that biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry leaders from life sciences and academic institutions are eager to face their challenges. Their strategy will beintegrating new technologies into their processes to improve operations, go-to-market efforts, R&D, profitability, and contract performance.
Vendors can provide great results and poor results, depending on who you ask. Rating your vendors can help your organization determine the best vendors to select based on ratings from within your vendor management system. CobbleStone’s Contract Insight® software allows users to score vendors on specific categories like performance, on-time delivery, invoicing accuracy, and quality compared to other vendors in your system. Contract Insight rating scorecards are used to rate vendors and companies you do business with to help you make better decisions about which vendors to use in the future and what companies you have successfully or unsuccessfully conducted business with. Learn how to easily rate and review vendors in Contract Insight with this guide.
CobbleStone attended NY Tech Summit 2019 on June 5th through June 7th as a contract management software exhibitor. The event was focused on hot IT topics and trends and offered a collaborative experience. Our exciting days consisted of breakout sessions, roundtables, keynote speakers, and networking opportunities at the Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Resort and Casino located in the heart of upstate New York. If you didn't have a chance to attend NY Tech Summit 2019, I’ve outlined some key takeaways in this article.
Government Fiscal Year End is quickly approaching, and you’ve got to decide what the best investment will be for your remaining budget. Government contract management and purchasing professionals should examine their current processes for contract management, purchasing, and sourcing inefficiencies by answering the following questions:
Today’s procurement, legal, and sales professionals are very busy onboarding new vendors and customers, reviewing contracts, quoting deals, and qualifying leads and suppliers. Those efforts combined with the task of data entry, learning new software management systems, checking e-mails, and other duties leaves little time to accomplish quality work. By implementing simple and easy-to-use software tools, you can allow your staff to become more productive and allot their time to more intelligent work.
Learn how leveraging CobbleStone’s contract management software modules can help you and your organization work smarter when it comes to contract, purchasing, and sourcing processes.
The IT Industry is facing unprecedented challenges with digital transformation. Whether you’re an IT service provider, CIO, CTO, or work in a corporate IT department, the future state of your organization is weighing heavily on your team. To future-proof and take control in the face of stringent compliance requirements, security threats, and privacy and data breaches, IT professionals must be able to respond effectively to organizational change, technological advances, cybersecurity demands, and behavioral, legal, and regulatory compliance requirements.
Stop by Booth #2508!
This year, the BIO International Convention is being held on June 3-6, 2019 in Philadelphia, PA, and the event expects to attract thousands of biotechnology and pharmaceutical leaders from reputable organizations. This industry-leading event has been a success in the past with thousands of companies in attendance in 2018. CobbleStone will be exhibiting at BIO 2019 and looks forward to showcasing their award-winning contract management software, Contract Insight®, at booth #2508 in Hall D.
Virtually every organization in every industry has contracts to manage. More than ever, there are increasing opportunities to drive value with the contract management process by improving communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, leadership, and technical capabilities with the right contract management tools. Each contract manager’s challenge is to get buy-in on contract process improvement initiatives.
Contract management processes vary based on industry and organization, and government agencies should take advantage of conferences that are unique to them. That’s why we’ve hand-picked some of the best government contract management conferences for 2019 so government contracting professionals can network and learn in a familiar environment and from relatable experiences. These three government contract management conferences will allow you to hear from industry leaders on how to overcome contract management challenges and learn about solutions to support your process.
A Perfect “5 out of 5” for Contract Insight!
CobbleStone was recently recognized as one of the top five most popular contract management software providers according to Capterra’s list of 20 Most Popular Contract Management Software. Our award-winning Contract Insight® has an overall perfect rating of “5 out of 5” on Capterra's website and our software achieved a perfect rating for ease of use and outstanding customer service – We work each and every day to provide the best experience to our users and are currently working on system updates for an even better experience!
Organizations that make data-driven decisions position themselves for long-term success. Their culture, tools, and abilities are centered around the common goal of collecting quality data and analyzing it quickly and accurately to make informed business decisions. When managed effectively, quality contract data translates to contract analytics, providing the insights necessary for organizations to decrease contract cycle times with sharpened control, governance, and visibility. Learn how to turn contracts into a pivotal source of business intelligence that supports strategies, tactics, and goals.
CobbleStone Software, a leader in contract management and eProcurement software, is exhibiting at NY Tech Summit on June 6-7, 2019. The event has been described as a “summertime Easter egg for Central New Yorkers,” because of the excitement it brings to New York this time of year, and conference hosts expect attendees to say NY Tech Summit 2019 was “worth every penny”. The conference will be full of educational sessions, inspirational speakers, world-class collaborative workshops, and a chance for you to network with industry-leading exhibitors.
Matthew Hughes, a Senior Account Manager at CobbleStone, was recently awarded Account Manager of the Year for 2018 and says he is working towards another great year for 2019. Matthew has been with CobbleStone since May 2012 and has seen the company grow into a contract management empire with thousands of users spanning the globe. We interviewed Matthew about his experience at CobbleStone over the years and how he’s become a Contract Insight® expert since starting in 2012.
CobbleStone Software supports contract management, procurement, and legal professionals by releasing content to help you improve how you manage contracts. Whether you are managing ten contracts each year for a small business, or 100K contracts or more each year for a Fortune 500 company, we’ve created resources to supplement your contract management training and education, so you can be successful in your role and get the most value out of your organization’s contracts.
CobbleStone attended the 2019 NY GovBuy on April 30th and May 1st as a contract management and eSourcing software exhibitor. The event was a collaborative experience for NY state government buyers, held in Albany, NY at the Empire State Plaza and Albany Capital Center. Sessions provided conference attendees with industry news and best practices for procurement, bid management, contract management, and more. If you didn’t get a chance to attend 2019 NY GovBuy, I outlined some key takeaways from the NY state conference.
In last week’s blog, “Contract Lifecycle Management Part 1: Mastering Contract Management Blog Series,” the common tasks and contract management processes that challenge organizations and how these challenges align with and negatively impact contract lifecycles was discussed. In this final blog post in the “Mastering Contract Management Blog Series," the reasons organizations should implement contract lifecycle management and the core functionality that should be considered in contract management software is revealed.
Before a contract becomes legally binding, both parties often take part in a formal negotiation process, creating a back-and-forth hassle in order to come to terms on the agreement. The well-known "track changes" tool in MS Word makes contract modifications and amendments easy to create, review, and accept or decline because of the redlining feature it provides. However, version control becomes an issue when negotiating because both parties may be working on separate computers in different locations. Documents get saved locally and can often get lost, resulting in more work for you or your counterparty. To avoid possible issues like lost document versions and process bottlenecks, CobbleStone offers an integrated MS Word plug-in to keep the process simple for everyone.
