Businesses today aim at optimizing performance while controlling costs — which is no easy job in these challenging market conditions. However, there are many ways in which enterprises can meet stringent cost management targets. One of the prominent ones is streamlining their contract management processes with advanced AI-led Contract Lifecycle Management systems.
As organizations expand, so do the number of transactions, making contract management even more complicated. That’s precisely why legal technologies like contract automation are gaining popularity.
Contract automation helps in effectively managing multiple contracts spread across the globe. Combined with in-depth analysis and reporting capabilities, it can deliver real value to organizations by ensuring streamlined contracting and better compliance. Best-in-class organizations that leverage contract management software identify opportunities for savings and prevent inefficiencies.
Before diving into how automation can improve your contracting experience, it is crucial to understand why you need it — the demerits of manual process that can be easily solved with contract automation:
- Inconvenient storage of contracts
- Difficulty in tracking contract progress
- Absence of version control and management
- Unwanted auto-renewal of contracts
- Not being able to track contract compliance
- Risk of human errors leading to inaccuracy
How Contract Automation can Help Across the Contract Lifecycle?
1. Contract Request
Contract automation tools allow legal teams to standardize the contract intake process utilizing RPA — ensuring the collection of all the required information right at the beginning. The requester fills the request form. If the information is satisfactory, it goes forward, lest it gets rejected and goes back to the requester. So, no need to track down the party for missing information.
2. Creating Contracts
CLM automation enables easy contract creation — helping you avoid manual data entry. It uses customizable contract templates and pre-approved clauses. This speeds up authoring and eliminates the use of improper contract formats or non-standard language. Third-party contracts are also imported into standard contract templates utilizing Natural Language Processing and Optical Character Recognition integration.
3. Tracking Reviews & Approvals
Automated workflows route the review requests to the designated reviewers and alert them when a request is pending for too long.
After review, it must go through layers of approvals by several paralegals and then finally by the GC or CFO before it is executed and comes to life. By automating the approval workflow, you will be able to track all the changes made to the contracts and maintain the latest versions ensuring visibility into every detail like what was changed, when it was changed, who changed it, etc.
4. Contract Execution
With the detailed edit history, you will always be audit-ready. The version control ensures that everyone always uses only the latest versions. After the final version of a contract is ready, collecting all the signatures is another headache for the legal teams.
Advanced CLM solutions with eSignature obtain all the signatures — it notifies each signatory, tracks the signatures, and informs all the parties upon full execution of the contract.
5. Contract Repository
Storing documents in a centralized repository enables easy search and allows users to access them from anywhere. This saves time for search and leads to better collaboration. With all the agreements in one place, there is no need for back-and-forth emails for approvals — meaning faster approvals. Users can also set up alerts based on parameters such as contract expiry, contract utilization, and market price fluctuations.
6. Post-Award Contracting
Modern contract management solutions like Zycus ensure that your legal team doesn’t have to put too much effort into tracking contracts after their execution. They automatically evaluate contract performance by tracking milestones and KPIs. The users are also notified regarding important deadlines, renewal, or expiry dates, and so on. This eliminates the risk of unwanted auto-renewals.
Now that we have learned what contract automation can do, let’s quickly try to sum-up its benefits:
- Saves time and improves accuracy by reducing your legal team’s administrative workload.
- Faster contract turnaround with accelerated contract workflow.
- Improved compliance through performance monitoring against obligations and entitlements.
- Increased visibility into contract data with automatic contract tracking.
- Always audit-ready with a detailed history of changes made to contracts.
With increasing complexity in the business environment, organizations are looking to expand technologies across several business processes. Automating the contracting process helps them attain the maximum possible value out of contracts with the least effort. But it is high time to go beyond that. Artificial Intelligence is just the thing that adds the edge to give you the extra lift to improve your contracting experience.
AI not only performs the administrative legal tasks that it has been programmed for but also constantly learns as it works. Improving its performance through constant feedback, it completes the tasks much faster than humans with better accuracy.
So, embedding AI into CLM helps drive efficiencies — leading to faster contract turnaround time, better decision making, increased visibility into contract performance, and reduced risks. Zycus offers you just that and much more! Get in touch with us or request a demo today.
Also, don’t forget to download our whitepaper to better understand contract automation and beyond — how advanced AI contract management solutions like Zycus ORBIT can work both as a free-standing solution and as a bolt-on to any existing CLM to streamline the processes.