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Becky Holloway

10 Key Elements for CLM #2 – Contract Request and Authoring

After the contract repository, the next most fundamental element of any contract management solution is authoring, which, let’s be honest, is the ability to move the deal forward. With many CLM systems, however, creating a contract from scratch is a surprisingly clunky process, which can inadvertently encourage users to “go outside the system” to author the contract. The only thing worse than having an inefficient authoring tool in your contract management solution is going rogue and creating the contract on your own with most likely outdated language.

There are so many problems that can crop up when contract authoring is done outside of a contract management tool, from redundant data entry to inconsistent use of language and limited visibility. The reality is that every time information has to be re-keyed, risk and inefficiency rates go up, causing time delays that impact business productivity.

Microsoft Word is arguably the most commonly used tool to create contracts. Then contracts are iterated via email exchanges, making it nearly impossible to tell, which version is truly the latest one. When the contract is finally brought into a contract repository, the discontinuity only continues because there are now permanent gaps in the visibility of the evolution of the contract. Version control, auditability, and appropriate tracking are all missed when contracts are created this way.

A high-performing contract management solution, like Malbek Contrax™, stream­lines the end-to-end contract creation process from request to signature and beyond. It includes native authoring tools that are tightly integrated with Microsoft Word. This means that initiating and editing a con­tract is simple and streamlined. Redline and negotiation with external parties is made easy and fully trackable.  If you are using a CRM or CPQ solution, approved terms in your sales quotes can automatically populate a draft agreement. Malbek Contrax also includes functionality to append supporting documents to the contract so that all relevant materials are conveniently housed in a single location with a full audit history of changes. You no longer wonder where a contract is in its evolution because you have complete visibility, and all along the way, Malbek Contrax follows whatever review and approval rules you’ve put in place to safeguard your contracts, the lifeblood of your business.

The same applies to amending active contracts and ensuring that you always have the latest visibility into contractual terms for the life of the agreement. This type of functionality reduces duplication of effort, streamlines the authoring process, and mitigates any risk associ­ated with multiple parties working on contract documents.

If you’re struggling with the authoring piece of contract management, we’d love to show you how simple this process can actually be. And be sure to read our latest eBook on The 10 Key Elements You Must Have in Your Contract Management Solution.