Learn how to use CobbleStone's MS Word utility tool in combination with their award-winning contract management software, Contract Insight®. Users have full document version control and never have to save files to their desktop because everything is stored in Contract Insight. Not to mention...CobbleStone's MS Word File Utility tool is FREE with our software!
Contract lifecycle management requires a well-thought-out strategy, careful planning, and the right technology. Without all three elements, managing contracts will not only be challenging for contract, procurement, and legal professionals; it won’t be possible to get the most business value out of your organization’s contracts. Too many organizations are missing end-to-end contract management that provides a clearly defined process, actionable insights, and accountability, ultimately negatively impacting productivity, profitability, risk exposure, and compliance. Learn how to master contract lifecycle management in this blog.
CobbleStone’s award-winning contract management software, Contract Insight®, is a user-friendly system, able to meet any industry’s needs with a few easy configurations. Leading life sciences and pharmaceutical companies use Contract Insight as their preferred life sciences contract management software to simplify and streamline their process. Learn from this real-world example how a global life sciences company chose Contract Insight as their contract management system and utilized the user-friendly software’s configurability to ensure the system met their needs.
Many organizations have integrated technology to streamline processes and improve productivity but still rely on a manual approach to contract and document storage. Storing documents and managing contracts may involve filing cabinets, massive stacks of files and papers, emails, and some rendition of a digital filing system. This approach makes it nearly impossible to keep contracts secure, retain version control, stay on top of key dates and milestones, or enforce contract archiving and retention rules. Storing contracts may sound like a simple task, but without a secure contract repository, organizations are missing the critical element that can support their ability to have control over contracts, reduce risk, and improve contract performance.
CobbleStone’s contract management software, Contract Insight, provides system users with a searchable contract repository that makes finding information easy. When contracts and related documents are stored on shared drives it becomes difficult to find the correct document version and contract details because of limited searching capabilities and no audit trails. A searchable contract repository provides full transparency into document versions, updates, and related documents.
Intelligent contract workflows help accelerate the contract lifecycle but must be used in combination with workflow escalations to achieve a completely streamlined process. You and your team may be 90% compliant with getting contract management tasks completed in a timely manner, but sometimes workloads change, and you may not get to complete that assigned task by its due date. Contract workflow escalations can help eliminate this challenge by having a back-up individual who can complete the task instead.
If you’re frequently encountering delays or bottlenecks at a particular step in your contract process, contract management workflow escalations can help eliminate the slow down.
Manual contract management processes involving spreadsheets, emails, internal billing systems, and Outlook reminders may suffice for organizations with a low volume of contracts. Unfortunately, when organizations manage thousands of contracts, challenges are revealed due to a time-consuming, error-prone, and inefficient manual contract renewal process. Moreover, a reactive contract renewal strategy increases risk and decreases opportunity realization. It’s time to take control of contract renewals. Learn how to digitally transform your processes from contract generation to renewal.
What is of Value to Your Organization?
You’ve come to the realization that, with the technology available today, you need contract management software in order to exceed contract management expectations and increase productivity. There are many solutions on the market and you’ll need a plan for how to evaluate them. Before starting your contract management software assessment, identify what is needed within your organization’s current contract management process. Do you have trouble locating document versions? Are there process bottlenecks because no one knows when tasks are due? Schedule a meeting with your team to discuss the challenges you’re facing so that you can be sure the solution you choose meets all your needs.
Whether you’re getting ready to attend your first work seminar, or you’re a long-serving conference attendee, be sure to follow this pre-conference checklist to get the most out of your next contract management conference experience. A week-long seminar in an unfamiliar place can either result in an undesirable experience or the best experience, depending on whether you prepare in advance.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for the best contract management conference experience…
Generating contracts can be challenging for contract, procurement, and legal professionals. Manual document generation is tedious, time-consuming, and error-prone. Moreover, a manual approach to document assembly inadvertently puts organizations in the precarious position of facing significant compliance issues, risks, fines, or legal ramifications. It’s time to take control of contract generation. Learn how to transform your manual process into a value-centric strategy with document automation.
School systems, colleges, universities, and other education institutions are choosing to implement contract management software to create better transparency and a streamlined process.
Paralegals, legal counsel, procurement specialists, executive assistants, and other education professionals often have a significant number of contracts laying around. Finding a specific document can be a hassle due to the manual search across shared drives, stored files, and other possible locations. Manually creating a new contract usually results in searching for specific clauses and absorbing the whole day due to an unorganized process. Wouldn’t it be easier to have all your contracts stored in one searchable repository? That way, when it’s time to create a new contract, all you need to do is click a few buttons and the correct terms and clauses are pulled together for you.
What is Source-to-Settle Software?
Source-to-settle software is an advanced system that provides an end-to-end digital sourcing experience for both you and your vendors. Your current sourcing process is most likely manual, filled with a difficult-to-track bid process including spreadsheets that constantly get lost in your organization’s shared drive. Source-to-settle software makes eSourcing easy for both you and your vendors to efficiently collaborate, and for your organization to have better transparency over bid responses, so you can award the best vendor based on your needs.
Implementors are the forefront of client development with our contract management software, Contract Insight®. They work with clients daily to help configure, teach, and optimize each unique situation our clients present. That’s why I interviewed Richard DeMarco, CobbleStone’s Implementation Team Lead and Senior Implementor, about his experience working with CobbleStone users, important parts of the system, and what kind of benefits he’s seen clients receive from using our award-winning software, Contract Insight®. His knowledge from client experiences can help you understand the ease of implementation and what to expect when first starting to use Contract Insight.
How can organizations identify the best contract management software? Making an informed and successful business decision to invest in contract management software SaaS or deployed requires organizations to create a strategy to get the most out of product demonstrations.
The value of contract management software is apparent to many contract management, legal, and procurement professionals. These changemakers know that manual contract management is not effective, and they see an opportunity to streamline, automate, and improve transparency by digitally transforming their organization’s contract management processes. The challenge for the people managing contracts day-to-day is translating the value to get approval on the contract management software investment.
The 2019 CLOC Institute
CobbleStone is looking forward to attending the CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium) Vegas Institute on May 14-16, 2019. In-house legal teams throughout the country use our software as their preferred contract management solution and, as a leader in the contract management software arena, we look forward to helping more legal operations teams by providing them with the tools necessary to succeed in today’s market.
