The 6 Keys to Conquering Contract Chaos

Let’s face it, our lives are overly complicated with too much technology these days.  But contract management doesn’t have to be.  It’s time to get back to basics and explore how Malbek technology simplifies your contract management challenges. Many of you may live in the weeds of contract management and the core elements that underpin your solution seem miles away. Some of you may be entirely new to contract management and are still getting acquainted with the fundamentals. Regardless, there is a lot of value in thinking about the key functionality that supports any contract management solution worth its salt. At Malbek, we’re very proud of how we’ve built those capabilities to operate using today’s cutting-edge user experience just like what you are used to on your personal mobile device or favorite website. Let’s dive in and take a look.

Contract Authoring

At the most basic level, every contract management solution should enable you to easily create new contracts or amend existing ones. If you’re a contract management pro, however, you may have noticed that not all contract authoring is created equal. The best solutions (like Malbek) simplify both the contract request process, as well as contract authoring, making it simple to develop a new agreement with required legal and business terms using preapproved language or 3rdparty documents. An added bonus is a solution that allows you to initiate the agreement via another tool, like Salesforce.com, and then seamlessly flow it into your contract management system. Malbek lets you do just that!

Contract Repository

Now that you’ve created a few contracts, you will need a place to store them in an organized manner. Over time this repository can get pretty full of some of the most sensitive materials related to your company. It’s imperative that they are stored in a way that makes them easily searchable while still being secured. But it shouldn’t require a tech savvy reporting guru to build you reports to analyze those contracts. Inevitably, you will need to refer back to contract details or you may need to build new agreements based on language from past ones. Being able to easily navigate the contents of your contract repository makes it a much more useful tool. The most advanced contract management solutions, such as Malbek Contrax™ , have intelligent data facets and content-based document searching, just like the Google and Amazon search and filter experience.

Automated Workflows

Once a contract is drafted, it may go through many iterations and be touched by multiple departments before execution. The review and approval process can be clumsy and inefficient with so many versions and emails floating around. Yeah, I know you are nodding your head in agreement! It’s a real problem across most organizations. It’s easy to lose visibility into where a contract sits in the approval process, and, unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on cycle times thereby delaying your business. Especially when financial gain is tied to contracts, a slow approval process equates to lost revenue. Automated workflows expedite contract cycle times by streamlining approvals, redlines, negotiations, and e-signature. At Malbek, we’ve worked very hard to demystify the contract approval process, getting you to completion faster.  As a contract admin, you can build your workflow as easily as building a Visio diagram, and as an approver, you can review the contract and approve or sign it on your mobile phone while sitting on the beach. Now imagine that!

Templates and Clause Library

Contracts are usually built using consistent clauses and language that your organization has pre-approved. Rather than reinventing the wheel every time, it makes a lot of sense to utilize templates and draw from a library of preapproved clauses. This drives contract structure and process enforcement and has a significant role in reducing exposure. A template and clause library is a foundational element of any robust contract management solution and a vital element of Malbek’s offering. When requesting new contracts, you are guaranteed to be using the latest version of the template and not outdated language from an older copy.

Security Provisioning

Now more than ever, the need for digital security is urgent. Contracts contain highly sensitive information critical to the core functions and success of companies. While many individuals or departments may be involved in moving a contract to full execution, it is important that only the right people can access the information they need in their job function. An advanced contract management software solution will provide multi-level user security, ensuring the right level of data access to the appropriate personnel across all contracts. This is the type of security that Malbek offers for total peace of mind.

Event Alerts and Milestone Tracking

A contract is a living document. Once it is executed, its job has just begun. Contracts contain milestones that must be actively monitored. Many organizations have lived through the pain of missing a renewal or a key milestone. If you are tracking such events through your Outlook calendar or some other manual process, you have a high risk of missing key events.  In our busy work world, we need email alerts to remind us of things like renewal notices and important milestone to avoid missed opportunities or incur potential penalties. Tracking the living parts of a contract can be done through automation, and with Malbek, even if you’re on the road, our mobile capabilities for keeping track of your contracts means you can be just as efficient as if you were in the office.

Now that we’ve reviewed the foundational elements at the core of contract management solutions, ask yourself if you’re fully satisfied with how your current contracting process works and whether you are open to better options. We would love to showcase what a world-class, consumer-focused contract management solution really looks like. Click here to request a demo!

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