How to Select the Best Contract Lifecycle Management Software for Your Business
Contract Lifecycle Management Software provides a platform for organizing detailed and complex negotiations in a contract process among organizations, supplier and buyers. Contract lifecycle management software provides solutions for managing the entire lifecycle of a contract, starting from the initial request for proposal up to eventual negotiations.
With contract lifecycle management software, users are able to reduce supplier risk and also have an increased insight into contracts. It is vital in creation of strategic negotiation opportunities and improving the cash flow. Contract lifecycle management software provides solutions to managers that enable them streamline processes for procurement, sales, finance professionals, and legal operations.
The workflows provided by contract lifecycle management software are ideal for focusing on key performance areas and reducing the need for constant follow-ups. Contract lifecycle management software also provides a platform for creating personalized contracts.
Contract lifecycle management software consists of applications that fully manage vendor contracts to robust suites that feature bidding, sourcing, and procurement functionality. Automation of contract lifecycle management enables users to ensure a consistent contractual language, easy financial planning, and regularly maintained buy-cycles.
Solutions provided by contract lifecycle management software are integrated with other systems such as accounting, supply, and enterprise resourcing planning systems to get full advantage of managing the lifecycle of a contract. Contract lifecycle management software supports a range contract types. They include sales contracts, procurement contracts, vendor contracts, enterprise contracts, employee agreements, and non-disclosure agreements. Contract lifecycle management software automates each stage of the contractor process. It automates the processes through agile contract generation, transparent contract negotiations, and renewal of reliable contracts.
The steps followed by contract lifecycle management software include request, authoring, negotiation, and approval. In the first step, the contract lifecycle management software creates a draft of the contracted agreement. In the storage and organization step, contract lifecycle management software makes sure that the contracts are properly filled, organized, and can be accessed easily.
What are the Features of Contract Lifecycle Management Software
Contract lifecycle management software provides the following features; summary sheets, amendments, deadline alerts, compliance assurance, ad-hoc reporting, contract management, customer support, internal helpdesk, ITIL service management, change management, asset management, project and task management, document management, RMA processing, IT ticketing, license generation, meeting management, datarooms, approval management, contract creation and automation, and ERP and accounting systems integration.
- Summary sheets: It enables you to easily view critical document information and the document’s description that is tags and folders, lifecycle information, audit trail, financial information, and signees.
- Amendments: It provides you with an excellent platform for linking documents together for easy referencing in contract updates and changing orders.
- Deadline alerts: It enables you to configure deadline alerts for events in the lifecycle of a contract such as financial terms, advanced notice for termination, and contract renewal dates as well as configuring custom clauses for easy tracking.
- Compliance assurance: It automates processes making sure that contractual regulations are followed.
- Ad-hoc reporting: It enables you generate reports based on specific contracts and general search queries.
- Contract management: It enables you to automate the complete lifecycle of a contract, integrate contract information into related business processes, and streamlining your approval process.
- Customer support: It provides you with an excellent platform for reducing response times, consolidating your support operations, and improving customer satisfaction.
- Internal helpdesk: It enables you to minimize interruptions, deliver exceptional service across your enterprise, and close out tickets.
- ITIL service management: It enables you to bring control and agility to your IT service operations.
- Change management: It facilitates streamlining of change procedures, ensuring of consistency, reducing risk, and enables you to easily integrate with your service desk.
- Asset management: It enables you to improve asset reliability, control costs, and automate and manage the complete lifecycle of the asset.
- Project and task management: It facilitates team collaboration, keeps project on track, and track budget on time.
- Document management: It enables you manage documents of a company starting from contracts and user guides, HR materials, financial reports, and knowledgebase articles.
- RMA processing: It enables you to streamline and automate RMA processes using your browser and flexible solutions that adapts to your evolving business needs.
- IT ticketing: It enables you to streamline processes that keep your lifecycle management running; such processes include auto-assigning issues to the right individual, tracking the time spent by a lifecycle, and getting a full audit trail of all actions.
- License generation: It enables you to streamline renewal and generation of license, increase renewal rates, and improving the customer experience.
- Meeting management: It provides an excellent platform for easy managing of board and executive meetings for improved work efficiency.
- Datarooms: It enables you to share documents securely and easily with participants in the lifecycle management.
- Approval management: It provides an excellent platform for notifying the person next in line in that contract.