The Challenge: Gaining Access to Necessary Documents
CobbleStone’s award-winning contract management software, Contract Insight®, is a fully configurable system, able to meet any industry’s needs with a few configurations. Worldwide organizations, from industrial divisions to material processing units use Contract Insight as their preferred contract management software. Learn from this real-world example how one of the largest worldwide industrial companies chose Contract Insight as their preferred contract management system and utilized the user-friendly software’s configurability to set up the system to meet their needs.
What’s the Deal With Robocalls?
Telemarketing calls – we all get them. We’ve all received unwanted phone calls with someone selling a product or service. Have you wondered how they got your name and phone number? What legislation or regulations are in place to prevent these unwanted calls? According the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the FTC “takes aggressive legal action to make sure telemarketers abide by the Do Not Call Registry” (in accordance to a post by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)).
To date, the FTC claims they filed 134 enforcement actions against companies for violation of telemarketing regulations and recovered over $50 million in penalties.
Electronic signatures can be challenging for contract, procurement, and legal professionals. The challenges may originate with electronic signature implementation, or they may come from the shift in focus from old processes toward the new experience, reliability, and scaleability that electronic signatures can contribute to your organizations’ digital transformation initiatives. Learn how to master e-signatures in this blog.
Contracts secure and protect assets and, while doing so, should help organizations generate revenue, not lose revenue. Regardless of the intent of contracts, lost revenue is a significant challenge for contract managers. CobbleStone launched the “Mastering Contract Management Blog Series” to address the problems that contract, legal, and procurement professionals face when managing contracts. In the fourth blog post in the series, lost revenue is discussed.
It is imperative to have proper communication methods in place in order to achieve contract management success. One communication method is often not enough for a business to complete all tasks effectively as each one requires a specific type of communication. Email is common for general business communication, followed by phone and sometimes text for more urgent situations. But, when working with a contract management software system filled with content like contract records, file names, account numbers, and more, it can be useful to have direct communication within the system to easily share links and refer to specific areas of the system.
Missed deadlines, lack of communication, and other contract management challenges are seen far too often in the government sector and can be eliminated with the right software and process. From requisitions and approvals to intelligent workflows and online collaboration, CobbleStone presents system users with a streamlined process that can be used for cost-effective contracting, legal compliance, transparency, and more.
Learn from this client success story how the El Paso County, Texas Auditor’s Office used CobbleStone’s Contract Insight™ to help overcome common contract management challenges related to their government-regulated processes.
Clause management can be challenging for contract, procurement, and legal professionals. Excel, email, and disconnected software tools are not effective or efficient ways to generate accurate documents and rarely lead to fast approvals. Clauses support standards and reduce risk, and, when used to their potential, can have a positive impact on your contract management process. Learn how to master contract clauses in this blog.
Most leading contract management software is easy to set up, configure, and use, but completing training courses can take your expertise to the next level. Contract management software training can help you and your team become system experts, guiding you through each step in the process. Training instructors inform users of the system’s usability at a much deeper level, ensuring you get the most out of your contract management software. You may be familiar with contract clauses and templates, but leading contract management software has capabilities that some might consider to be endless opportunities. Ensure you and your team are getting the most out of your software by signing up for expert-led software training.
Leading financial research estimates that companies spend almost 5% of their revenue tracking agreements after signing a contract.
Organizations, both large and small, find that manually managing contracts and related documents can be time-consuming, disorganized, frustrating, costly, and the list goes on. There are many disadvantages to the manual records management approach, but the biggest issue with manual maintenance is organization. When contract records are managed manually with spreadsheets and local file locations, the process can become extensive because of bottlenecks, miscommunication, missed deadlines, and more. What can be done to eliminate these challenges?
The contract approval process is a challenge for many contract management and contract administration professionals due to bottlenecks and human error that can lead to longer contract cycle times. Delayed contract approvals may fail to meet business rules, business processes, and compliance standards, leading to missed opportunity of time-sensitive pricing options and special terms. The challenges and problems are apparent, but what is the root cause of the issues with contract approvals?
The Challenge: Missed Renewals and an Inefficient Process
CobbleStone’s award-winning contract management software, Contract Insight™, is a fully configurable system, able to meet any industry’s needs with a few configurations. Both large and small educational institutions, from community colleges to leading universities, use Contract Insight as their preferred education contract management software. Learn from this real-world example how one of Washington’s largest higher education institutions chose Contract Insight as their contract management system and utilized the user-friendly software’s configurability to set up the system to meet their needs.
Because a contract comes with both opportunity and risk, contract management must include both data analysis and risk prevention.
Contractual agreements contain critical information that can have positive and negative effects on an organization. Without procedures in place to identify and monitor contract risk, organizations can be at a disadvantage, possibly leading to higher costs, compliance violations, and, in many cases, unfavorable lawsuits. Learn to prevent these situations by utilizing a strategy to help assess the risk associated with your contracts. Early identification and prevention will allow for you and your team to address concerns early on rather than waiting for negative consequences to transpire.
Contract tracking is a significant challenge for legal, procurement, and contract management professionals. Manual contract management processes may suffice for organizations managing low numbers of contracts, but when contract volume increases to hundreds, thousands, and beyond, contract failure rates increase exponentially.
This post was originally shared in the Paralegals Connect January 2019 Newsletter
Contract review is a daunting task for paralegals. In most cases, having an extra set of eyes to review contract terms is critical to ensure no "bad" clauses slip through the cracks. The duty of reviewing agreement terms and clauses is a time-staking task, making the effort and focus it takes to review contracts priceless to an organization. Moreover, paralegals bear a great amount of work to complete the contract negotiation and signing process quickly — all while preventing unwanted or risk associated clauses from being overlooked in the contract’s final review. Having a smart assistant handle contract data extraction, data entry, and contract tracking can be a lifesaver to the busy paralegal and, in many cases, can provide assurance that your organization’s contracts will be mistake proof.
Now, more than ever, organizations expect their employees to do more with less. That’s why contract managers and procurement professionals are choosing to invest in contract management software to keep up with industry standards and capabilities. Surveys report that companies using contract management software can reduce annual contract management expenses by 20% to 50%. In addition to reduced costs, the benefits of contract management software can provide business professionals with better (and faster) results, meaning fewer mistakes, improved accuracy, smoother processes, and better monitoring.
Coming to a city near you in 2019…
CobbleStone Software has training events just around the corner with two types of training for 2019 already in place. This year’s series, The Road to Contract Management & Procurement Success, is designed to help attendees discover new technological advances for contract management and procurement processes while developing a plan built for success.
