The chess-like, back and forth nature of contract negotiations can create confusion and contract lifecycle inefficiencies.  Without a centralised and well-organised system, organisations on both ends of the contract management chessboard become trapped and unsure of how to move their next piece.  Discover how contract management software can streamline contract negotiations.

The problem with ineffectual contract negotiations

Without an effective procedure for collaboration with suppliers, internal users and external stakeholders for contract negotiations, you can run into an array of issues.

Keeping track of appropriate clauses or sections to insert into a contract during contract writing can be a challenge when you don’t keep clauses in a centralised library or assign conditions to certain key stakeholders for clause ownership.  Version control processes that involve parties working on separate computers in different locations and saving files locally can lead to misplaced document versions and lost edits or changes.  You can miss or overlook key dates and milestones if you rely on email-based workflow processes.  Without a unified location for action, signatures and approvals can be delayed.

To solve the contract negotiation challenges detailed above, you can leverage a contract management solution that offers:

• contract writing featuring clause merging from a dynamic clause library as well as clause ownership
• organised and streamlined document collaboration and document version control
• intelligent automated workflow to stay on top of tasks, key dates, and milestones
• efficient, centralised online negotiation and approvals
• a streamlined, user-friendly, and highly configurable signing process.

We recommend Contract Insight to address all of the following:

Dynamic contract writing

Contract Insight helps you write documents using templates to dynamically merge contract field data and clauses from a pre-approved language library.  A clause library can help produce timely, accurate and compliant documents and contracts ready for collaboration with suppliers, internal users and external stakeholders.

Leverage pre-approved clause libraries for specific document templates. Contract Insight also helps with CLIN (contract line item number) management and the addition of line-items in contract templates.  Contract documents can readily be exported to standard file formats such as MS Word and PDFs.

Full document collaboration and version control

Document collaboration and version tracking are easy and effective with Contract InsightContract Insight integrates your contract management software system with MS Word and a proprietary file utility tool for centralised collaboration and version control.

For example if you download a document version of an agreement within the relevant page in Contract Insight and then upload it with tracked changes, the software creates an audit trail that supports careful version control.

Further enhancing the contract negotiation process is Contract Insight’s file utility capabilities.  This file utility tool makes it even easier for you to upload new versions of a document onto the corresponding contract details page.  Instead of downloading up-to-date file versions from the system, saving them to their desktop, and re-uploading them after further changes are made, users can simply upload new versions with an MS Word ribbon.

Contract content control and clause ownership

Contract Insight provides content control for when a document is being written.  You can configure your system so that if somebody changes a section or clause in a contract, the clause owner will be notified using the document collaboration module.  Once you’ve asssigned a clause owner, if the clause they’re assigned is drafted into an agreement and a stakeholder tries to edit that clause, the system will prompt the clause owner to approve any changes made.  This way, people are only added into the negotiation process if they’re needed according to a rules-based clause ownership process.

Centralised collaboration

For external collaboration on negotiation and approvals between users, non-users and external non-users, our document collaboration module means that you can quickly set up a rules-based process for any stakeholders that need to engage with a contract, such as employees, employee non-users and external contract parties.

The contract negotiation portal provides a process similar to internal workflow for system users.  Stakeholders assigned to a contract can receive a notification that will take them to the negotiation portal, where the relevant contract documents can be accessed for review.  This way, external parties and people within an organisation who are non-users have access to important documents relevant to their contract, but don’t have access to core system features.  The document they need to interact with is isolated so that they can quickly access that document and make necessary changes to approve it straight from the portal.

With Contract Insight’s online negotiation portal, contract negotiations with external parties are easy and efficient. Internal Contract Insight users can leverage CobbleStone’s standard intelligent automated workflow process for a streamlined contract lifecycle with task alerts, task escalation, key date and milestone notifications.

Speedy signatures with IntelliSign℠

IntelliSign, our proprietary electronic signature tool, can help you move quickly from negotiations to signing.

IntelliSign’s rapid signing process allows for remote collaboration and electronic approvals and can cut sign-to-send times as much as 20 percent.  You can send documents out for signatures from contracts that have undergone the contract negotiation processes mentioned above.  IntelliSign provides a secure contract document repository on the online portal for end-to-end management of partially and fully executed document signatures.

Manual processing for bulk HR documents, addendums, new agreements, and policy updates is a thing of the past.  With IntelliSign, you can send thousands of documents for e-signatures in bulk.  Documents that require signatures are easy to send and sign, and organisations and counterparties can do it from nearly anywhere at virtually any time.  Signatories can easily and quickly sign documents after receiving an email that takes them right to the signing portal without downloading software.

Transform contract negotiations with Contract Insight

Contract Insight – our renowned and trusted contract management, procurement, sourcing, and contract negotiation software solution – has assisted a wide variety of professionals.  Legal teams, contract administrators, procurement professionals and others from across a range of industries have chosen Contract insight to reinvigorate their contract management lifecycle.

Contract insight gives you an unprecedented opportunity to enhance your contract management process from requests to renewals.  With its user-friendly, scalable and robust user interface, you can attain contract negotiation success.

Contract Insight from Four

Contract Insight is a cloud-hosted (SaaS) or deployed (on-premise) contract management solution.  The acclaimed platform is trusted by thousands of professionals for their contract management, legal document managementprocurement and sourcing needs.  Used by many Fortune 500 companies, Contract Insight gives you real time visibility into your contracts. It doesn’t just shore up your security; it will help you meet contract compliance regulations, centralise your contract management and improve your overall contract administration process.

For more information, contact John O’Brien, CEO at Four Business Solutions, global business consultants and software integrators providing business processes improvements in FinanceSupply Chain and Operations, across a broad range of industries.