Workflow Automation: The Key to Contract Management Success

10/9/20

CobbleStone Software features intelligent workflow automation.

Managing contracts can be challenging for legal, procurement, and contract management professionals, especially when primarily relying on outdated processes.  Managing the contract lifecycle from requests to renewals can prove challenging with spreadsheets, emails, filing cabinets, and other disparate tools and systems.  Without accountability, visibility, a clearly defined process, and actionable insights, organizations can find themselves running into compliance issues, not realizing contract value, and encountering other setbacks.  Contract workflow requires careful planning, the right technology, and a well-thought-out contract strategy.  Thankfully, robust contract management software with contract workflow automation powered by AI and machine learning can successfully streamline the contract management process.

Executive Summary

Managing contracts with manual and disparate tools, such as spreadsheets and emails, can make it difficult for organizations to create an efficient workflow.  Implementing contract automation tools within the contract lifecycle management workflow can save time, energy, and resources.  Contract managers can learn how to leverage contract automation tools, backed by advanced contract intelligence and machine learning, to better drive contract value, reduce risk and exposure, gain unparalleled oversight over their contract lifecycle, and more!

Streamline Contract Workflow from Requests to Renewals

Overseeing each stage of the contract lifecycle process can consume contract managers’ time and energy while running the risk of human error in manually managing multiple documents.  Contract administrators can find themselves struggling to maximize their contracts’ performance throughout the entirety of the contract lifecycle.  Thankfully, intelligent contract workflow reduces bottlenecks by connecting the right people at the right time with virtually unlimited task reminders and contract notifications. 

 

Organizations can leverage advanced reporting and analytics tools, contract process management, user-defined fields, audit trails, and more.  Contract automation tools can track every stage of the contract management process, including contract collaboration, contract negotiations, and approvals.  AI-based contract management software allows contract managers to anticipate milestones and key dates, including contract renewals, with integrated automated alerts.  Moreover, contract management software can create an audit trail history that tracks up-to-date contract changes.  Automated contract workflow can help contract managers focus on contract performance management rather than merely contract management by allowing them to concentrate more on the contents of their contracts and less time on the technicalities involved in the contract lifecycle.

Assemble Contracts Efficiently

Document generation can be challenging, especially with multiple people involved.  Creating, reviewing, and revising documents can consume large amounts of time and energy – and is error-prone.  Manual document assembly can increase error when static documents become obsolete, and parties involved are unaware of the most up-to-date templates and versions.  Clauses, approved language practices, and templates that are not current or standardized run the risk of contract managers inadvertently creating non-compliant contracts. 

 

Fortunately, automated document assembly can streamline the contract management processes with intelligent contract management software that centralizes and automates the creation of agreements, contracts, and documents.  Contract managers can leverage document assembly software to create compliant contracts that seamlessly merge their organization’s approved data fields and clauses.  A leading contract management tool allows the merging of various document versions and templates from an organization’s pre-approved clause library, which can be exported to various file formats.  Those involved in the document drafting process can remain abreast of the document’s evolution with version tracking tools.  System administrators can also gain better control over their contracts’ access by configuring user permissions and rules regarding the contract’s management and version access through a contract management software’s approval routing and audit trail capabilities.

Sign Contracts Swiftly & Securely

Gathering required signatures for a contract can be difficult, especially when necessary signees are in different locations.  Signatures finalize contracts and propel their execution.  This highly anticipated step can be delayed with manual wet signatures that may require wasting paper-based resources, including physically mailing contracts to required signees.  Moreover, specific signatures may require notarization, which may further delay the signing process.

 

Fortunately, electronic signatures can make signing contracts a breeze with contract management software that enables signees to sign virtually anywhere at any time - with the proper electronic device and adequate internet access.  Moreover, signees can leverage the use of digital signatures that ensure a signature’s date of signing and that it was untampered with thereafter - reducing the need for a licensed notary.

Automate Risk Mitigation

Reviewing contract risk can be time-consuming and challenging.  Manually assessing risk factors can cost an organization extra time and money while increasing the risk of inadvertent human oversights.  Thankfully, advanced contract management software, backed by machine learning and AI, can identify current risk variables and notify contract managers of overlooked risk factors.  Sourcing and procurement professionals can also assess if their vendors are compliant under the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s national sanctions lists through an integrated OFAC search functionality offered by leading contract management software.  AI-powered contract management software can also provide organizations with a risk assessment matrix that displays risk exposure and risk probability patterns for improved source-to-contract management.

Track Contracts Confidently

Contract managers needing to track multiple contracts with an approach involving emails, spreadsheets, filing cabinets, and other manual processes can find it challenging to track their contracts efficiently and effectively throughout the entirety of the contract lifecycle.  Manually tracking contracts can place an organization at risk for compliance issues, contractual failure, financial instability, and more.  Contract filing and tracking processes relying on disparate folders from ranging sources such as emails and physical documents can hinder version control and increase the possibility of overall loss to their organization’s bottom line.  While spreadsheets can organize contracts, they cannot alert contract managers of vital opportunities and warnings, including contract version tracking alerts and opportunity alerts in upcoming contract renewals.  These methods can undermine the contract tracking process with continually changing timelines, unclear audit trails, and other delays caused by disparate processes. 

 

Thankfully, leading contract management software can equip organizations with the proper tools to track contracts effectively and efficiently.  A centralized contract management software solution provides advanced contract tracking through a secure contract repository, approved clause libraries and templates, comprehensive audit trails, performance insights, and improved collaboration.  Rather than merely utilizing a contract repository system, contract managers can leverage proven end-to-end contract lifecycle management technology that assists with each stage of the contract lifecycle and enables the collaboration of necessary stakeholders involved through a user-friendly platform.

Implement Contract Workflow Automation with CobbleStone Software

Contract workflow automation can drastically improve contract lifecycle management.  Contract managers, legal teams, and procurement professionals can leverage contract automation, backed by machine learning and AI, to streamline the entire contract lifecycle process.  CobbleStone’s Contract Insight® with VISDOM AI®, CobbleStone’s proprietary artificial intelligence, can securely and seamlessly provide help along each stage of the contract lifecycle with process automation. 

 

 

Discover how CobbleStone’s Enterprise Contract Management Software, powered by VISDOM AI and machine learning, can help automate contract lifecycle management processes so organizations may gain better control over their contracts and drive overall contract value.

 

Discover why thousands of legal, procurement, and contract management professionals trust CobbleStone Software for their contract automation needs.  Book a free demo with CobbleStone Software to discover how you can leverage leading contract automation tools!

 

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Joshua Hansen

Written by Joshua Hansen

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