CobbleStone offers government agencies and other contract professionals many options for simplifying their contract management process. From requisitions and approvals, to intelligent workflows and online collaboration, CobbleStone provides system users with a streamlined process that can be used for cost-effective contracting, legal compliance, transparency, and more.
Learn from this client success story how a segment of the San Diego Government used CobbleStone’s Contract Insight™ to help overcome common contract management challenges.
A Year of Advancements and Growth
New products, regulations, processes, and digital transformation of 2018 brought new challenges, demand, and expectations to the contract management industry. However, despite these changes, CobbleStone continues to lead after 2018 being a record-breaking year filled with many accomplishments including new leading clients, increased revenue, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology advancements, thought leadership engagements, significant staff growth, data center enhancements, and more.
Contract managers face the challenge of overseeing the contract lifecycle from request to renewal, while struggling to show stakeholders the significance of an often complicated and undervalued process. The goals of reducing risk, increasing productivity, and improving visibility are at the core of effective contract management strategies. However, all too often, the tendency for failure remains high.
CobbleStone Software’s contract management software, Contract Insight™, allows users to complete the source-to-signature process in one simple, configurable system. The final stage in this process, signing the contract, can be streamlined with the use of e-signatures. Contract Insight’s seamless e-signature integration tracks each step in the process. Users can be notified when a contract is ready for signing through automated workflows and real-time status updates.
Looking to increase your knowledge of industry best practices and learn how to overcome contract management challenges? Or better yet, hoping to find the best contract management software for your organization? These 8 contract management conferences will allow you and your colleagues to meet other professionals in your field, collaborate on overcoming process challenges and bottlenecks, and meet with contract management and procurement software thought-leaders to learn about the smart tools and technology that are rapidly changing the way organizations do business and manage contracts.
Contract Management Software can benefit any organization that needs to manage contracts or agreements, but one of the most common objections is the cost. Understandably, budgets are a considerable factor in all business decisions, but low-cost contract management comes at a higher price.
Manually importing and analyzing contracts can be time-consuming, frustrating, and often results in lost documents or other mistakes. Having an expert handle data extraction for your organization can provide better results and a seamlessly organized contract repository. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can detect and prevent predicaments that cause your organization to be at risk. Learn from this real-world case study how a CobbleStone Software client utilized contract data extraction services and text mining smart tools, transforming their contract management process to be supported with data-driven strategy.
The terms "contract management" and "contract lifecycle management" may seem synonymous however, there are clear lines that can make or break the positive impact and value that contracts create. Organizations looking for opportunities to improve processes, profitability, compliance, and security must develop an understanding of the difference between contract management and contract lifecycle management so when the time is right, they can adeptly leverage contracts to achieve organizational goals and reach new heights.
Did you miss any of our blog posts from December? Don’t worry, we’ve outlined each of them for you. Stay up-to-date with industry topics, real-world case studies, and best practices by reading CobbleStone’s latest content.
How many steps should be in a contract workflow?
The correct answer is: It’s dependent on your organization’s needs.
There is no set number of tasks for a “perfect workflow”. You must determine what steps are necessary and in what order they should be executed, establishing the best workflow for your organization to achieve CLM (contract lifecycle management) success.
New Year, New Strategy
As we enter a new year, we expect changes in software that will affect how we do business. It’s important to understand how to effectively adjust business processes to succeed, but in this new contract era, predictions indicate we will focus on how we can apply digital transformation to develop better outcomes. With the amount of technology that’s rapidly transforming the contract management industry, contract and procurement professionals should understand how to respond to achieve better results.
In a previous CobbleStone blog, Project Coordinator, Nash DeVita, identified the key areas that can make or break enterprise contract management software implementation success.
In this blog post, I interview Nash and dig deeper into who the contract management software administrator (who owns implementation on the client-side) should be, and what it takes on the client-side to reach the go live milestone on time with the anticipated contract management software ROI.
2018 has been a year of achievements and gratitude for CobbleStone Software. We released transforming technology such as VISDOMSM AI, hosted a record-breaking conference, informing our users of hot topics and advanced software features, won many prestigious awards, gave back to those in need, and much more. While preparing for a new year full of new goals and opportunities, CobbleStone reflects on the milestones of 2018.
As organizations face increasingly complex challenges and arduous competition, Procurement Managers are expected to provide more value amidst increasing responsibilities and decreasing people resources. Procurement is rapidly expanding beyond transaction and vendor management into strategic procurement initiatives that must be aligned with organizational goals. This article examines what it will take to add value from procure to pay.
Do you trust your software provider? What criteria does your organization use to regulate access and handling of sensitive data such as vendor data, client details, employee information, PII (personally identifiable information), PHI (protected health information), and vital contract information? With the amount of concern over security and data breach happening today, you should ensure that your confidential information is stored in a trusted environment. In recent years, leading organizations have proven data security compliance with a SOC 2 report, intended to assure clients that security controls and monitoring are in place. Data security is crucial when it comes to handling client data and accountability, and any company handling client data should consider SOC 2 compliance a requirement.
Automation Is Essential, Here's Why
Contract automation provides a way for you to accomplish more. It’s simple, streamlined, and will benefit your organization both internally and externally. With the amount of contracts, policies, and other standard health agreements being handled, no home health provider should perform without it.
CobbleStone announces its newest release of Contract Insight™ Enterprise Edition Version 17.3.0. Building upon the success of Version 17.2, CobbleStone has included new, smart features throughout multiple modules in the system, and has improved overall capabilities and usability. Users of Contract Insight™ should take advantage of the system update. Upgrading to smarter features will make for superior contract management processes.
Drip…drip…drip…that is the sound of a seemingly insignificant leak that gets ignored while organizations focus on more pressing initiatives or reactively putting out fires.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the (loved and feared) buzzword around technology advancement, organizational growth, and career stability. In this article, you'll discover what the future looks like for contract managers and contract administration.
A Sudden Need for Comprehensive Policy Management Software
Once the Affordable Care Act (sometimes known as ACA, PPACA, or Obamacare) was enacted in 2010, CobbleStone Software received a flux of healthcare insurance carriers requesting how to use Cobblestone’s Contract Insight™ Software to manage their healthcare insurance policies.
What is VISDOM℠ AI?
VISDOM℠ contract artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is an innovative feature of CobbleStone's Contract Insight™ Contract Management Software that simplifies contract administration for legal, risk, and procurement professionals. VISDOM℠ has 4 main features that will help system users leverage Contract Insight™ for better contract management processes.
