According to Gartner, “62% of organizations are discontent with the IT tools to support Contract governance and 58% are unhappy with the tracking of contract history and contract versions.”
This is primarily because many companies use Word, email and Document drives for Contract negotiation …..
These scenarios become more grave in highly regulated industries such as pharma, healthcare and financial services. Hence, a contract management software that supports contract compliance, governance and advanced tracking is critical for any organization in the regulated industry.
In organizations governed by stringent regulatory protocols & guidelines (pharma and healthcare, especially) contract management plays a central role in keeping track of overall business risk & compliance – monitoring third-party deliverables, approvals, milestone dates, financial components, etc. Although, regulatory compliance is important among business needs, an adaptive and agile contract management solution also increases process efficiency across the entire contract lifecycle, improving time to market of goods & products.
So, for an efficient contract management, here are a few key areas where an online CLM tool becomes a must-have for organizations in highly regulated industries
Contract history tracking
There are a lot of contractual events ie.overseeing drug trials, negotiating vendor contracts, managing patient information etc. which take place in different phases of contract lifecycle with a myriad of counterparties associated with it. In many cases, contract information are scattered, siloed and often lost impairing contract visibility But these can cause serious repercussions in the form of penalties & fines. Thats why, it is important to maintain timely records of versions, modifications, approvals etc. Not only is it important for compliance & audit trails but also it is important to maintain healthy counterparty relationships and maintain a good reputation in the industry.
Monitoring Contract performance & review workflows
Legal attorneys has to keep track of all contract progress from its inception to expiry. During this period, one has to engage with different counterparties for negotiations, renewals, information sharing & approvals. Engaging the right teams at the right time during contract lifecycle is a key challenge for legal teams. Not only that, they also need to manage level of involvement & access to sensitive information & documents. Understanding business goals, stakeholders expectations, risk attributes and appetite is integral to effective contract operations.
Risk Forecasting & Management
Highly regulated industries face a lot of uncertainties due to the constantly evolving regulatory landscape in global markets & innovation in technology. It seems to be accelerating day by day. Legal teams have to manage impacted contracts during adoption of new regulatory provisions, contract migration or compliance change. Whether it is complying with newly-introduced GDPR guidelines or finding out potential impact of Brexit, legal teams need to stay a step ahead to analyse contractual risks & fallouts.
Managing critical information assets
Suppose, a pharmaceutical company needs to undergo a CRO agreement with a clinical research institute for diagnosis and treatment with a novel drug. In this scenario, a doctor & clinical staff should be concerned about patient health & safety. But in the same context, legal teams are more concerned about business associate agreements for terms of collaboration, patient information disclosures & fee schedules. At the same time, it becomes equally important for healthcare organization to maintain clarity in business operations and manage confidentiality of critical information. Likewise pharma organizations also manage intellectual property, clinical trial studies, maintain ownership and licenses out for commercial purposes in aforesaid fashion. These information are not only critical to prove legal ownership but also important to remain compliant with stringent regulatory guidelines during business reviews & audits.
So, online contract management system is a go-to option for contract & legal teams for highly regulated industries. But it is very difficult to choose which CLM tool suits you the best and help you streamline your contract operations in a constantly evolving marketplace.
Centralized Contract Repositories
Centralized storage of all contract information is truly the foundation of contract management success. eContracts provides a single place to organize and store all contract related information, making it efficient to retrieve the information on-demand to keep contracts moving forward. You can now achieve a 360 degree view of all your contractual relationship in a single-page view along with key terms, clauses and obligations and keep track of metadata, alerts, reminders, activities and workflows from a single contract repository.
You can now take full control over compliance, checklists, terms & clauses in your contracts.You can also direct your contracts via secured external portals for online reviews and eApprovals. Get contracts created efficiently with template automation along with prefilled digital signatures and seals or stamps of the organization. All the past activities are stored in the form of metadata so that you can easily track who has approved, signed or reviewed the contracts. You can also pre-assign the roles & tasks for internal sign-offs and also send email notifications directly to third parties for contract reviews & eSignatures.
Advanced Search functionality
You can easily move signed agreements and amendments to the eContracts repository with OCR-based document search & smart metadata extraction. Our simple and quick keyword search helps you find contract records, documents or counterparties with ease. You can further refine your results by choosing metadata criteria with boolean operators AND, OR and NOT, greater, or less than, exact or partial match, and parameters such as result types, ownership, author or modified dates improving your time to respond to critical escalations.
Automatic multi-step conditional routing with Workflow Configurator
Save hours of administrative work by routing your review and approval workflows based on criteria involving contract value, contract type, data, business area, standard or non-standard agreements etc. Moreover, you can add multiple stages in the review or approval phase for more structured or hierarchical processes, guided to multiple users sequentially via serial assignment or simultaneously via parallel assignment. Thus, eContracts aids you to negotiate back-and-forth between counterparties through secure sharing of contracts and individual documents.
eContracts helps you to allocate tasks and workflows to the relevant users through email notifications and dashboard alerts. Users can also delegate others to perform tasks on their behalf. Roles can also be customized and managed on bases of privileges and administrative capabilities. Depending on contractual value, you can easily manage confidentiality by designating access controls with redaction & productivity tools
Monitoring key contractual obligations & financials
eContracts feature includes getting grants or finances approved by business users and allowing for financial reconciliations with ordering and financial systems. In addition, this feature helps to gather policies and enables a holistic view of terms and conditions gathered through master and global agreements.
Now, you can easily maintain a trail of all the financial transactions for both buy and spend side through integrations with order and payment systems supported by financial projection reports that show financial breakdowns and calculates revenue or spend, taking the contract value based rules and commitments into account. It also ensures payments are conducted in compliance with channel contract terms while tracking down the partner sales to help managers decide channel incentives and volume-rebates. Moreover, managers can now take important decisions based on the forecasted potential revenue, extracted from all related contracts
Timely User Alerts, Reminders & Notifications
Track contract obligations such as renewals, payment schedules, shipping time, invoicing, rentals, report submissions as part of contract performance management. You can easily set up email reminders for business users to fulfill and reconcile with obligations set forth in the contract along with reporting on missed and delayed obligations.You can update status on contract lifecycle stage with auto status transition on completion of specific actions or conditions.
Get timely reminders & alerts for important dates that need to be tracked as part of the contract lifecycle. This can include renewal and expiration timelines, due dates for audit/renegotiations or project completion dates.
Multiple Contract Areas with specified regional templates
You can easily manage geographically diverse contracts for different company entities, while being compliant with local, state and provincial laws and regulations, across multiple jurisdictions and with several business units globally, while abiding by the laws and contract standard templates of the particular geography.
This is very important for regulated industries as many of the counterparties are from different geographies having regional contract format & protocols. Hence, you can perform and negotiate your business deals without regional language limitations with our supportive standardized regional templates and contract formats. Also, you can manage a complete counterparty database inside eContracts for a particular set of vendors, suppliers, distributors etc.
Powered by Microsoft Azure, eContracts is a Contract Lifecycle Management software specifically built understanding the complex needs of contract & legal teams in highly regulated industries using Office365 and SharePoint.
To see how eContracts can help you in automating contracts, and deliver streamlined contract solutions for highly regulated industries call us at (001) 678-328-1978 (US & Canada), email firstname.lastname@example.org or Schedule a Demo.