In contract lifecycle management, efficient collaboration between stakeholders is a must. Contract requests, renewals, and almost everything in between can involve many moving parts – with a high potential for inefficiency if adequate measures are not introduced. In the interest of avoiding communication delays and contract lifecycle bottlenecks, organizations should leverage robust contract collaboration tools offered by leading contract management software. Here are four steps to foster healthy and productive collaboration and expedite the contract lifecycle.
Step 1 - Automate Contract Requests
Insufficient contract request processes can leave organizations facing a higher risk for data loss, a confusing request intake process, and delayed cycle times. Automated contract requests allow organizations to cooperate in a user-friendly and straightforward yet comprehensive manner. Contract collaboration software streamlines the entire request process, decreases complexity, and makes the process more intuitive, efficient, and accurate.
Enterprise contract management software helps organizations establish a digitized, user-friendly request intake form. Organizations can add, edit, or delete fields on this request form as their needs and necessary request details evolve. The desired data is obtained in one place at one time. That way, the likelihood that organizations will need to circle back to requestors for missing or incomplete information is vastly reduced.
Based on the request process they create, contract management software users can further optimize request processes by leveraging the use of a request wizard. This feature helps organizations taking in requests to construct a dynamic questionnaire that helps requestors determine the type of request they need to submit. Based on requestors’ answers to pre-configured questions, they are taken to the relevant request intake page.
Tools that promote simple, seamless, and direct contract collaboration between stakeholders during the request phase set the stage for an efficient and more accurate contract lifecycle with fewer bottlenecks and data entry errors.
Step 2 - Simplify Contract Writing & Contract Negotiations
Contract writing and contract negotiations involving document collaboration and version tracking are simplified with top contract management software solutions.
Once a document is constructed using templates and clauses from a dynamic clause library, accurate, timely, and compliant documents are created and made ready for collaboration with key stakeholders. Tools such as MS Word and a document management and version tracking file utility make contract writing more efficient, giving collaborators the chance to track changes, swap clauses from a pre-approved clause library, and track document version history. Expedited contract generation, editing, and tracking make for a smoother contract lifecycle in general.
Content control for documents being written makes it so if someone changes a clause or section within a contract, the clause owner will be notified within the contract management software’s document collaboration portal. Clause ownership functionality is what allows organizations to assign an owner to a clause. If a negotiation participant tries to edit an assigned clause, the system will add the owner of that clause to the approval workflow, ensuring that only the necessary parties are included in the contract negotiation process, according to rules-based clause ownership.
Contract collaboration between internal parties, employee non-users of contract management software, and external parties is also optimized when organizations can configure a rules-based process for stakeholders. With this pre-configured workflow, the stakeholders mentioned above can receive a notification that will take them to a negotiation portal. There, they can access relevant contract documents for review. That way, external parties and employees without access to the software can access documents related to contracts they are involved with, but not core system features or irrelevant contracts. The documents they need to work with are isolated so that they can make and approve changes straight from the portal. Additionally, parties can handle the approval process in this one centralized location and receive automated alerts regarding who needs to approve, in the interest of avoiding delays.
With a contract negotiation portal, contract collaboration between parties is easy and efficient.
Step 3 - Expedite eSignature Collaboration
An electronic signature tool can assist organizations in quickly moving from negotiations to signing.
A rapid signing process for entirely digitized signature collaboration and electronic approvals can reduce send-to-sign time by up to twenty percent. Organizations can send documents out for signatures after the contract negotiation process detailed above is complete. Reputable contract management software provides a unified contract repository within a centralized online portal for end-to-end management of partly or wholly executed signatures.
Manual processes for new agreements, policy updates, bulk HR documents, addendums, and more can be a thing of the past thanks to contract management software that gives organizations the ability to send thousands of documents out for signature collaboration in bulk. Documents and contracts are easy to send, and stakeholders can sign from virtually anywhere at any time. Signatories can receive an email that effortlessly takes them to the necessary signing portal without the need for them to download software!
With the right source-to-contract management software solution, signature and approval collaboration is quick, centralized, efficient, and useful.
Step 4 - Improve Compliance Management
Advanced compliance reporting and auditing tools give organizations visibility into contractual relationships across business entities. Legal, regulatory, and other compliance standards – as well as obligations agreed upon by contract parties, can be adhered to and maintained with the help of user-friendly and robust reporting tools, key dates, contract analytics, and renewal requirements. As such, collaboration efforts for streamlined compliance and renewals with established stakeholders are expedited.
Leading-edge contract management software also provides integration with OFAC search data. This compliance utility checks company, vendor, and employee data against OFAC’s (The Office of Foreign Assets Control) national sanctions lists search entries – proffering critical risk analysis snapshots for vendors, companies, and employees.
Leverage advanced compliance tools to improve compliance reporting, easily send reports, share contract analytics, and increase compliance with collaborating stakeholders.
Achieve Better Contract Collaboration with Contract Insight®
Now that you are aware of how you can manage the contract lifecycle more effectively with the help of contract collaboration software, it’s time to choose a solution that will strengthen your contract collaboration process from requests to renewal. That solution is CobbleStone’s contract management software – Contract Insight.
Contract Insight offers full contract lifecycle management. The software solution’s abundance of useful features empowers organizations to manage requests more efficiently and directly, write accurate contract documents quickly, undergo contract negotiations smoothly, streamline signatures and approvals easily, and masterfully navigate post-approval contract management. Ease of collaboration keeps involved stakeholders alerted and on task throughout the entire contract lifecycle.
CobbleStone Software is relied upon by a myriad of industries within the public and private sectors. Book a free demo today!