CobbleStone Software’s User Conference was on November 7th, 8th, and 9th in Philadelphia, PA. CobbleStone clients and other attendees enjoyed three days filled with demo sessions, small group Q&As, inspirational guest speakers, and engagement with CobbleStone representatives. Clients collaborated with other Contract Insight™ users to leverage ideas for optimizing how they use the system. It was an information-packed experience our clients were able to take back to their team to improve their organization’s contract management strategy.
Understanding the Challenges of IP
Cobblestone Software is commonly approached by leading companies asking how to better track their creative works, such as patents, trademarks, service marks, copyrights, and other intangible creations, formally referred to as intellectual property (IP).
A Worldwide, Multibillion-Dollar Company Facing Increasing Contract Complexity
CobbleStone Software was approached by one of the leading airplane manufacturers, referred to as Company B (for confidentiality purposes), to help them better manage their contract compliance. The worldwide, multi-billion-dollar company has been managing contracts for decades, but their size, number of contracts, and contract complexity called for a modern contract management software solution.
Cobblestone Software is commonly approached by leading organizations, and government agencies, in search of a better solution to track contract spend (contract expenditures) in addition to their contracts. Tracking contract spend makes contract, procurement, and vendor management more complex and requires a process, or software, to do more than just provide basic contract management.
New Year Goals
The new year is hastily approaching, with resolutions swarming the office, and employees thinking about the months ahead. For contract and procurement managers, there are most likely processes within your organization that you and your team hope to improve. Whether your focus is compliance, communication, or overall better management processes, 2019 will be here before you know it, so why not be proactive with your new year goals and start preparing now?
A new school year brings a new wave of contracts, leaving contract administrators and procurement professionals juggling hundreds, or in some cases thousands, of contracts annually. This sheer volume of contracts brings tough challenges for community colleges such as lost contracts, lack of version tracking, and minimal visibility.
Contracts can play a crucial role in running your organization. Contract management expertise alone isn’t enough for organizational success if your team is left wading through spreadsheets and time-consuming, error-prone, manual document management processes.
Introducing a new enterprise contract lifecycle management solution can be a painless process or a long and difficult one. Taking steps to prepare for the implementation helps ensure the process is efficient rather than arduous and helps guarantee success. At CobbleStone Software, we've found that the following steps help lead to successful implementation:
Business software plays a critical role in any organization and is the foundation for doing business in today’s economy. Companies typically rely on leading software products such as e-commerce software, procurement and sourcing management software, customer management software, accounting software, and risk management software, to name a few.
Within the healthcare industry, keeping documents and files up-to-date is crucial to staying compliant. Healthcare agencies, including the FDA, NHS, and Health Canada, are continually checking up on hospitals, physician’s offices, and other healthcare facilities to ensure healthcare professionals, administrators, and providers are keeping up with legal requirements.
How Business Process Automation is Being Used Today
Many workplace processes are repetitive and time-consuming, leaving employees minimal time to focus on improving their organization. It has been found that 12% of a company’s total annual costs may be used for administrative tasks and contract management. These expenses can be eliminated by implementing technology-enabled automation, also known as Business Process Automation (BPA), that will significantly improve workplace processes. By 2021, companies are estimated to be spending $12.7 billion on these solutions, leaving those relying on traditional methods to plummet. By investing in BPA, your business can begin focusing on the research, strategy, and development that will position your business as a leader in any industry.
Summer is coming to an end. You’ve experienced just enough rest, relaxation, sun, and sand to help you clear your head and get you inspired to return to the office refreshed and refocused for Q4.
Many organizations understand the potential value, positive impact, and negative impact of their contracts. They reach a point where they’re committed to creating a strategic contract lifecycle management process that’s supported with the right contract software, tools, and people.
Did We Choose the Wrong Contract Management Software Provider?
Your organization invested in contract management software to effectively manage the contract lifecycle with less overwhelm, more automation, more visibility, and more predictability. But what if the lackluster results you’re experiencing aren't worth the time and money you put into the implementation?
How can Contract Analytics and Reports Improve Your Contract Management Strategy?
The key to successfully managing contracts is leveraging contract management software to increase visibility, reduce risk, reveal opportunities, and build strong relationships with counterparties and vendors. Contract analytics supports this initiative.
The challenge is that implementing contract technology to draft, negotiate, approve, sign, and store contracts is not enough. The “it” factor in contract management is contract analytics with reports that are easily accessible and user-friendly, while providing the right data at the right time to the right people.
Although an essential facet of running a business, managing contracts without a contract database can be a time-consuming headache. With so many different contracts with vendors and service companies, it can be challenging to keep track of them all without reliable contract software. The right solution can help you reduce the amount of time you spend searching through spreadsheets or shared drives so that you can work on growing your business. Here are just a few of the ways that a formal contract database can help your team maximize productivity:
DBE supplier tracking becomes easier when the right tools are in place.
Whether you’re a local municipality, city, state, or federal agency, chances are you have a goal defined for awarding contracts to disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE). Government agencies operate on “good faith” that they will make the conscious effort to consider these businesses when awarding new contracts. The problem, like managing any other contract, is the work involved to ensure that all criteria is being met and certifications are processed.
Electronic signatures are not new to contract management, but you may be skeptical of the validity compared to a wet signature. Rest-assured, electronic signatures are just as binding as hand written signatures with the same legal clout. If you're stressed about contract deadlines and signature delays negatively impacting negotiations and your ability to close more deals, read on to find out how e-signatures can help your organization.
Why Communication can Make or Break a Successful Acquisition and Improve Contract Management
Improving Contract Management is not an easy process. There are numerous steps that are involved with the acquisition process. From identifying the initial needs, all the way down to monitoring performance once a contract has been awarded will require multiple people – sometimes from different departments – to get involved. If too many people are contributing to the acquisition process, but aren’t making the effort to communicate with one another internally then the process can be unsuccessful from the start. This creates a communication gap. Not only is effective communication imperative to a successful acquisition process and improving contract management, but an open dialogue with the industry and potential vendors is too.
CobbleStone is proud to announce that the 2018 CobbleStone Conference is happening this November 7th-9th in Philadelphia! With contract AI, machine learning, risk migration, and more, this conference is set to be our best one yet.
The EU's new data protection laws took effect May 25, 2018. Make sure your organization is aware of the potential impact, including hefty fines, and ensures GDPR contract compliance.
