Self-Service Contract Creation – Saving Time, Money, and Energy

Self-Service Contract Creation – Saving Time, Money, and Energy

Often times during the contract initiation process, a member from sales, procurement, HR, or other department is looking to get a contractual agreement from the legal or contracts group in a quick amount of time so that engagements can start. The problem with this situation is two-fold: 1. The legal or contracts group is already overwhelmed with managing and creating contract requests, active contracts, as well as milestones and obligations and 2. There is often a lack of communication between legal and the rest of the organization as to when contract requests can be fulfilled. A simple way to fix the problem is to allow for self-service creation of simple, standard contracts. For example, if you always use about the same verbage for standard templates such as NDAs, SOWs, or other basic agreements, groups or individuals looking to initiate these types of contracts could do so on their own. By simply entering required information such as counterparty information, start and end dates, any commercial values, etc. contracts can quickly and easily be created. If need be, the contract can get routed to a supervisor or legal team member for review and/or approval before it is issued and a signature from the counterparty is requested. So, this may sound good in theory, but how does an organization set itself up for success in doing self-service contract creation when it has been differently since (potentially) the beginning of time? Organizations/individuals content with status quos may be less thrilled about moving towards a self-service model, but the process itself will save time and money in the long run. For example, if the...
Are My Contracts and Counterparty Information Safe in the Cloud?

Are My Contracts and Counterparty Information Safe in the Cloud?

When pondering moving important confidential information contained within contract documents to the cloud, organizations sometimes cringe with fear. Thankfully, the cloud is not really that big or scary. As with any other way of storing your documents and information, there are pros and cons with moving to the cloud. For the most part, companies want to ensure their company, client, and vendor information stays safe and secure. Those without permission should not be able to access their confidential information, documents, financial data, and other pertinent items. Still, if everything is online, how can security be guaranteed? One of the main recommendations is to choose a reputable cloud hosting provider that highlights your security as one of their key features. Your provider should ensure that your infrastructure is secure and that your data and applications are protected. There are various security controls that should be put into place, as with any storage and networking system. These include deterrent controls, preventative controls, corrective controls, and detective controls. While setting up all these controls at the beginning may seem cumbersome, they will help to ensure your organization’s security and success for years to come. Organizational contracts and counterparty information can often times have its own set of security measures due to the sensitive nature of the data. For further security and privacy, it is highly recommended to utilize an identity management system to control access to info. Additionally, application security to protect all items stored within your contract management system can offer additional security measures by implementing testing and acceptance procedures for outsourced or packaged application code. Moving to the cloud may...
Why you should need to automate your Enterprise Contract Management process?

Why you should need to automate your Enterprise Contract Management process?

Almost all industries such as legal, public sector, banking, hospitality, healthcare, pharma, insurance, education, oil and gas, automobile, etc. treat contracts as the lifeline of their business. The legal and contract management teams need to have a quick turnaround process incorporated in their enterprise in order to effectively manage and execute their contracts. One of the essential activities in managing enterprise contracts is to maintain a centralized control of the contracts. An enterprise manages multiple contract types such as NDAs, IT vendor contracts, sales agreements, purchasing agreements, support contract, annual maintenance contract, lease agreement and so on. Having a centralized place for such contracts gives your enterprise the complete visibility of critical contract management processes such as contract requests, authoring, negotiation, review by stakeholders and counterparties, and amendments. But do enterprises really have the complete visibility of their contracts? If your enterprise is currently managing the contracts manually then it is facing contract visibility issues. Gartner’s recent report on contract lifecycle management states – “Contract Lifecycle management (CLM) is evolving from an operational record-keeping system, primarily used for legal audit purposes, to an enterprise-level core system addressing business risk, costs and the pursuit of revenue maximization. CIOs and line-of-business management need to identify the right solution for their needs.” We can all agree that contract management automation tools need to be leveraged by enterprises to gain total visibility of the contracts. Why Automate Contract Management? Imagine yourself as the contract manager. Your company CFO asks you these questions – Do you know where the NDA contracts are? Can you give me the annual maintenance contract agreement with XYZ Company?...
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