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Contract Lifecycle Management Necessities: Workflows and Approvals

Contract Lifecycle Management Necessities: Workflows and Approvals

Generally, no one within an organization works in a bubble. Collaboration with colleagues and external partners is necessary for success. Automated Workflows and Approvals make sure that documents are sent to the right people at the right time, safely, and securely.
All too often, after a document is drafted and ready for review, it is sent via email. There are a couple drawbacks to this.

Version Control

When email is used to transmit documents, multiple versions of a document are created. When emails are only between two parties, although the risk of confusion is reduced, there is still a chance for it. Usually however, many individuals are on email chains, and any of those individuals may mark up a copy of a document and send it to the group. It becomes unclear as to which version is the most up-to-date, or which version has all the changes.

Workflow Solution (Flows) – Automated Workflows can be organized to make sure that that only one individual, or one group views a document at a time. Furthermore, the parties work on a single document. Once the reviews have been made by one party, or one group, the document goes on to the next individual or group, carrying all of the updates.


Stakeholder Accuracy

It is often unclear who should review document documents during a review process. Although the correct approvals process is most likely documented somewhere at an organization, it may not necessarily be followed. For instance, if a contract waives the VAT on a commercial contract, there might be some confusion as to whether the approval needs to come from Tax, Finance, or Commercial. 

Workflow Solution (Approvals) – Instead of precious time being wasted tracking down the correct approver, or running the risk of selecting the wrong approver, and running afoul of noncompliance, an automatic workflow will route the document to the correct parties for approval based on the type of approval. This can be done automatically, or through offering guidance notes in a document through Help and Instructions.


Contract Lifecycle Management

As mentioned above, documents are often shared between stakeholders via email. Users become accustomed to searching through email history to determine when documents were sent or received, converting email servers into de facto document management tools. Unfortunately, this is not what email was designed for, and leads to confusion, and lost opportunities to collect data.  

Workflow Solution – Automated Document Management software collects the information gathered from Workflows to create detailed Audit Trails that track not only when documents were drafted, and sent for review, but also records whether or not the documents were viewed, and the actions performed upon a document. Comments and conversations are not spread throughout several emails, but are collected in the document record, building a comprehensive picture of the entire negotiation process. 


Whether it is negotiation a contract with an external party, or collaborating on a document internally, Automated Workflow and Approvals tools are essential for speed and efficiency.

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