Contract drafting is a multi-faceted and complex process. Document collaboration, contract authoring, negotiation, terms and conditions, and other relevant steps can be challenging. They are all the more challenging if you are relying on manual tools - such as shared drives and emails. Leave tedious, manual contract drafting methods in the past by embracing robust contract management software.
Contract drafting is the process of putting the terms and conditions of a contract into written form. The purpose of contract drafting is to provide an explicit and legally binding agreement. This legally enforceable agreement should thoroughly elucidate the parties’ intentions and requirements.
Contract Drafting Software
Contract drafting software equips contract managers to efficiently draft contracts within a secure, web-enabled system. Contract drafting software is usually a component of contract management software. It digitally centralizes:
- document management.
- contract collaboration.
- contract negotiation.
- contract review.
- and contract approval.
How to Draft a Contract
While organizations in ranging industries will have slightly different processes for contract drafting, it generally includes the following steps:
- undergo party agreement of business terms and conditions.
- gather contract drafting personnel and resources.
- gather clauses and sections.
- include party data and customer documentation.
- undergo contract authoring (including document management and contract collaboration).
- undergo contract negotiations and contract review before contract execution.
Contract Drafting With Contract Management Software
We inhabit a new technological landscape that embraces the digital transformation of legal operations with future-minded legal drafting. As such, you should abandon antiquated processes that involve decentralized contract language storage systems.
Thankfully, you can embrace user-friendly contract management software for a successful contract creation process.
Improved Clause Management
Robust contract management software for contract drafting can improve oversight and management of clauses. This oversight is thanks to a built-in, user-friendly contract clause library.
You can utilize a centralized repository to store virtually unlimited clauses, including standard and fallback clauses, for enhanced contract drafting. No longer do you need to worry about hosting clauses on a shared drive. Instead, you can leverage a secure and web-based contract repository!
The clause library can also be utilized as a repository of contract language for improved contract drafting and negotiations. This contract language repository can allow contract approval resources to seamlessly access and insert clause language as redlines. AI-based auto-redlining can automate clause redlining based on system preferences. Advanced contract lifecycle management (CLM) software can empower contract managers to either add clauses one-off or bulk import as needed.
You can utilize a secure and user-friendly clause library to merge contract data fields with clauses and document templates. This functionality extends to situational templates for GSA, FAR, and DFAR contracts. Leading CLM software can empower your CLIN (contract line item number) management and the inclusion of line items within contract templates.
Contract documents can easily and quickly be exported to standard file formats such as PDFs and MS Word documents. You can also leverage built-in PC Helper Apps for MS Word and MS Outlook. These apps streamline contract collaboration, clause management and clause insertion, data management, and more!
Web-Based, Online Document Editing
To further streamline contract drafting, you can leverage contract management software that supports online, web-based, and collaborative document editing.
Advanced CLM software solutions support in-system online document editing for contract drafting. During document editing in contract drafting, you can seamlessly insert clauses from their pre-approved clause library online. This functionality includes insertion of pre-approved language for confidentiality agreements and NDAs.
Files can then be automatically attached to the relevant contract record information page. Edits made to documents are automatically tracked as new versions. Advanced contract software systems also support online document collaboration and redlining via MS 365 and Google Workspace!
Contract Clause Ownership & Content Control
Improve content control when a document is being drafted with the help of contract lifecycle management software. You can configure CLM software to alert clause owners if a section or clause was modified by another resource.
Clause ownership functionality empowers you to assign a “clause owner” to a critical contract clause. This way, people are only added to the negotiation process if needed according to a rules-based clause ownership process.
Contract Workflow for Contract Drafting
You can easily configure a rules-based process for employees, non-users, and external contract parties to oversee contract drafting.
Contract stakeholders can receive a notification that takes them to a contract negotiation portal. Here, contract documents can be assessed and modified. In-house software users can have access to CLM software features to which they are assigned. Meanwhile, external stakeholders can only access assigned contract areas relevant to their involvement.
You can implement an intelligent automated workflow process. This process streamlines contract drafting with task alerts that keep teams on the same page.
After the front end of contract drafting is complete, you can seamlessly execute eApproval and electronic signature workflows. Here, counterparties can sign the contract within a centralized contract management system for a continued, seamless contract lifecycle!
Improve Contract Drafting & More With CobbleStone Contract Insight®
As you can see, contract drafting is a multi-faceted process. It leaves room for exciting improvement if digital transformation is embraced. To experience this enhancement, leverage CobbleStone Contract Insight.
CobbleStone® a leading contract lifecycle management software according to the Spark MatrixTM CLM Software Report. It can help automate your contract management processes - including contract drafting. To see digital contract drafting automation tools in action, book your free demo with a CobbleStone Contract Insight expert.
This article was originally published on October 4th, 2021, and updated on November 28th, 2022.
*Legal Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. The content of this article is for general informational and educational purposes only. The information on this website may not present the most up-to-date legal information. Readers should contact their attorney for legal advice regarding any particular legal matter.