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Becky Holloway

10 Key Elements for CLM #4 – Redlining, Negotiation, and Review

We’ve spent a lot of time laying the groundwork for the heart of what a contract management solution does in our last couple of blog posts.

From the repository to contract authoring and the clause library, everything so far has led up to what can arguably described as the core of contract management – redlining, negotiation, and approval with internal stakeholders and external parties. It would be great to think that your external party will simply accept the language in your contracts, but let’s be honest, they don’t.  This is where the rubber hits the road and things get real.

MS Word and MS Outlook (email) are by far the most common negotiation and approval methods used by contracting professionals. Today with tech­nology evolving so much, it’s shocking to see such manual processes when it comes to the most important artifacts (i.e. contracts) that an organization relies on to conduct business. The sad reality is that manual methods cause delays from accidental overwriting changes, versioning issues, and rogue contracting. You know what I am talking about. How often have you searched through your emails wondering which is the latest version of the contract being reviewed?

Redline and negotiation with external parties can be a long and painful process full of tedious back and forth. It’s way too easy to lose sight of where a contract is and who has touched it last. Contracts can go dark, be lost entirely, or have multiple parallel versions floating around, making it almost impossible to know which one is the latest and most accurate. Not to mention, often times the metadata within the contract becomes out of sync with the contract terms, which can result in significant risk exposure.

Automated workflow and controlled external party redline review are the obvious answers to these problems. Malbek Contrax™ provides role-based hierarchies and permission levels combined with intelligent routing workflows for approvals to ensure that the right people are included in the contract review process at each level of change. In addition, audit trail and version control make it easy to clearly identify contract modifications, preventing edits from going unnoticed and safeguarding the integrity of each version in the approval process. The ability to exchange emails with external parties directly from Malbek with our tight MS Word and email integration facilitates the redline and negotiation process.

Using automated workflow for internal approvals and external party negotiation helps to stream­line the contract lifecycle, eliminating redundancy and wasted time. Full transparency is maintained for ease of reporting during audit inquiries.

If you find that your contracts are suffering during the redlining, negotiation, and review process due to manual effort, it may be time to take a look at a solution that can transform how you move a contract through to signature. Reach out to us and request a demo. You’ll be amazed at how different Malbek is from what you’re used to. And if you’ve been enjoying this blog series, you can read ahead and hear our take on The 10 Key Elements You Must Have in Your Contract Management Solution.