For today’s businesses, the right contract management software is an indispensable tool for ensuring the intent of every contract in your organization is fully realized. Contract management software can maximize a contract’s performance, ensuring the enforcement of commercial terms, accelerating cash flow and time-to-revenue, and reducing the risk of noncompliance.

With today’s increased business complexity and uncertainty, contract management software is no longer simply a convenience, it is a necessity.

What Is Contract Management Software?

For many companies, establishing a complete and searchable repository of a company’s contracts will be the primary benefit of contract management software, but it can also do much more.

AI-driven analytics provide the data on which to make business decisions in real-time. This results in optimum performance throughout the life of a contract, from its initial negotiation and approval through execution and performance to its completion and renewal.

A centralized and automated contract repository provides complete contract visibility, eliminating wasted work hours and improving efficiency. By providing a single source of truth for the rights and commitments a company holds in its contracts, contract management software greatly reduces the risk of missed deadlines and penalties—or, worse, litigation.

How Contract Management Software Helps Your Business

1. Contract management software brings order and compliance to your clause and template library

There’s a saying about templates: If you have too many of them, they cease to be templates. Contract management software brings all your company’s templates together so legal and other stakeholders can rationalize and control what’s being used by the company. The same is true for clauses. This not only improves an organization’s risk management but also makes contracts easier to create—since users aren’t left with a plethora of contract language to start from.

2. Contract management software makes creating a contract easy and automated

Contract management software wires automation into the contract creation process. With a library of approved templates and clauses in place, contracts can be automatically assembled based on criteria associated with the contract, such as region, products, services, or price terms. With advanced contract management software, users can auto-build contracts based on defined business rules and bulk data upload. Self-service contract creation enables faster time-to-revenue and significantly reduces legal operating expenses.

3. Contract management software makes contract review and approval cloud-based and completely auditable

Today’s contract management software is almost completely offered as cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS). This means teams can collaborate and review contracts from anywhere in the world. When COVID-19 hit, this proved to be an indispensable capability for companies that wanted to keep business running despite widespread office closures. And contract management software empowers companies to set up automated workflows to route a contract to the right person automatically. Throughout the process, the software is capturing changes to terms, creating an immutable audit trail and escalations if unapproved clauses are introduced.

4. Contract management software makes contract execution as simple as a tap of a button, and as secure as the strongest online identity protections

E-signature technology has become table stakes for any contract management software. Once contracts have been approved by all necessary parties based on your company’s workflows, the final language can be routed to the signatory, who can quickly and easily execute the contract with a tap of a button. These secure integrations update the document and data back to the central repository for easy reference.

5. Contract management software connects contract data to the systems and processes they touch

Once a contract is executed, best-in-class contract management software can push the contract data into surrounding systems, as well as pull in data to track commitment fulfillments. For example, a supplier contract can get pushed into a spend management system, so that all invoices received under the contract comply with the original terms. This drives down leakage and eliminates rogue spending. In a sales scenario, a company can track delivery data directly against the contract, meaning no obligation goes unfilled, reducing risk and making the company a better partner.

Important: The strongest contract management software products on the market today deliver value long after a contract is executed.

6. Contract management software makes contract data easily accessible and actionable via dashboards

Because contract management software is continuously capturing contract data and connecting it with the run of business, users can surface intuitive metrics within configured dashboards. A common dashboard metric is contract risk. Contract management software enables companies to configure risk scores based on internal data and third-party sources. This then enables users to detect early when a contract is at risk and take action to address it.

Icertis’ Approach to Contract Management Software

The Icertis Contract Intelligence (ICI) platform pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with contract management software. Icertis has been named a leader in contract lifecycle management (CLM) by Gartner and Forrester, and is used by innovative companies like Airbus, BASF, Cognizant, Daimler, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, and Sanofi across 90+ countries to govern the rights and commitments in 7.5 million contracts worth more than $1 trillion.

With the Icertis platform, companies can get more out of their contract management software than they ever thought possible, improve their business in ways they never imagined, and set the foundation for enduring business excellence.

Using Contract Management Software to Gain Contract Intelligence

The ICI platform turns your contracts from static documents into strategic advantage, giving your company the powerful capabilities it needs to stay out in front, now and into the future. This goes beyond contract management software to become contract intelligence.

Contract intelligence is advanced digital contract management that links the entitlements and obligations in any kind of contract to your critical business processes. Contract intelligence ensures that all agreements are in compliance and commitments are upheld, that changing conditions dynamically trigger the appropriate actions, that high-value insights are available in real time, and that new information makes the whole system increasingly smarter and faster.

Icertis distinguishes itself through its bold vision, unrivaled expertise, and enduring commitment to contract management software:

• Icertis was the first company to grasp the true transformative potential of contract management software and has boldly pursued the vision of organization-wide contract intelligence for more than a decade.

• Icertis has expertise in any kind of contract and the best ways to connect them to the processes and systems that touch them. We integrate into all major ERP, CRM and spend management systems, meaning we can handle any contract scenario.

• The true value of Icertis’ contract management software begins after a contract is signed. You need full visibility and powerful tools to ensure what you and your partners have committed to happens, even as conditions change.

• Icertis’ innovations in contract management software continue to push toward self-governance, with continuous monitoring and smart rules that automatically ensure compliance and minimize risk.

• Icertis has the deep knowledge and powerful AI tools to help you ramp up quickly, streamline contracts and processes, close deals faster, and connect the dots across departments.

Today, contract management software is a critical resource for surmounting the challenges of today’s business climate and proactively preparing for those of the future. A contract management software platform, and the hidden contract data it makes visible, is the foundation a company needs to accelerate commerce, mitigate risk, preserve cash flow and company resources, and negotiate optimal future contracts, turning contracts into indispensable strategic advantages for maximizing a company’s success.