If it seems there has been a flurry of privacy updates and more talk around GDPR contract compliance, it’s for good reason. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has actually been around since 2016, replacing the old data privacy laws that have found themselves outdated. Once it was recognized, it became mandatory that all companies ensure that they are fully compliant and meeting standards within two years. From May 25th of this year on, the rules and regulations set forth by the GDPR law are being followed accordingly.
What is Sarbanes-Oxley?
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was an act that was passed in 2002 by the United States Congress to help protect investors from the likelihood of fraudulent accounting activities that were being done by different corporations. News had spread that corporate officials were filing misleading information about their financial statements and handing them over to their accounting firms after the well-known scandals. The firms that they were handing them over to were firms that they had a tight-knit relationship with and knew they would do them some favors. SOX was implemented to help standardize the accounting and contract management professions and turn bad back into good.
(This post was originally published April 24, 2017. Updated May 29, 2018)
Tackling Your Biggest Contract Compliance Problems, all in one Software Solution.
Managing contract compliance can be tough. It becomes even more difficult when important terms and clauses are buried deep within a contract. Times that by the thousands of contracts a company will manage and you can find yourself more frustrated than ever. Missing compliance can cost an organization much more than hefty fees and fines. Reputations could tarnish and deals could go down the drain. Your organization could be playing catch up for a while. Being able to meet compliance becomes a top priority. It becomes easier with the right contract management software in place.
There’s a lot of buzz when it comes to digital innovation in just about any part of an organization. When it comes down to it, what exactly does that entail?
It is very rare when an organization is so on point that others use them as a standard (we’re looking at you, Amazon). The ability to have most, or all, of your business processes fine-tuned and in sync is something that most organizations are often trying to accomplish. These types of changes could take years before they truly take effect. Unfortunately, business happens quick and organizations can’t afford to wait that long. Many areas of the organization including marketing, sales, and service departments have already eradicated outdated ways of operating.
The topic of digital innovation in the procurement process, however, seems to be the one area that tends to get overlooked. Why?
CobbleStone announces its newest release of our leading contract management software, Version 17.2. Building upon the success of Version 17, we have included new features throughout multiple modules in the system, along with improving overall capabilities and improving usability. Additionally, clients have the option to update select user accounts without compromising the settings of other user systems.
(This blog was originally posted April 7, 2017. Updated April 30, 2018)
Procurement managers have their work cut out for them. Being responsible for making sure their organization gets the right product or service at the best price is a process. Trying to manage both e-procurement and acquisition duties can be quite stressful at times. For the procurement and acquisition process to proceed with minimal hiccups along the way, managers should evaluate whether or not their current methods are working. Should they find something isn't working right, this shouldn't be cause for alarm - finding the problem is the first step to fixing it.
Effectively managing tail spend now can save your organization headaches in the long run.
What is Tail Spend?
In an organization where there are outlined procurement procedures, roughly 80% of that organization’s total spend will be strategically managed through those guidelines. Those purchases are usually lead by an experienced purchasing professional who will thoroughly vet the potential vendors. They will ensure that the purchase is in compliance with company and industry guidelines, and, once work is awarded, the purchasing professional will continue to audit that relationship. They will make sure that the terms are being met as agreed upon and will continue to rate the vendors work to justify renewing the contract.
Feel Confident About Managing Your Contracts the Right way.
When purchasing anything new for your organization, you want to feel confident that you’re making the right choice. An informed buyer is a satisfied buyer because you’re confident you did your homework. This is especially important when you’re looking to overhaul some of your current processes and implement a new way of doing things. It can be overwhelming, and when it comes to redesigning your contract management process, it can be downright scary.
By understanding all the stages of the contract lifecycle, you can ensure that each stage runs as smoothly as possible.
No matter how long a contract is active for, it will undergo many contract stages to ensure that all parties are in unison and that the service agreed upon is delivered. Contracts are legally binding and need to be executed appropriately. When you understand the stages in the lifecycle you can feel more informed and prepared when it comes to managing the contract. While the exact stages may vary for your organization, we’ve broken down the 8 common stages of the contract lifecycle:
Choosing the right software with the right features can make all the difference.
Managing contracts is something that almost all industries do daily. A single company can have contracts in place for a variety of reasons which could include facilities, personnel, clients, the real estate they operate in, and so much more. Whatever the case may be, these contracts have their own stages and lifecycles that are important to stay aware of through their duration of activity.
It’s hard to imagine, with today’s advances in technology, that there was a time where manual contract management was the standard process at most organizations. Hard copies were stored in filing cabinets and some contract administrator or designated personnel had to make a conscious effort to check in on these records and ensure things were running smoothly.
CobbleStone is proud to announce the release of its new mobile Contract Management Software App for Android and Apple iOS devices. CobbleStone’s mobile app allows users to track key dates, automate workflow tasks, search, build reports, send documents for signature, and much more. In designing an application to complement our contract lifecycle management software, we knew we had to create something equally as robust and feature rich.
(Pictured clockwise above: recipients of an EnviroOne well as donated by CSS, residents of well location, and CSS team volunteering at Cathedral Kitchen)
The founders of CobbleStone believe in valuing that all people are equal. Equipped with this mindset, it has been instilled in company culture to get involved, give back, and look for ways to continue the philanthropic work that the company has been participating in for years.
Legal contracts are the foundation for companies of every size in every industry, with your business being no exception. Contracts are the written handshake that solidifies your relationship and outlines the promises that both parties have made to each other. Once that contract is in place it’s important to your business and its bottom line that you continue to monitor your contracts to ensure the parties involved are living up to their best practices and standards.
Running a small business is hard work. It can be taxing on your mental health when it feels like the weight of the entire operation falls squarely on your shoulders. When tasks are in large supply, but staff, resources, and bank accounts are limited, the stress of owning your own small business can seem overwhelming.
Contract management software from CobbleStone Software can go a long way towards cutting down the amount of underperforming contracts you have to deal with on a regular basis. When you deal with a large volume of contacts every day, there will always be one or two that just aren’t cutting it. Underperforming contracts can impact profits if not dealt with appropriately, so here are four tips you can use to handle a contract that isn't performing properly.
When managing contracts, performance monitoring is one of the most important ways to ensure your success. With a large variety of contracts, all with different terms, it can be difficult to know what exactly to look for when assessing each contract’s performance. Luckily, you can boil down the success of each contract, no matter the complexity, to four metrics.
