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Contract Intelligence Blog
Apr 22, 2019
Why It’s Time to Ditch Email for Contract Collaboration
In complex business environments, partner, supplier, and customer relationships are critical.
Contracts form the foundation of these commercial relationships, yet many companies continue to rely on email for contract collaboration–raising the risk of delays or harmful miscommunication. Enterprises with increasingly complex value chains need a better way.
The challenges of contract collaboration
Using email to collaborate on contracts is rife with issues: Email-based collaboration results in long cycle-times as parties and counterparties send messages back and forth and search for the most current version. Meanwhile, it can be difficult or impossible for stakeholders to gain visibility into how contracts are proceeding.
All of this can create friction during negotiations and even raises the possibility of the wrong version of a contract getting signed.
Email does not allow for information and data to flow from the contract for insights during negotiations, nor any capability to manage multiple languages.
And email does not provide a way for entities to review what went into the building of the contract. In other words, if contract collaboration is done over email, a document committing two enterprises to several hundred million dollars over several years will be stored in a repository without any background information on the rationales that formed the basis of agreeing to certain positions (since all that rationale will be hidden in someone’s inbox). This becomes a big challenge later on when contracts need to be “interpreted” by someone other than the original negotiator.
How the ICM Collaboration Portal works
Icertis has developed a portal built on top of the Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform to address the challenges of enabling communication between two enterprises specifically for the purpose of collaborating on contracts negotiations.
The ICM Collaboration Portal application enables secure communication with suppliers, customers and partners that is more efficient than traditional communication methods such as email.
With the ICM Collaboration Portal app, third parties are granted tailored access to the ICM platform so they can submit contract redlines, review their contracts, upload compliance documentation, get alerts, and update obligation assignments–all without leaving the easy-to-use portal. Every party can view all past communication, which reduces the risk of misunderstanding. Users can set alerts from an intuitive dashboard for real-time notifications at each stage of the contract lifecycle.
The app enables all parties to work with a single source of truth and exchange data and documents more efficiently and securely. Every party can view the same cloud document and submit instant, trackable changes. Significant attachments are no longer lost in email chains.
The ICM Collaboration Portal makes contract collaboration simpler
The Collaboration Portal app carries major benefits when used to collaborate on contracts with outside parties. Customer relationships improve. Sourcing becomes faster and more efficient. Users have improved insight on processes, obligations, and entitlements. It also helps store what is typically referred to as “tribal knowledge” or “contract chatter” about these important documents and can be referenced later for a variety of purposes like shortening or speeding up negotiation cycles.
Daimler currently uses the Collaboration Portal app to realize those benefits:
“The main benefits we’re seeing with this new solution together with Icertis, is a much more streamlined process,” says Jens Schmezer, Daimler AG’s head of Product Owner Sourcing & Awarding. “It’s much more efficient. The collaboration is much better with our external suppliers and with our internal customers and our partners. And overall, the compliance in the whole process is much better.”