The contract functions of each business will vary but many things stay standard. The stages involved in contract lifecycle management, and the need for managing them with great priority are all same for all. Contract creation and approval are two critical stages in contract management. Streamlining these processes and managing them intelligently helps your business to stay successful throughout the contract period. We have done a blog series on the topic ‘Stages of Contract Lifecycle Management’. Check out the series if you wish to make a better knowledge about the contract stages first.
In this blog post, we will be sharing 10 proven ways to streamline contract creation and approval processes. Before we start with the 10 tips/ways to go at it, let us give you a brief idea about contract creation and approval processes and what are they dealing with.
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Contract creation can be considered the second stage in contract lifecycle management. This is where the contract agreement process takes shape. You will be creating a contract with all necessary terms, clauses, party details, dates, critical milestones, etc. to get started. The accuracy of these data included in the contract is very important.
In the approval stage, the contract created will be passed to the approvers in the organization. The approvers will review the contract and suggest changes if required. Dock 365’s Contract Management Software comes with the ability to create custom workflows to automate the approval process.
Streamlining both contract creation and approval stages allows you to boost collaboration in contract management. When both these processes are organized and executed well, you will be able to gather input from everyone involved. It includes both parties inside and outside your organization. The possibility to collaborate and communicate with parties outside of your organization makes things more productive, as it allows you to double-check whether all data mentioned in the documents are accurate and up to date.
Let’s now discuss the 10 ways in which you can streamline contract creation and contract approval processes. We created these 10 tips/suggestions from our experience talking with our clients and creating custom contract management software that matches each business.
By creating contract templates, organizations can reduce the time taken for contract creation substantially. To make the most of templates, companies can choose to create a template for those types of contracts that are generated frequently in high numbers. When creating templates, you can include standard terms, clauses, and documents as default.
This not only helps the contract creators to speed up the process but also enables consistency throughout the contract’s lifecycle. The idea is to invest some time in generating suitable templates upfront so that you can save your resources later.
As creating templates is a basic requirement these days, putting all efforts into these processes is crucial. Not all contracts are complex and long but there are industries or business categories that demand complex terms and advanced clauses to be included in their contracts. Determining the complexity of the contracts is critical as it is closely related to the complexity of the organization or industry to which it belongs.
Insurance and technology-related businesses will have longer and more complex contracts when compared to other industries. Understanding these characteristics and the nature of the contracts helps you to plan contract creation, templates, and approval workflows better.
One easy way to get started with preparing a contract template for your organization is to start by converting common internal contracts to templates. Employment contracts, property & equipment lease agreements, and non-disclosure agreements are good examples. As these contracts are more frequently used in companies, it is a good practice to create templates for them. It not only saves you time spent on common contracts, but it enables you to do better with other priority contracts too.
Dock 365’s CLM Solution comes with the ability to create and set up templates for several processes. You can create and use templates for contract requests, contract creation, approvals, etc. The AI capabilities even allow you to create contracts by uploading third-party papers, which then extract all contract data and apply whenever needed automatically.
When you have hundreds of contracts to manage, creating and using templates of various contract processes makes a huge difference. To utilize all these possibilities explained above, you will need to first analyze all common contract types in your organization and decide which of them requires a template. Most created and complex contracts can be chosen for conversion to templates.
This will eventually reduce the difficulty and risk levels included in contract creation and approval processes. Keep analyzing the contract types in regular intervals to include more templates according to the changing trends.
You will also need to follow your business playbook data to become successful with contract creation and approval processes. If you are handling contracts that require negotiation often, it is important to follow the standard negotiation positions and patterns. Make the most of such data included in the business playbook to bring consistency and efficiency to contract drafting processes. Create a playbook for this purpose and enter all important details such as highly contested terms and clauses, recommended edits, etc.
According to our opinion, modern businesses should not shy away from adopting advanced technologies in managing contracts. It offers great benefits and surely presents far better advantages than you expect. AI capabilities are a norm in contract management software today. Dock’s CLM software comes with AI capabilities that allow you to create contracts from templates as well as from third-party papers. Furthermore, it automatically extracts the data from the document uploaded and applies it wherever required.
E-mail signature integration, Microsoft Teams integration, and Microsoft Outlook integration are all other amazing technology integrations you should exploit currently.
Approval workflows are another amazing facility you should set up in your contract lifecycle management cycle. If you have multiple contract approvers, getting approval from all of them manually will be time-consuming at the same time tiresome. Approval workflows on the other hand make these processes simple and practical. You can add any number of approvers to the workflow and ensure that all their suggestions and reviews are taken into effect instantly.
Document management is a very sensitive and important part of contract management. The ability to access and edit documents from anywhere and anytime is a capability that will take your organization’s contract management abilities to a different level for sure. Contract management software provides dedicated folders for strong documents related to each contract, thus making it easier to find all documents regarding a contract effortlessly.
SharePoint and Microsoft 365-powered Contracting Software will be an ideal choice in that case because the document collaboration capabilities of Microsoft solutions are unmatchable.
The easiest and the most sensible way to streamline your contract creation and approval processes is to get CLM software for your organization. When you are picking a CLM software like the one Dock 365 is offering, not only contract creation and approval processes, but you get a solution to manage contracts throughout their lifecycle.
By picking a CLM software powered by Microsoft 365 and SharePoint, you can even exploit your Microsoft 365 license subscriptions better. If you are already having Microsoft 365 licenses for your company, picking Dock 365’s CMS allows you to use that subscription in an even better way.
Another big step in streamlining contract creation and approval processes is to manage permissions and obligations intelligently. By managing permissions better, you can ensure that the contracts are not getting exposed to other people. Dock 365’s Contract Lifecycle Management Software comes with intelligent permission settings that allow you to distribute create, read, and edit capabilities effectively.
There is also an additional feature integrated with each contract section to track obligations well. You can assign tasks and obligations to users and track their status easily. Our CLM system is loaded with a lot more capabilities and features. Book a live demo now to see how it helps you streamline your contract management processes more effectively.
Follow the points we discussed above and streamline contract management processes intelligently from now.
Schedule a live demo of Dock 365's Contract Management Software instantly.