Implementing Contract Automation: Best Practices and a Step-by-Step Guide
By Guest Post, Updated: 2023-12-05 (published on 2023-09-11)
Drafting contracts tailored to each client’s unique specifications can quickly become overwhelming. While drafting contracts might suit businesses with a small customer base, it falls short for those aspiring to expand and grow. The time spent creating different contracts could be better allocated to more pressing tasks. That’s why you need to automate your contacts. tr
So, how can you implement contract automation for your company?Well, if you need help implementing contract automation, we got you covered. This article will explore the steps and best practices you need to follow to implement contract automation. Let’s get started.
What’s Contract Automation?
Contract automation refers to the process of using technology and standardized workflows to streamline the creation, review, approval, and management of contracts. This enhances efficiency and reduces manual tasks.
Here’s an image showing how contract automation streamlines the contract workflow.
Image via ContractLogix
5 Steps to Implementing Contract Automation
Implementing contract automation involves streamlining and optimizing the process of creating, reviewing, and managing contracts using technology and standardized workflows.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
1. Assess Your Needs and Goals
It’s important to clarify your motivation for integrating contract automation. Examine your existing contract management process to pinpoint areas of concern. The areas may include sluggish timelines, recurrent errors, or operational bottlenecks.
Define your objectives clearly – whether it’s accelerating turnaround times, mitigating errors, or fortifying regulatory adherence. This crucial step provides the foundation for a tailored automation strategy that addresses your organization’s specific pain points and aspirations.
2. Customize Your Contract Templates
You need to refine contract templates to align with your requirements within your selected software. You can employ placeholders for variable data such as names and dates, streamlining the contract generation process.
This approach expedites the creation of contracts.
It ensures consistency and accuracy. By tailoring templates to your unique needs, you create a framework that can adapt effortlessly to various scenarios.
3. Design Approval Workflows
Craft clear-cut approval procedures for contracts to enhance efficiency. You can outline distinct roles and responsibilities within your organization. Doing so ensures accountability at each step of the contract approval process, and minimizes potential bottlenecks. Creating a step-by-step guide for your team using process documentation software can ensure that everyone’s familiar with the procedure.
Create automated workflows that seamlessly channel contracts to the relevant stakeholders for review and approval. This systematic approach streamlines decision-making, eliminates bottlenecks, and expedites the contract lifecycle.
When you map out these approval pathways, you can establish a structured framework that enhances collaboration, reduces delays, and bolsters overall contract management.
For instance, you can make contracts available to clients using a client portal platform that enables them to access the contracts and approve them with ease.
4. Integrate Your Data Sources
It’s essential to optimize your contract automation system by seamlessly incorporating it with relevant tools like CRM. For intense, Hubspot and its alternative CRM tools improve collaboration between legal and sales teams.
Also, it ensures consistent and accurate customer data across departments and facilitates streamlined processes for creating, tracking, and managing contracts.
By doing so, you can directly extract precise data into contracts, minimizing manual input and the associated errors.
This integration streamlines the entire contract creation process. It ensures that information is up-to-date and consistent across platforms. Such synergy enhances accuracy, reduces redundancy, and accelerates decision-making.
Embracing this integration transforms your contract management into a cohesive, error-resistant process that aligns seamlessly with your existing business ecosystem.
5. Train and Pilot
Equip your employees with comprehensive training to effectively navigate the contract automation system. Initiate a controlled pilot phase, automating a limited number of contracts.
This trial allows for usability testing, enabling you to gather valuable insights and refine the system based on user feedback.
Address any challenges, enhance workflows, and ensure alignment with user needs before full-scale implementation. Conducting this pilot can help establish a solid foundation for a successful transition.
Best Practices for Implementing Contract Automation
Implementing contract automation effectively requires a strategic approach and adherence to best practices.
Here are some key best practices to ensure a successful implementation:
- Define clear objectives: Set specific goals for automation, such as reducing processing time or minimizing errors, to guide your implementation strategy.
- Involve key stakeholders: Include representatives from relevant departments to ensure the system caters to various needs and perspectives.
- Select the right solution: Choose a contract automation platform that aligns with your organization’s requirements, scalability, and integration needs.
- Streamline processes: Review and optimize existing contract workflows before automation to eliminate inefficiencies.
- Customize templates effectively: Design contract templates that balance flexibility for variable details and legal accuracy for consistency.
- Provide comprehensive training: Offer employee training on how to effectively use the system, create contracts, and navigate workflows.
- Start with a pilot: Begin with a limited pilot implementation to test the system, gather feedback, and identify areas for improvement.
- Monitor key metrics: Continuously track performance metrics like cycle time, processing time, and error rates to measure success and identify areas for enhancement.
- Encourage collaboration: Foster cross-departmental collaboration and transparent communication to ensure the system meets the needs of all stakeholders.
Implementing contract automation is important to streamline processes, reduce errors, and enhance efficiency in any organization.
Hopefully, the above steps and best practices will serve as a comprehensive guide to assist you in successfully implementing contract automation in your organization.
Remember that implementation requires a strategic approach, collaboration among stakeholders, and a commitment to refining and adapting the system over time.
So, what are you waiting for? Use the above steps and best practices to successfully implement contract automation.
Author Bio – Reena Aggarwal
Reena is the
Director of Operations and Sales at Attrock, a result-driven digital marketing company. With 10+ years of sales and operations experience in the field of e-commerce and digital marketing, she is quite an industry expert. She is a people person and considers human resources as the most valuable asset of a company. In her free time, you would find her spending quality time with her brilliant, almost teenage daughter and watching her grow in this digital, fast-paced era.