The 3 Document Lifecycle Stages - An Easy-to-Understand Overview

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    CobbleStone Software explains the three document lifecycle stages.

    Managing various documents across business processes can be difficult. Without document controls and a development process for the management of business documents, your organization can expend valuable time and effort chasing down paper documents and those within disorganized digital storage. Without easy accessibility, your organization can suffer from document loss and misplaced versions.

    Fortunately, your organization can compartmentalize the stages of a document lifecycle to better understand the document management process. To that end, let’s explore the three stages of the document lifecycle!

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    Stage 1 – Document Creation

    In order to understand the process a document goes through from creation to archival or destruction, we need to start at the beginning. Our first stage is document creation.

    Generating a business document requires the utilization of word processing tools in the age of digital transformation. No longer do any organizations worth their salt author paper documents.

    Contract documents and other business documents can be authored within a native document editor within a contract management system. This in-built document editing interface is ideally very similar to familiar word processing tools.

    What are the benefits of leveraging a native document editor and other tools within contract management software? Here are some of the advantages of a contract and content management system.

    1. Automated OCR with advanced contract AI can make it easy to map document metadata against templates and pre-approved clauses.
    2. Your organization can create new documents straight from a metadata page.
    3. New documents can easily be imported into a metadata page.
    4. Existing documents can be edited from a metadata page.
    5. Numbered tracking of a version of the document can enhance document creation collaboration and oversight.
    6. Concurrent document editing can get the whole team involved in document creation with maximized visibility and accountability.
    7. A native document editor within advanced contract software is remarkably similar to common word processing tools such as MS Word, MS Office 365, and Google Workspace.

    Once a document is created, it enters the storage stage.

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    Stage 2 – Document Storage

    After document creation, your organization wants to avoid the storage limitations that come with shared drives, filing cabinets, and other less-than-current document storage methods. As such, you should leverage a secure document repository.

    A robust document repository is an easily searchable location for documents, document metadata, and more. It is strongly advised that your organization leverage a document repository that is easily searchable down to the document, name, attachment, and metadata field level. The ideal document management system offers enterprise content management and contract management. Your organization should be able to leverage “Did you mean” functionality for mistyped searches, search history, previews, and filtering options for searching within your repository.

    Stage 3 – Document Archival, Retention, & Destruction

    Most documents have a limited active life – especially contracts. After a document has served its active need, it should either be archived or destroyed – depending on your organization’s archiving and retention rules – to remain compliant with industry best practices and compliance standards.

    You should leverage contract and document management software that allows your team to virtually ensure that corporate policies are maintained for document data archival, retention, and destruction.

    With audit log history within contract management software, your team can track every action from document creation to document archival. Audit log history maintains logged actions, employees who performed an action, and a date and time stamp.

    Advanced contract management software allows documents set to expire to be renewed, archived, or purged – depending on your document life cycle needs. If your organization requires documents to be maintained after their purpose has been fulfilled, virtually any type of document can be labeled: declined, inactive, expired, held, and other statuses that indicate that the contract is not currently of document lifecycle management concern.

    Advanced document management solutions offer bulk text extraction and migration functionality for archived documents as well. Migration scripts can be created to copy data from one document management system to another instance of the same document management system.

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    Document Lifecycle Management With Contract Management Software

    You no longer need to waste time with paper documentation, shared drive storage, documents divorced from data, and a lack of document visibility. There is a solution that offers all of the document lifecycle management tools mentioned above and more. That solution is CobbleStone Contract Insight®.

    CobbleStone® is a trusted, award-winning, and highly configurable contract lifecycle management software provider that affords contract document managers optimal governance, reduced friction, and high flexibility from contract document creation to document archival and destruction. CobbleStone has been a visionary leader in CLM software for over twenty years and counting.

    CobbleStone users across industries have maximized leading document lifecycle tools to not only manage contract documents– but gain actionable insights for almost exponential process improvement.

    CobbleStone Software – as a contract software provider – boasts a host of success stories worldwide. It’s no wonder why CobbleStone is named the CLM leader in the SPARK Matrix™ Report of 2022.

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    Book a free demo with a CobbleStone expert to see these document lifecycle management features and other features that can help your organization manage contracts. Ready to try CobbleStone out for yourself? Enjoy a free trial of CobbleStone Software today.

    CobbleStone Software offers a complimentary demo.

    *Legal Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. The content of this article is for educational purposes only. The information on this website may not present the most up-to-date legal information. Readers should contact their attorneys for legal advice regarding any particular legal matter.

    Published: 09/29/22
    Sean Heck

    Written by Sean Heck

    Sean Heck is Content Marketing Manager at CobbleStone Software

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