The contract management process has evolved phenomenally over the years. Today, companies use agile contract management software to expedite the processes and increase team productivity in managing contract affairs. Enterprise contract management software enables the users to leverage the tools and their dynamic features in order to streamline the process. The process is a comprehensive activity involving various stages of contract lifecycle management. Every stage is equally important and improves the overall document management. With agile software, the contract team can easily organize the documents and upgrade the management methodology. Here are the crucial contract management stages involved in the process.
The first step in the contract lifecycle management process is to accept requests. Generally, companies send contract requests through mail or in the written format, which increases the risk of missing crucial information and valuable contract requests. With contract management software, the team can easily keep track of the contract requests, evaluate them duly and accept requests, if it fits the company’s requirements. Once the contract requests are analysed and accepted, the team can begin creating the contract. If the contract request did not fit the defined requirements, the team can cancel the request.
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The most crucial stage in the contract management process is the authoring or creating the content for the contract. A seasoned contract team understands the basic needs of creating a contract and authors the contract to fit the business perspective. The contract authoring leverages the expertise of various professionals, whose insights enable the team to create a coherent document. The contract management software enables the content writers to tag the respective departments in getting their insights. Since documents can be assigned security levels, the authorized members can read the contract documents internally and make the required changes.
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Once the contract documents are created, the team can send them for internal legal review. The laws of the land differ from location to location and hence it is imperative to ensure that the documents are legally sound and the terms and conditions listed are legally valid. Negotiation is a part and parcel of the contract lifecycle, where the contracting parties negotiate on the terms and conditions, thereby finding harmony and common ground. With contract management software, the team can seamlessly negotiate and make the necessary changes. It also saves time and effort in negotiating and finalising the contract.
Contract execution is the final part of the contract lifecycle management process, where the terms and conditions are finalized. The involved parties ensure that the contract is in order and once the clauses are incorporated duly, the team gathers the signatures of the involved parties to execute the contract. Contrary to the conventional method, the team can expedite the process by enabling the partners to sign via eSignature applications, which would accelerate the contract lifecycle management process phenomenally. Once the contract is signed by all the parties, the contract is considered as executed and the terms of contracts are enforceable.
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At times, the contracts require amendments to accommodate the changing climate of the business. In such cases, amendments are effected through addendums, which are added to the contract document. The addendums dictate the changes in the terms and conditions and the validity of the contract. Although not all businesses resort to adding addendums, it is a normal practice to change the existing document, in consideration of new developments.
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The stages of contract lifecycle management process can be further elaborated based on the type of business and the contract creation methodologies. However, the above-mentioned stages are the most common and important stages that ensure the modern contract management process is streamlined and seamless.
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