- Contract creation and automation: Contract lifecycle management software provides contract templates that can be easily exported to MS Word as well as automatically generating contracts with the user’s pre-defined workflow.
- ERP and accounting systems integration: It enables you to easily integrate accounting and ERP systems that facilitate financial forecasting and helps in accurate cash flow data.
What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) of Contract Lifecycle Management Software
The key performance indicators of contract lifecycle management software are; days of contract lifecycle, days in delay approvals, pre-approved contract language deviations, and missed milestones.
- Contract lifecycle days: It enables you to determine the acceptable cycle time from contract initiation to contract depletion.
- Days in delay approvals: It enables you keep the number of days delayed in contract approval to a minimum level.
- Pre-approved contract language deviations: It enables you to minimize risk by crafting the most appropriate clauses for the contact language.
- Missed milestones: It enables you determine the number of missed milestones through the entire lifecycle of a contract.
What are the Benefits of Contract Lifecycle Management Software
Contract lifecycle management software provides the following benefits; integration off documentation, shortened sales cycle, enhanced relationship management, financial reconciliation, access contracts from anywhere, revenue assurance, electronic collaboration, track changes, advanced analytics, reduced time to detect errors, better visibility of activities, reduce risk, and boost efficiency.
- Integration of documentation: It helps you integrate responsibility among participants in the contract lifecycle and categorize the specific documents with the appropriate departments.
- Shortened sales cycle: It helps you with quicker procedures for effective grouping of important information, therefore shortening the sales cycle of the contract.
- Contract classification: It helps you to easily manage and categorize contracts easily as well as making it easier for you to retrieve the relevant information from the contract lifecycle at the right time.
- Enhanced relationship management: It helps you to improve management of business relationships through provision of absolute management of customer relationships which includes association with suppliers, vendors, and customers.
- Financial reconciliation: It provides revenue management that helps you in supporting tiered pricing, royalty pricing and other calculation-based processes that help you in ensuring reconciled financial statements.
- Access contracts from anywhere: It provides manager and administrators with an on-demand searchable access to the main components in the contract data.
- Revenue assurance: It helps you to improve revenue assurance and ensuring you do not miss out on revenue opportunities such as rate changes, expired contracts, and renewals of contracts.
- Electronic collaboration: It provides an excellent platform for including everyone in the contracting process electronically, therefore eliminating the need of getting input from the entire team on the same document.
- Track changes: It helps you to automatically view history of the transactions between you and parties in the contracting, drafting, and amendment process of the contract.
- Advanced analytics: It helps you to monitor the e-signed documents, length of the contract lifecycle, upcoming deadlines, and status of documents.
- Reduced time to detect errors: It helps you to keenly monitor proactive steps in the contract lifecycle, therefore reducing the lead time to identify mistakes in the contracting process and correct them.
- Better visibility of activities: It allows you to customize contract workflows that include action items, business rules, and notifications for a better visibility of contracting visibilities.
- Reduce risk: The reporting and automation features help you in evaluating the performance of contracts, therefore providing an excellent platform for minimizing risk through easy auditing and proactive compliance management.
- Boosts efficiency: Contract lifecycle management software stores all your contracts in one place making it simple to locate and manage them, therefore boosting the efficiency of the contract lifecycle.
What are the Latest trends in Contract Lifecycle Management Software
The latest trends in contract lifecycle management software are; enhanced technology and use of user-friendly and intuitive method.
- Enhanced technology: Contract lifecycle management software is now using the latest technologies to help create synergy between the different business units of a company, which enables the system to be customized for specific industries and companies.
- User-friendly and intuitive method: Use of the emerging technology provides methods for filtering strategic info which helps you in understanding the relationship models and terms of contracting process in an intuitive and user-friendly way.
How to choose the right Contract Lifecycle Management Software
Choosing and purchasing contract lifecycle management software is a tedious task. It arises from the different benefits and features offered by the different contract lifecycle management software. Consider the following when choosing and purchasing contract lifecycle management software;
- Budget and cost: First determine your organization’s budget then choose contract lifecycle management software with prices that match the ability of features it provides.
- Potential time saving: Look for CLM software that will provide your company with maximum time savings, which will definitely translate to saving money.
- Ability to grow with your business: First consider the size of your company; if its small then consider purchasing contract lifecycle management software that will provide basic needs to help you grow.