Contract requests are the first step in the contract lifecycle. This initial phase of the lifecycle allows business stakeholders to gather essential details associated with a new contract, amendment, renewal, and more. The request stage arguably sets the tone for whether a contract undergoes efficient processing or is rife with delays. Inefficient contract request processes can result in higher risk for critical data loss, confusing request intake processing, and wasted time. Organizations must equip themselves with a solution that streamlines their entire contract request process, making it more intuitive, simple, accurate, and efficient. That solution is CobbleStone’s contract management software, Contract Insight®. Here’s how it’s done!
Establish a Request Intake Form
The key to creating efficiency during the contract request process is a comprehensive, user-friendly contract intake form that quickly and easily captures the necessary details associated with the contract request. Intake forms allow organizations to obtain the right data from the requestors in one organized place, eliminating the need to circle back for missing information.
CobbleStone’s contract management platform allows users to configure virtually unlimited data fields to ensure they are receiving the necessary request details from the requestors. Fields such as Request Title, Requested by, Requested Goods or Services, Assigned Buyer, Date for Fiscal Budget Year, Request Amount, and much more populate an easily-navigable screen so that requestors can easily provide the information required, and individuals reviewing and approving requests can conveniently view that information in one place.
Organizations configuring a request intake form can add, edit, or delete fields easily through the user interface as the needs of their organization evolve.
Set up a Request Wizard
Based off of the contract request intake pages they’ve configured, CobbleStone users can establish a request wizard. The request wizard allows organizations to construct a dynamic questionnaire to help users making requests to determine what type of request they need to submit.
Requestors may benefit from a bit of guidance regarding precisely what they are requesting and where they need to route their approval. The Contract Insight request wizard requires these users to answer a pre-configured set of questions. Depending upon the answers provided, the system determines the type of request they need to submit and takes them to the relevant request intake page.
The request wizard allows requestors to streamline their requisition process by taking them directly where they need to go to successfully submit the request they need to make.
Enable Self-Serve Document Creation
Organizations that are planning on receiving requests should leverage Contract Insight so that their requestors can enjoy self-serve request document writing.
Organizations can configure their system so that request documents can be authored for commonly used contracts like NDAs. Requesting organizations can submit a corresponding request and, if it meets a certain threshold, they can have it approved fast. All requestors need to do is follow the same basic document writing process as they would for a contract in the system, complete with dynamic clause merging from a clause library. Clause merging involves merging request data fields into an organization's contract templates so requestors can generate accurate documents in less time.
Leverage Automated Alerts
CobbleStone Software allows organizations to keep everyone on task, promote accountability, and streamline the contract lifecycle with a healthy workflow supported by automated alerts and notifications.
CobbleStone’s software allows organizations to set automated alerts based on request type and other thresholds like dollar amount, department, and more to streamline request review and approval. Contract Insight’s workflow manager allows organizations to establish criteria for workflow alerts and notifications. If a requestor submits a request that meets the criteria established, alerts will notify key employees for review and the requestor can have it approved fast.
Implement Status & Dashboard Reports
Organizations accepting requests should encourage their requestors to take advantage of request status reports to easily see recent requests, requests in process, and requests past due.
Ad-hoc reports with Contract Insight let users generate personalized request reports based on system-defined or user-defined request detail fields. Requestors can make changes to request records directly from their ad-hoc report view page or from the report results page, allowing them to utilize their system for advanced, more efficient contract request management.
CobbleStone’s ad-hoc reporting tool helps organizations track contract status, contract amounts, contracts by department, key dates and milestones, and much more!
In addition to ad-hoc reports, requesting organizations can leverage dashboards for reports and status alerts. Contract Insight users can submit requests and check request and contract statuses right from configured Dashboard action buttons that link to specific areas of the system. Alerts regarding pending requests, contracts that are soon to expire, and high-risk contracts are displayed right on the dashboard for a centralized viewing experience that allows users to consume powerful data at a glance!
Dashboard tiles present links to detailed reports and an open task list outlines pending request tasks that need to be completed. Charts, graphs, and a task calendar further enhance the user experience. Additionally, task alert emails link straight to the dashboard to provide an overview of contract tasks and statuses.
Approve Requests & Create Contracts
CobbleStone’s source-to-contract management software allows organizations receiving requests to easily approve those requests, and subsequently go about creating contracts from requests with links and easy access.
After a request is accepted, the user will see an option to create a new contract record, company record, procurement record, or purchase order record from that request on the left side of the page.
From there, they can add new contracts and pull documents from their approved request record over to their new contract, select an agreement type, and encounter a company add screen, not unlike the request intake form mentioned earlier.
Field mapping with Contract Insight allows for request data to be transferred to a new contract (data mapping). Additionally, the new contract record also displays linked and associated requests so that organizations can return to the original request record if need be.
From there, organizations can trigger a contract workflow and follow a normal contract lifecycle management process for their contract.
Transform Your Contract Request Process with CobbleStone Software
Now that you know how to handle contract and legal requests with Contract Insight, it’s time to get started with an enhanced, streamlined, and centralized automated request process!
CobbleStone Software’s acclaimed contract management, procurement, and sourcing platform has helped a myriad of professionals, including contract administrators, legal teams, and procurement professionals from a variety of industries, to positively transform their source-to-contract practices – including electronic RFP management.
CobbleStone helps organizations optimize their process from requests to expiration. With Contract Insight's robust and user-friendly interface, your organization can capture, manage, monitor, and route contract requests.
It’s time to stop risking critical data loss, wasting time, and squandering resources with a contract request management process that relies upon the use of physical contract request forms (CRFs), emails, MS Word, and MS Excel. Enjoy centralized contract management that standardizes and automates requests and provides permission-based ability for employees, vendors, customers, clients, suppliers, and providers to request new contracts.
Learn more about automated contract and legal requests - book a free demo of Contract Insight today!