Organizations in both the public and private sectors are experiencing an ever-increasing need to more efficiently manage their contracts as contract volume and contract complexity grow. Each stage in the life of a contract becomes ever more critical as organizations embrace digital transformation to more effectively manage legal operations. Before they can even begin to improve contract lifecycle management, organizations need to have a clear understanding of contract management objectives. In this article, we provide a straightforward examination of the objectives of contract management - as well as how organizations can meet these objectives with user-friendly contract management software.
Pre Contract Award Stages
- Requests: Business stakeholders acquire information about new contracts, amendments, renewals, etc., in order to gauge the processing efficiency of the contract.
- Authoring: Contract parties place contract terms into written form by consolidating standard contract clauses, contract counterparty information, contract key dates, and other important content.
Streamlining Contract Requests
Organizations are encouraged to leverage robust contract management software to automate request management. With AI-based contract management software for contract requests, users can:
- establish simple yet comprehensive request intake forms.
- configure an easily navigable contract request wizard - including dynamic questionnaires.
- enable self-serve request document creation that supports dynamic clause merging with clauses from their organization's pre-approved clause library.
- leverage automated notifications and alerts.
- implement request status reports and dashboard reports.
- seamlessly create contracts from approved requests thanks to the ability to easily link contracts with requests.
- and more!
Simplifying Contract Authoring
Organizations are encouraged to reap the benefits of trusted contract management software for a better contract authoring process with:
- easy and efficient clause merging - including specific templates for GSA, FAR, and DFAR contracts.
- CLIN (contract line item number) management and seamless inclusion of line items in contract templates.
- various integrations to simplify the process - including MS Word and MS Outlook.
- supported contract flow down functionality to centralize the tracking of virtually every aspect of contracts and subcontractors.
- and much more!
What Is Contract Award?
This phase includes contract negotiations, contract approvals, and contract signatures.
- Negotiations: Parties discuss the authoring parameters and gain insight into contract obligations after reciprocated collaborations and redlining.
- Approvals: All parties review and set terms specific to the contract. Contract changes must be noted within the approval process.
- Signatures: A contract is signed by all stakeholders.
Improving Contract Negotiations
Organizations should utilize industry-leading contract management software to improve contract negotiations with:
- dynamic contract writing (as detailed above).
- full document collaboration and version control.
- contract content control and clause ownership so that stakeholders are accessing the documents and clauses they need - while organizations can restrict access from unnecessary or unauthorized documents and clauses.
- centralized collaboration with intelligent automated workflows.
- and more!
How Do You Automate the Approval Process?
Contract management software that supports automated contract workflow configuration can shorten contract approval cycle time with intelligent workflow automation, contract tracking, and task escalation - improving accountability contract closeouts.
Many regulations - such as SOX and HIPAA - require contract review and approval. Leading CLM software offers configuration to support approval workflows for contract compliance.
How Can I Speed up My Contract Signing?
Organizations should leverage an electronic signature tool within contract management software to speed up signing processes. Leading electronic signature tools offer:
• saved, typed, or drawn signatures.
• date placeholders.
• signing with initials.
• additional text for signatures.
• use of previously saved titles.
• easy one-off eSignatures.
• bulk eSignatures.
• rules-based signing.
• a secure portal for online signing collaboration.
Post-Award Contract Management
This stage includes contract obligations, contract compliance, & contract renewals.
- Obligations: All parties honor their tasks, key dates, deliverables, and more.
- Compliance: Contract terms and standards are complied with, in turn reducing litigation, cutting bottlenecks, and setting the stage for future contracts.
- Renewals: Parties can renegotiate terms, revisit discounts, and assess future opportunity realization.
Enhancing Contract Obligations
Organizations can meet contract obligations with leading-edge contract lifecycle management software. Advanced and highly configurable task management, intelligent workflow automation, advanced reporting metrics, robust spend management and financials reporting, and obligations notifications and alerts are just some of the contract management software features that can help organizations take obligations management to the next level!
How Can Contract Compliance Be Improved?
In order to improve contract compliance management, organizations must invest in a contract management software solution that supports full compliance management of various regulation types. Leading contract management software simplifies compliance with the US Treasury Department's OFAC screening lists, FASB ASC 606, SOC 1, SOC 2, Privacy Shield and many other mission-critical regulation and compliance types.
Better Contract Renewals
Organizations can leverage celebrated contract management software to reap the benefits of the following features to positively transform contract renewals:
- Automated reminders and calendar alerts renewal process oversight.
- a secure and web-enabled contract document repository with version tracking to promote easy access to - and searching of - up-to-date versions and contract data.
- full audit trails for comprehensive tracking of renewal status and changes made throughout the contract lifecycle.
- intelligent workflow automation to facilitate rapid negotiations, reviews, approvals, and signing.
- robust contract analytics that provide insight into risk variables and valuable opportunities - making renewal decisions less complicated.
- the aforementioned electronic signature functionality for secure and fast sign-offs.
- a number of seamless integrations with accounting systems, ERPs, CRMs, and much more.
Meet Your Contract Management Objectives With CobbleStone Software
Now that you are familiar with the objectives of contract management and how to meet those objectives by embracing digital transformation, it is time to introduce the best possible solution for meeting and exceeding contract management KPIs: CobbleStone Software.
CobbleStone® is an award-winning contract lifecycle management software provider. CobbleStone's acclaimed source-to-contract management software suite - CobbleStone Contract Insight® - has helped thousands of organizations from a variety of industries within the public and private sectors to decrease contract lifecycle management bottlenecks, increase revenue, promote productivity, centralize their CLM processes, and reap the most value from contracts. It’s no wonder why Forrester recognizes CobbleStone as a CLM Software Leader.
Discover why Forrester names CobbleStone a Leader in CLM Software in the video below.
Discover why thousands of contract managers trust CobbleStone Software to meet their contract management objectives. To learn more about CobbleStone’s unparalleled contract lifecycle management software, book a free demo with a CobbleStone Contract Insight expert today!