Contract management software enables faster time to revenue and helps companies maximize the value of every business relationship. It also offers greater organizational agility, data-informed decisions, and improved scalability. Top contract management solutions increase efficiency with automated workflows, improve collaboration and security, and offer visibility to important metrics.
Contract management software is quickly becoming a critical tool for modern enterprises, helping organizations to organize, automate, and streamline their contract management processes. By simplifying the creation, execution, and management of contracts throughout their lifecycle, contract management solutions make it easier to stay on top of contractual obligations, hold vendors accountable to performance standards, accelerate revenue, reduce risk, and maintain compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
What is contract management software?
Contract management software helps organizations to streamline and automate the management of contracts throughout their entire lifecycle, from initial drafting and negotiation to execution, ongoing management, and renewal or termination.
Contract lifecycle management software provides a unified platform for managing all types of legal agreements, from relatively simple contracts of adhesion to the types of highly complex negotiated agreements that typically accompany construction projects or other high-stakes ventures. Whether you’re managing sales contracts, service agreements, NDA’s, employment contracts, or any other type of contract, top contract management software helps you in a myriad of different ways, enabling you to create and store important legal documents, track changes and revisions, manage approvals and signatures, and monitor compliance and obligations.
The best contract management software also provides reporting and analytics to help users understand key contract metrics, track supplier performance relative to their commitments, and identify potential areas for improvement. Integration with ERP and CRM systems ensures that the important information embedded in legal agreements is visible to the users who need it, and can be put to practical use throughout the enterprise.
On the whole, contract management software helps organizations of all sizes to reduce risk, increase efficiency, and improve compliance with a comprehensive, unified solution for managing contracts.
What features do enterprise users need from a contract management solution?
Contract management software addresses a wide range of needs for various groups of users throughout an enterprise, with features that accelerate the drafting process, track and manage revisions, automate approvals, report on important metrics, and alert users to important deadlines.
Here are some of the specific features that enterprise users typically require:
1. Streamlined drafting and collaborative revision: Standard clause libraries speed the drafting process and help to standardize language across all of an organization’s agreements. Collaboration tools allow large teams to work together effectively and efficiently. Comment threads, document sharing, and task assignments improve teamwork and ensure that everyone is working from the same page, even for teams that are distributed across the globe.
2. Configurable workflows: By orchestrating automated workflows, contract management software ensures that important legal agreements move swiftly through a structured process, eliminating friction and reducing errors. Most contracts require an approval process of some kind, for example. A contract management workflow for sales might require management approval for specific modifications requested by the customer, or for discounts in excess of a defined threshold. Top contract management solutions can be configured with custom workflows for various types of agreements, automatically notifying specific approvers whenever action is required, then automatically executing the contract when all approvals have been completed.
3. Security and access control: Many contracts contain sensitive or confidential information. Consequently, enterprises typically prefer to limit access to personnel who have a specific need to know what’s in an agreement. Top contract management solutions include robust access controls to ensure that information is only available to authorized employees within the organization. Role-based permissions, two-factor authentication, and encryption offer strong safeguards while also simplifying access management. CLM software also keeps a record of who made changes, what was changed, and when. This serves to reduce risk and strengthens compliance.
4. Integration: Most enterprises use multiple software solutions, including CRM, ERP, and specialized systems for supply chain management, billing, or other operations. The terms and conditions of a company’s contracts often contain important data that impacts the transactions and master records stored in these other systems. Supplier agreements, for example, frequently include minimum purchase volumes, performance standards that dictate delivery dates, and other important details. Top contract management solutions identify these key components and integrate that data with other important systems.
5. Automated alerts and notifications: As contracts move through their lifecycle, it's critically important to stay on top of key dates such as contract renewal deadlines or expiration dates. Automated alerts and notifications provide users with advance notice of pending cutoff dates. Configurable alerts notify users when a trading partner is at risk of defaulting on their contractual obligations, enabling better enforcement of important provisions and thereby producing higher value from the company’s existing business relationships.
6. Reporting and analytics: The best contract management software provides powerful insights to help users make better decisions. Contract analytics provide visibility to key metrics such as contract cycle times, renewal rates, and compliance.
Icertis contract management software for enterprise users
Contract management software provides value in multiple ways. By automating and streamlining contracting processes, CLM software eliminates tedious manual effort, reduces errors, and prevents members of the team from overlooking important steps in the process. By offering a secure, auditable system for managing legal agreements, contract management software reduces risk and eases compliance. Robust contract analytics contribute to higher performance, both internally and from an organization’s trading partners.
These benefits translate to faster time to revenue, increased value from supplier relationships, greater organizational agility, and better informed decisions. Contract management software also supports sustainable growth, making it easier to scale your business without imposing additional stresses on the contract management team.
Icertis was the first contract management software company to recognize the truly transformative impact that a great CLM system can bring to an enterprise. Icertis Contract Intelligence (ICI) incorporates powerful AI tools that help our customers ramp up quickly, streamline contracts and processes, close deals faster, and connect the dots across every department in the organization.
To learn more about what a CLM system can do for your organization, request a demo today.