In our last post, we discussed two amazing benefits to switching to contract management software with CobbleStone. Manual contract management is a thing of the past. It adds unnecessary complications to your process and might even result in a loss of profits for your company. Here are three more benefits you will enjoy when you use our software to manage contracts:
Negotiating contracts can be a difficult process. Once you have determined the ideal parameters, you will want to make sure that you get the most out of the contract. With contract management solutions from CobbleStone, you can easily manage all of your contracts. Here are just two of the many benefits of our contract management software:
Colleges and universities draft, negotiate, and approve a myriad of contracts with vendors, partners, suppliers, and employees every year. Actively managing contracts and maintaining formal relationships with these sources can be difficult and time-consuming for many universities who don’t have a system in place to manage contracts.
This post was originally published 9/15/17. Updated 6/5/18.
Government contract management involves forming strategic business alliances with trusted governmental agencies and other private-sector contractors who can provide goods and other services to them. Government agencies regularly track, review, and approve a multitude of different contracts each fiscal year. Many of these agreements are quite complex in nature, and often require a rigorous set of policies to guarantee their obligations and deadlines are being met. Establishing and sustaining formal business relationships with vendors, suppliers, and other providers can become problematic for many agencies without the proper contract management tools.
CobbleStone Software is happy to announce a new user interface update to Contract Insight™ Enterprise Software with Version 17 of the industry leading solution. The update will provide our clients with a more modern and configurable design that allows users to have more flexibility in creating the perfect look and feel for their organization within the system. The update gives our users an opportunity, if they wish, to change the design so they are no longer confined by the standard look that is default out-of-the-box.
Deploying and implementing a contract software system can be a challenge for any organization. You’ve completed your search for the best system, saw demonstrations, negotiated the best price, and decided on a solution. Now it is time to implement the system. Here at CobbleStone, we focus on relieving the stress of implementing your new contract management system by creating a plan and training schedule with the help of our training specialists.
Have a pile of purchase orders sitting on your desk or scattered through multiple spread sheets? Drop the hassle with a purchase order module in your contract management software. As technology continues to advance, more processes are moving towards electronic versions rather than paper-based. Using the purchase order module in Contract Insight makes the PO process more efficient for your organization.
Find yourself searching for the same information over and over again in your contract management software? Consider creating a report, also known as a saved search, in your contract management system. Creating ad-hoc and custom reports is something we touch on often with our clients here at CobbleStone. Ad-Hoc and Custom Reports are tools that can save an organization time for common searches they do within the system.
CobbleStone Software's Contract Insight™ is a contract management software designed to help legal, sales, risk, compliance and procurement professionals manage contracts easier. From the beginning, we have strived to create a product flexible enough to meet the needs of multiple industries and organizations. Today, we continue to be a leader in the industry.
Creating a contract is not typically a cut and dry process. A contract may have to complete many internal processes before completion. These processes can be based on contract status, budget, and type to trigger a workflow in a contract management system. Without automated workflows, processes can be time consuming and mistakes can be made. Forget having to manually drop off a contract or make sure it is attached to an email, automated workflows are here to do that for you.
Electronic signature (Esignature) is not a new concept in business practice. In fact, telegraph signatures were once legally acceptable. Times have changed, of course. Even the traditional wet signature seems to be a thing of the past for many companies. In mid-2000, eSignature was ruled by Congress to ensure the same legal standing as a traditional handwritten signature. ESign even has its own national holiday, June 30th, if you plan to mark it on your calendar.
When reading magazines, advertisements, or even this blog post our brain begins the process of recognizing the patterns that make up the characters. Our computer is able to do the exact same thing. Image-based documents can be converted into a language the computer understands for it to be able to read the document we need it to. This is where the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tool comes into play. An OCR tool should be simple to use within a business software system that, in the long run, can save a company time.
This post was originally published 3/10/17. Updated 6/5/18.
Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has been providing the public with the right to request access to contract records and data from any Federal Agency. At the end of the 1950’s, the press and the public were consistently being denied information they sought out. The act was eleven years in the making after countless arguments on whether it was even necessary to begin with. After reluctance from President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Freedom of Information Act was signed into action and FOIA requests became a right for every citizen.
Not every contract is meant to be viewed by every set of eyeballs in an organization. Organizational controls must be defined to determine if all contract management software users should be able to have free reign over the system or if permissions should be established within the application. Most contract data stored in a CLM system is confidential to specific departments and should only be viewed by certain users. Converting to digital contracts means no more locking important data in a file cabinet in an associate’s office.
No matter the industry your organization is in, contracts are a major component of daily operations. Contracts are created for business partnerships, labor, vendor transactions, customers, and more. Restaurant owners hire vendors for various produce and animal products. Human resources personnel create contracts when they hire employees and when there are changes to the employee handbook. Educators create contracts when enlisting the services or products of vendors.
Contracts are a part of doing business. Whether we're referring to a contract with a supplier, an employee, or a business partner, every single contract must be created, recorded, and stored. Before automated contract management software became a viable option, businesses, education institutions, and other organizations had to rely on filing cabinets and other means to store these contracts.
Contract management software is a must for many different industries. Before the development of contract management software systems, everything was done manually. This obviously had its drawbacks. Contract managers would be forced to store every contract into filing cabinets. Now, if there were just a few contracts this may have not been a major deal. However, most organizations deal with thousands of various contracts, making manual record keeping extremely difficult.
Written by Chris Bejsiuk, Marketing/Sales at CobbleStone Software.
Do you remember the days when there wasn’t sufficient technology to make our jobs easier?
Everything on paper. Office floors filled entirely of documents because people ran out of space - that is something I have actually seen with my own eyes. Messy offices tend to lead to misplaced documents, which could lead to dire consequences like, say, lawsuits.
So when did a solution for all of this arise?
In 1995, CobbleStone Software was created, and came up with the answers.
Cloud-Based Contract Management benefits your company the most when talking about contracts.
Why? It is the simplest and most secure way to share data and information with one another.
This is the age of technology, and there is no choice but to go along with it. What’s the saying, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”?
Contract Insight™ offers the simplicity every company needs.
Demolishing filing cabinets, ripping out drawers, rummaging through mountains of papers, and scanning your calendars for expiration dates - I’m sure you’ve managed to lose important documents because there was no organization. It has probably caused you a great deal of stress.
Imagine all of your contracts being stored in a singular place – with no problems.
With Contract Insight™ Contract Management Software, this is what you are given.
