Modernize the External Elements of the Contract Management Process: Contract Lifecycle Management Adjacent Technologies
Today, most organizations manage contracts and records with associated correspondence using standard email, fax, scanners, and records management tools, having developed their own processes for organization and efficiency. Some rely on Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) systems which offer a platform to manage tasks, standard terms, approvals, and associated contract records. Whether an organization uses standard email and document management programs or one of a number of CLM platforms, there are a number of functions that occur adjacent to these systems. If one was to move these to electronic form with robust tools, and implement with automation, one should enjoy significant new administrative efficiencies, cost savings, contract preparation cycle time reduction, and legal spend and litigation risk reduction. Some of these technologies are familiar – electronic signature services for contract execution, Registered Email messages for notices, PDF forms automation – but many have hesitated to deploy for lack of understanding around the legal aspects or implementation simplicity. This user guide takes a practical approach to demonstrating technologies that may be run within (i.e. operated within the user interface of) desktop or mobile messaging systems, enterprise resource management (ERP) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and with CLM systems. Essentially, these tools can be operated within any system that has an email send function without any technical integration. The tools reviewed in this Guide present the contract manager with the opportunity to demonstrate early success with a quantifiable return on investment in contract management modernization efforts. This Guide presents best practice technology tools, tips, and a legal framework for conducting these processes with robust electronic methods that can be implemented in minutes within any CLM, CRM, ERP or email platform in minutes, without IT support.