5 Contract Automation Tools to Help You Seal the Deal
Is managing your organization’s contracts a hassle? Do you spend too much time moving contracts from place to place and person to person and too little time actually making deals? Do you wish there were some way to automate the whole contract process to make your life easier? Then you need to use contract automation tools available through contract management software.
There are several tools available for use in contract automation. Use one or more of these tools, and you’ll spend less time managing contracts and more time sealing the deal.
- Manual contract management wastes valuable time and resources
- Automating contract management speeds up the entire process, and lets staff spend more time seeking new business
- The five most important tools for automating contract management are automated document creation, automated contract workflow, e-signatures, contract tracking, and digital contract repositories
- All five of these tools are included in automated CLM software
5 Most Useful Contract Automation Tools
Automation is the key to more efficient contract management. The more parts of the process you can automate, the more time you’ll have free to cut more deals and create more contracts.
Here are the five most popular tools available today to automate various parts of the contract process. Use one or more of these tools to minimize the drudgery of contract management:
Automated Document Creation
Who creates all the contracts in your organization? Writing a new contract from scratch is a big responsibility and one fraught with errors. The process becomes even more challenging when different people from different departments provide their input, and all those changes have to be somehow incorporated into the draft document.
Contracts assembled manually also run the risk of not including terms and clauses that your company (and your lawyers) want to be included. An inexperienced person drafting a contract is likely not aware of all the regulatory issues that must be addressed, leading to significant non-compliance problems. There’s also the risk that someone might leave something important out of the contract, thus subjecting you to fulfillment or legal issues down the line. It just leaves too much to chance.
A better approach is to use a tool that automates document creation. Creating an acceptable contract with an automated document creation tool is as easy as filling in the blanks and making choices from a menu or database of available items. It starts with a pre-designed contract template to help standardize the contract format and language. You can choose pre-approved clauses and terms from a contract library and build the contract piece by pre-approved piece.
Automated Contract Workflow
Personally overseeing the progress of a contract through your organization is extremely time-consuming. If you’re not adequately detail-minded, it’s easy to lose track of where a contract is in the process, making everything take longer than it already does. It gets even worse if even one individual in the process gets too busy or simply overlooks a contract, leaving everybody else waiting… and waiting… and waiting.
The solution is to automate the contract workflow. With an automated workflow, a contract is automatically routed from one person to the next. You don’t have to worry about getting the contract to the right individuals; the routing is automatic and according to predetermined contract flows.
Contract automation tools move a contract through the process electronically. All individuals who need to see the contract are guaranteed to see the contract and prompted for the proper action (review, redlining, etc.). When you automate the contract workflow, you’ll spend less time physically moving paper from office to office and see a big increase in compliance.
Another way to speed up contract workflow is to make it easier for authorized parties to sign your contracts. Electronic contracts are delivered to each party’s digital inbox instead of hand-delivering a paper contract for signatures (or routing it via interoffice mail or FedEx). Signing is done electronically then the signed digital contract is immediately routed back to the originating parties for finalization.
SOURCE: Computerphile via YouTube
Signing via e-signature is fast, easy, totally secure, and legally binding. Instead of taking days to get a contract signed, longer if that individual is out of the office, execution can be done immediately when the contract is ready from wherever the individual is and whatever device they’re using. According to DocuSign, 82% of e-signature documents are signed in less than a day (50% in less than 15 minutes!) and enable companies to save $36 per contract.
Intelligent Contract Tracking
Do you know the status of all your contracts? If you’re still relying on a manual contract workflow, the answer is probably not. This is especially true if you’re trying to manage a large volume of contracts initiated in multiple departments—and you’re not alone. According to the 2021 Ernst & Young Law Survey, 90% of legal professionals have trouble locating individual contracts.
A better approach is a tool that provides constant, intelligent contract tracking for all contracts (and their obligations), no matter their status or origination. A contract tracking tool works in conjunction with your contract workflow to track every contract as it flows through your system. You’ll know who’s seen the contract and where a contract currently resides. Even better, you’ll get an audit trail, so you’ll know who’s made what changes to each contract. Then, after the contract has been executed, the tool tracks where the contract is stored and provides quick and easy access to the stored document. Finally, you can use automated alerts, tasks and notifications to automatically track obligations, key dates, milestones, and other commitments and ensure the appropriate personnel are aware of them at the appropriate time.
Digital Contract Repository
Where are your contracts currently stored? If you’re still using paper documents, your contracts could be stored virtually anywhere in any filing cabinet in any office in your organization. This type of decentralized disorganization makes it virtually impossible to locate any given contract after execution, resulting in issues, especially if you’re ever audited.
A better approach is to store all your contracts and supporting documents in electronic format in a single centralized contract repository. Centralizing your contract storage eliminates departmental silos and makes it much easier to search for and access contracts after the fact. It also provides greater security for all your contracts, as you don’t have to worry about securing physical documents in multiple unsecured locations.
A centralized digital contract repository also lets you get more value from your contracts. You can more easily analyze individual contracts and the performance of all your contracts as a whole. You’ll also be able to track deliverable dates better and when contracts expire or are up for renewal.
CLM Software Delivers All Five Contract Automation Tools—And More!
All five of these contract automation tools are extremely useful—and they’re all available in contract lifecycle management (CLM) software, such as that offered by Contract Logix. CLM software automates the entire contract lifecycle, eliminating practically all manual processes from inception to archiving.
CLM software automates document creation and contract workflow, provides e-signature signing and contract tracking, and stores all documents in a central digital contract repository. You benefit from:
- A speedier and more efficient process
- Better tracking and obligation management
- Fewer errors
- Higher legal and regulatory compliance
- Lower costs
Finally, you and your staff can reduce the amount of time you spend handling contracts and devote more time sealing new deals!
Turn to Contract Logix to Automate Your Contract Workflow
When you want to fully automate your organization’s contract workflow, turn to the experts at Contract Logix. Our cloud-based CLM Platform automates the entire contract process, lowers your costs, and provides tighter security for your valuable contract data. You get key contract automation tools your business needs—all in one place.
Contact Contract Logix today to learn more about contract automation tools with CLM software.