Contract writing and authoring can be the easiest or most complex step of thecontract lifecycle management process. Whether the contract is going to contain a minimal amount of information, or if it is going to contain hundreds of different terms and clauses; writing all of these contracts can be a daunting and time-consuming process. Because of this issue, select providers of contract management software have a solution. By using contract templates, your authorized users can easily author a new contract by using rules-based text and clauses. This feature is beneficial in many ways, but a few of the key benefits can be outlined in more detail below.
Organizations across every industry are responsible for tracking, managing, and storing their contracts and agreements with vendors, clients, and partners. For many companies with contracts and committals with vendors, tracking the sourcing of those agreements is essential. Whether agreements with vendors are reached with simple or complicated procurement processes; a software suite with full procurement and contract lifecycle management can be enormously beneficial to any organization.
You’re in need of contract lifecycle management software. You’ve found a product that is a good fit for your organization. However, some of these products are offered as a SaaS deployment, some products are offered as a local deployment, and some products can be offered as both a SaaS or local deployment option; and you are unsure which option is the most beneficial for your business. Do not worry. Your questions, concerns and uncertainties about which deployment option is right for your business will be answered in the reading that follows. Before you make a decision, the benefits of both the SaaS and locally deployed option should be outlined.
Electronic signatures are a must to streamline your contract management process. They allow organizations to create efficiencies that expedite preexisting processes and reduce financial costs. However, there are still individuals and organizations that question whether or not contract electronic signatures are legal and whether eSignatures will hold up in court. The question is valid; potential litigation is a serious threat to any organization. Judicial decisions and legal precedent in the United States have left very little ambiguity on whether or not contract electronic signatures are equivalent to handwritten signatures. Organizations that use eSignatures should take comfort knowing that the courts have been on their side since 1869.
Institutions of higher education use contracts for many purposes; whether ensuring the delivery of products and services, or fulfilling student, public, or organizational objectives, colleges and universities have a variety of instances where contracts must be utilized. Accordingly, with the overwhelming amount of contracts that these institutions use, it would be beneficial and more efficient for the institution to use contract management software. The benefits of using contract management software are abundant in higher education, but a few key benefits can be highlighted below.
Revenue generation is the front line for all for-profit organizations. The less efficient an organization’s sales team is, the less customers an organization will acquire; the less customers, the less revenue. Most companies have goals oriented around maximizing revenue. In order to maximize revenue, companies need to maximize their customer or client acquisitions. The best way to help reach those goals is to have the most efficient sales team possible. Contract Management Software can make any organization’s sales team more productive and more profitable by leveraging these tools:
Paralegals are key resources for lawyers, law offices, corporations, government agencies, and many other organizations. As a paralegal, you may typically be tasked with storing the documents related to corporate matters, tracking key dates, reaching out to business owners for next steps, and more. Managing those responsibilities is crucial to both your personal, and your organization’s, success. Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) Software is a tool that can be used by paralegals to make your job easier, you more efficient, and you more effective.
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act was passed by the United States in 2010 in an effort to increase the transparency of the fiscal relationships of drug manufacturers, medical device producers, and biological and medical supplies companies with health care providers. The institution of the Sunshine Act demanded pharmaceutical organizations with relationships to Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to collect and track data relating to their agreements with entities such as physicians and teaching hospitals.
Procurement processes are crucial to the overall success of an organization. Sourcing goods and services effectively can have a noticeable positive impact on a company’s bottom line. Contract management software can enhance an organization’s procedures by allowing for internal contract visibility, managing rules-based contract requests and requisitions, and ensuring the tracking of vendor performance ratings.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is great if you don’t work in government and believe that, as a citizen, you should be entitled to knowledge of your government’s actions. On the other hand, if you are a government contract administrator, complying with FOIA can be a time consuming process. Especially if you are responsible for tracking the seemingly never ending supply of public records or determining if a contract record is, or is not, exempt to FOIA.
The decision to “build or buy” contract management software in the healthcare industry is a huge step in the process towards greater organizational efficiency. Decision makers for hospitals, medical centers, and health plans must make this choice for a wide variety of software types including but not limited to: contract management software, billing and invoicing software, customer relationship management software, human resources software, or identity management software.
In the business world, every professional is aware of what “workflow” is. Contract approval workflow, from the outside looking in, is just a giant chart of approvals and signatures that makes us all wonder, “Is all of this really necessary?” Of course, workflows are essential to keeping the buoyancy in every organization around the world. Processes must be followed in order to keep consistent, optimal production levels.
Contract Compliance Monitoring with Contract Insight Contract Management Software: Leveraging Preventative and Detective Contract Controls
Oftentimes, large companies in highly-regulated industries such as healthcare organizations and public (government) agencies have strict guidelines that they are obligated to follow in order to monitor their contracts for compliance. Some of these include:
Electronic signatures have been legally equivalent to handwritten signatures since Congress passed the ESIGN (Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce) Act in 2000. With advances in encryption technologies, and the growing prevalence of the electronic marketplace, e-signatures are safer and more convenient than ever.
The cynics of the past focused the argument around what electronic signatures were missing to be as acceptable as traditional signatures. The debate has shifted to what efficiencies your organization is missing by not utilizing electronic signatures.
Cyber-security has become a huge concern for businesses today. More and more organizations are falling victim to cyber-attacks due to improper handling and storage of sensitive data as well as lower security precautions. Our modern dependence on the convenience and connectedness that technology allows has made organizations more vulnerable to security risks. These threats have become so widespread that President Obama issued an executive order earlier this year mandating stricter cyber-security regulations and imposing stricter sanctions on organizations that engage in cyber-attacks that threaten national security and infrastructure.
No matter what industry you operate in, no matter what the economic landscape is, and no matter where you do business, ROI is critical. Contract lifecycle management software helps organizations across the world see a real return on investment. It really is a beautiful thing- leveraging technology to help manage your organization at a lower cost.
How does a CLM product provide return on investment? The following acts as an incomplete list that shows the real ROI possibilities when choosing an industry leading contract management software solution:
A fiduciary duty is a legal, financial, ethical, or monetary trust between two or more parties. Typically, a fiduciary prudently takes care of money for another party, or person, and most times involves a contract or agreement between the parties. Many parties enter into a contract, and the contract may contain fiduciary or financial responsibilities between the parties. But after the contracts are signed, many ask 'who is monitoring your organization's contract for contract budget amounts, actual spend, expected cost and, if any, amount remaining?' How can all of this be tracked easily?
About CobbleStone Software
CobbleStone Software is a leading provider of advanced contract lifecycle management software and complimentary solutions to customers spanning the globe. Contract management software solutions are our specialty. We launched the first commercial off-the-shelf contract software in 1995 and have kept improving our leading solutions.