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Becky Holloway

The 4 Stages of Contract Management Evolution [Infographic]

Let’s be honest. Contracts can sometimes be a dry topic. OK, maybe a lot of the time, but at Malbek, we still like to have a laugh. So what’s a contract management software provider to do? We are always looking for the humor in any situation. And since things have been pretty heavy in the news lately, we think it’s time for some levity! Without further ado, here is our “tongue in cheek” take on the 4 stages of contract management evolution in infographic form.

Evolution of Contracting


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Prehistoric Contracting

This earliest stage of contract management development begins with prehistoric contracting. This stage is characterized by the struggle to find contracts. They might be in boxes in your office or in a storage closet. They might be on a shared network that lacks security or is so poorly organized that finding anything is nearly impossible. Lost contracts are your most common daily problem. And don’t worry, you are not alone if this is your current state. Many organizations still operate this way.

Antique Contracting

The next stage of evolution, antique contracting, has progressed beyond lost contracts but organizations in this stage are still facing struggles. This time the challenge is to make sense of the data in the contracts. Those in this stage may have a document management tool and shared file folders with PDFs, but they only have basic search capabilities. They have to manually search for contract attributes, which can make it really difficult to zero in on important data, like expiration dates or payment terms. You’re definitely progressing in the right direction, so let’s keep going.

Classic Contracting

Many of you may find yourself in this stage, classic contracting. Here you enjoy some level of contract automation. You may have approval workflows and even e-signature. You probably have a template library for different types of contracts and you are able to track renewals. Very likely you can do some reporting although it probably requires heavy IT involvement. You should be proud of where you are if you find yourself in this stage, but there is still more you can do with your contracts. And you should think about how you can get to the most innovative stage of all.

Modern Contracting

If you’re lucky enough to fall into the modern contracting stage, then you enjoy powerful contract insights and efficiency. You most likely have real-time access to data intelligence, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is woven throughout your contract lifecycle. This means that at every step in your contract journey you are getting insight into what will make your contracts the most beneficial and effective for your company. From the clauses you should be using to which redlines and negotiations will produce the best outcomes, AI propels you to optimal results. And with features like mobile contracting, your agreements don’t suffer from approval bottlenecks that erode efficiency and slow cycle times.

At Malbek, we know that no single company will neatly fall into just one contract evolution stage. Very likely you have elements of several of the stages. But if you find that you’re falling more into one of the earlier stages, let us show you how easy and cost-effective modern contracting can be. Request a Malbek demo today!