What is the Contract Request and Intake Process?
Contract request and intake is the start of the entire contract lifecycle and defines the type of contract to create and the details for that contract.
Contract request and intake involves all the activities necessary to initiate a new contract in your system. The process can be ad hoc, where you manually write down what type of contract you want and what should be in it, or automated, where you choose from preselected contract types and content using workflows to route for the proper approval.
To fully understand the contract request and intake process, read on to learn more about how it works, its importance, and how to streamline it.
- Contract request and intake is the first stage of the contract lifecycle
- The information provided during contract request and intake defines the type of contract to create and key contract details
- Contract request and intake can be more efficient and more accurate by automating the process with contract management software
- CLM software makes contract intake easy with predefined selections on online forms
How the Contract Request and Intake Process Works
The contract lifecycle starts with the request and intake phase. An individual or department requests to create a new contract and then compiles the necessary contract details for intake. These details can include any or all of the following:
- Type of contract (procurement, employment, NDA, etc.)
- Contact information of each party involved in the contract
- Any goods and services involved (either selling or purchasing)
- Obligations and commitments for both parties
- Delivery dates and other milestones
- Other terms and conditions
- Termination/renewal date
The necessary information is typically entered into some sort of physical or electronic intake form. Any necessary supporting documents are also assembled at this point. Some organizations still use antiquated methods for requesting a contract like email or voicemai. However, this is highly inefficient and can expose the business to risks that will be discussed later in the blog.
Who can request a contract differs from organization to organization. Some companies let any employee initiate a contract request. Most, however, limit contract requests to authorized individuals, employees within specified departments, or employees above a certain level.
Once the contract has been requested and all necessary information provided, the contract itself can be created. This is often done by an organization’s legal department or a dedicated contracts department, although many companies use contract lifecycle management software to automatically generate contracts based on the initial information entered. For example, most NDAs contain fairly standard language which can be autogenerated using the information in the request without requiring legal review.
Importance of the Contract Request and Intake Process
Contract request and intake is an essential part of the entire contract lifecycle. Contracts cannot be created unless they’re requested and until the necessary information about the contract is provided. Request and intake is the foundation on which the entire contract is based.
The information provided during the request and intake process must be accurate and adequately detailed. If enough details are not provided, the contract will not be complete or legally viable which can cause unnecessary back and forth between the contract manager and the contract requester. If incorrect details are supplied, all manner of issues can arise, including:
- Inefficiency and delays in finalizing the contract
- Misinformed negotiations
- Incorrect delivery dates
- Incorrect payment amounts
- Inadequate description of each party’s responsibilities
- Wrong routing/contact information
- Noncompliance with government/industry regulations
Incorrect information in a contract can also affect the contract’s legal status or jeopardize the company’s position if legal issues arise. If incorrect information makes it through the contract’s execution, it could potentially void the contract.
How to Streamline Contract Request and Intake
The contract request and intake process sets the tone for the rest of the contract lifecycle. If the request and intake process is slow and disorganized, it could lead to an unnecessarily lengthy contract process. This could jeopardize the execution of the contract and cost your company lost sales.
If your organization executes a large number of contracts, streamlining the contract request and intake process can result in numerous benefits. The most effective way to streamline the process is to centralize it using online forms and automate the review and generation of the actual contract with contract lifecycle management (CLM) software, such as that from Contract Logix. CLM software makes the request and intake process more efficient and more standardized, resulting in more accurate and legally sound contracts.
With CLM software, contract request and intake is as easy as filling out an online form. The individual requesting the contract opens the form and selects the type of contract desired – MSA, NDA, MNDA, SOW, and so forth. Based on this selection, the system then prompts the user for the information necessary to create that type of contract.
CLM software walks each user through the information intake process, ensuring that all necessary information is entered and that there are no blank fields or duplicate entries. In many cases, the data intake is done by selecting from preselected menu options rather than allowing unreliable ad hoc entry. If important information is missing, the user is prompted to supply it before the process can continue.
You can rely on the predesigned forms provided by the CLM software or design your own custom forms for your company’s specific needs. CLM software from Contract Logix makes this easy – letting you simply drag and drop the fields you want to include. You can then make the forms available to authorized individuals and departments in your organization.
Benefits of Automating Contract Request and Intake
There are numerous benefits of using CLM software from Contract Logix to automate the contract request and intake process. Some of the most important ones include:
- Automates the workflow, making it clear what needs to happen, when, and by whom
- Improves efficiency by eliminating manual tasks
- Standardizes contracts by requiring users to select from predefined options
- Reduces errors by not allowing freestyle submissions
- Ensures complete and accurate information is captured upfront by standardizing the input process
- Ensures visibility of each contract throughout the entire process by allowing requesters to track their agreements
- Improves security by keeping the entire process electronic and limiting it to authorized users only
In short, CLM software makes the entire contract request and intake process faster, easier, and more accurate. This, in turn, helps to speed up the entire contract lifecycle, making for more efficient, detailed, and legally sound contracts.
Let Contract Logix Help with Your Contract Request and Intake
The best way to create a more efficient request and intake process is with CLM software from Contract Logix. Our contract management software solution automates the entire request and intake process with easy-to-use online forms and workflows. Contract Logix CLM software also automates and streamlines the other aspects of the contract lifecycle, including contract authoring, negotiation, execution, fulfillment, and archiving. It’s the perfect way to ensure that all your contracts are as strong and as actionable as possible.
Schedule a Contract Logix demo today to learn more about how to make your contract request and intake more accurate and more efficient.