Stages of Contract Lifecycle Management Series: #3 - Contract Approval

Topics: Office 365, SharePoint Tips, Contract Management System, Contract Lifecycle Management, Stages of Contract Lifecycle Management

Written by Lindsey Paulk

We recently covered the second stage of contract lifecycle management – the contract authoring stage. Today, we will discuss the third stage of contract lifecycle management, the contract approval stage.

Stage #3: The Contract Approval Stage

During the contract approval stage, a document is submitted to select internal and external approvers. Once their review is complete and the document is approved, the document moves on through the rest of the stages of the contract lifecycle. With contract lifecycle management software, you can design contract approval and review workflows to automate tasks and send-off document drafts to the correct stakeholders at the right times. This allows you to create efficiency by developing a sequential approach to sending contract drafts off for approvals.

With access to approval workflow settings, you can edit and define specific rules for select contracts. By defining steps, you can easily send your contract drafts off for internal reviews by select individuals within your organization. Here at Dock, we empower businesses to control contracts effectively during each stage of contract lifecycle management. You can be sure that you deliver the best documents to signing parties after legal reviews are completed.

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Is Your Company Ready To Improve The Contract Approval Stage?

Many companies today have roadblocks and inefficiencies that cause their contract approval process to be less than stellar. With numerous requests for contract approvals and reviews, managing this stage of contract lifecycle management can prove to be challenging. Emails, phone calls, and other modes of communication cause disjointedness and decentralization of a stage that operates best with a single platform.

Where Manual Contract Approvals Go Wrong

In a manual approach to contract lifecycle management, businesses will utilize outdated processes that greatly decrease the organization and security of contract management.

The following list includes some of the most common pitfalls that many companies encounter during the contract approval stage of contract lifecycle management when using the aforementioned manual approach.

  • Lack of visibility for contract managers and employees regarding the status of contract requests in the approval stage
  • Contracts requiring immediate approval are either lost entirely or delayed
  • Critical contract request information is not provided, leading to unnecessary communication “tag”
  • A lack of audit trails, making it difficult to track parties that request approvals, provide approvals, and the date at which a document was approved and/or submitted
  • Very little oversight of request tracking and where delays are occurring

Streamline with Contract Approval Workflows

First and foremost, a contract workflow is simply an automated system that is built according to your company’s rules to provide systematic, time-efficient, and direct contract lifecycle automation by sending select documents to the proper people at the proper time. This helps to eliminate delays and bottlenecks while improving compliance and standardization. With your contract approval workflows, you leverage contract management software to create flows according to the type of contract at hand, party, department, counterparty, and other factors that are easily configurable.

The main benefits of automated workflows in contract lifecycle management include:

  • increased visibility and transparency
  • reduced turnaround times
  • decreased duration of contract lifecycles
  • enhanced productivity
  • improved contractual risk mitigation

Contract workflow automation provides a fast and accurate approach to moving your company’s contracts from the contract request stage to the contract approval stage.

With an automated workflow for the approval stage of contract lifecycle management, you can regulate the steps required in approving contracts while maintaining compliance. Contract approvals include the submission, review, collaboration, and finally – the approval of a contract. On your contract lifecycle management software solution, you can submit and track requests for contracts on a proactive, user-friendly dashboard to increase productivity and time-efficiency.

With automated contract workflows to standardize and systematize the contract approval process, you can reduce the turnaround times of your approvals. Automated workflows are both flexible and customizable, equipped with configurable notifications and alerts so every contributor involved can stay in the loop of when upcoming tasks are due. In addition, redlining features are available, making it simple to attach changes and send documents off to the requestor for further reviewing.

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Increase Transparency in Your Contract Approval Process

If your company’s contract management administrator wishes to boost transparency, they can enable settings that allow the person who submitted a request to view the history of the contract submission, allowing them to view its location in real-time. In addition, the requestor can review revisions to the document in the dashboard, as well as confirm if specific provisions within the contract are approved. After a contract is approved, your company can archive the document into its secure, cloud-based SharePoint contract repository. Audit your contract approval process at any time as you wish.
Employ workflow automation with the Dock 365 Contract Management System so you can easily configure automated processes based on your company’s rules and unique objectives and needs. With a systematized and standardized approach to this stage of contract lifecycle management, you boost compliance of your contract management processes and optimize your system with the assistance of automated alerts of obligations and tasks, email reminders, and proactive dashboards that keep you in the know of the most critical contract information in real-time. With all of these features, tracking your contracts and creating detailed reports is seamless.

Keeping contract approvals in mind, approvals can be completed faster with the help of automated alerts and a centralized platform that allows for clear communication among involved contributors. Timestamps, documentation of individuals working on drafts, trackable contract locations and statuses, and audit trails creates an environment of accountability and transparency for your contract management processes.

Master the Contract Approval Stage

With your new understanding of how contract management software and workflow automation can optimize and improve time-efficiency of your contract approval stage, it’s clear that leveraging a trusted and powerful solution that has helped several businesses of all sizes is the best next step. That trusted and powerful solution is Dock 365’s Contract Management System. The Dock 365 Contract Management System provides full control over your contracts, streamlining the entirety of contract lifecycles – from contract requests to contract signing and renewals.

Speed Up Approvals and Oversight of Contract Lifecycles With Dock

With flexible and customizable contract workflows, you can automate contract approvals, leading to reduced turnaround times and faster approvals overall. Decrease the duration of contract lifecycles by implementing automated workflows, sending documents to the correct people at the correct times, maximizing collaboration and communication, and easily tracking the status and location of all of your company’s contracts.

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Conclusion

The contract approval stage is an incredibly important stage of contract lifecycle management. At Dock, we want you to have full confidence in the accuracy, compliance, and value of your contract management system. By centralizing and automating processes for contract approvals, you can have a seamless contract approval stage and provide an excellent experience for all involved.

The Dock 365 Contract Management System optimizes contract management during the contract approval step of a contract’s lifecycle. Dock works to empower your contract management team, vendors, and clients with rapid contract approval capabilities.

Ready to get started today? Reach out to us to learn more about our  Dock 365 Contract Management System.

If you would like more information, we welcome you to schedule a free demo with us today.

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