We have discussed the first three stages of contract lifecycle management: contract request, contract authoring, and contract approval. The fourth stage of contract lifecycle management is contract execution. We will cover all the important details and tasks involved in this critical stage of the contract lifecycle.
An Overview of Contract Lifecycle Management
Contract lifecycle management is the detailed process of administering contracts and the way in which contributors plan for each stage in a given contract’s lifecycle. The result of proper planning is the elimination or reduction of various contract-related risks.
Stage #4: The Contract Execution Stage
During contract execution, the approved contract is delivered to contracting parties for signature. Once the contract is approved, authorized parties will sign the contract, causing the contract to activate and thus bind parties by the terms. This is because by signing and executing a contract, you are formally initiating the agreement’s terms.
Contractual parties must ensure that they are following the terms of the contract effectively – this might look like following obligations or upholding agreed-upon schedules and payment timelines. When a party does not uphold contractual terms, then the contract may be terminated. Contracts will often include damage clauses and language that relate to contractual termination. In this way you can end a poor partnership and get legal recourse to aid in losses that might have resulted from the breach of contract.
Today, many companies use electronic signature integrations to streamline the signing process. With an electronic signature integration in your contract management software, you can send off contracts to signing parties efficiently, allowing them to sign documents on any device, any time, any place.
Electronic Signature: Time-Efficient, Secure, and Easily Accessible
The introduction of electronic signature solutions has changed the game in contract lifecycle management. By utilizing an electronic signature solution, you can reduce turnaround times and shorten the duration of the signing process. Electronic signatures are also far more secure than conventional, wet signatures.
Dock leverages the Sertifi eSignature solution, offering a user-friendly way to sign contracts on-the-go in today’s digital landscape. Manual signature processes are both risky and time-inefficient, so leveraging an electronic solution is certainly the direction to move toward. Manual signature processes cause delays and create unnecessary roadblocks that can lead to significant amounts of time wasted.
Once the contract is signed, the updated document is uploaded to your contract repository. You can additionally track the status and location of the contract easily within your contract lifecycle management platform. Since the 2000 E-SIGN Act, electronic signatures have been legally binding, providing a secure and rapid way to collect signatures.
To further illustrate, electronic signatures can save significant amounts of time by eliminating the need to physically sign, print, mail, scan, or email documents. Contracts sent for signature are often shared in a PDF or Word document format from your contract management software, allowing the necessary parties to access and sign the document. After the contract is signed, you can track, route, and file the document for easy review at any time.
In your contract management system, you can quickly conduct filtered and customized full-text searches to locate files instantly. With the assistance of cloud security and permissions-based settings in your contract management software, you can ensure that all of your organization’s documents are safe and sound in the cloud.
Why Contracts Fail During The Contract Execution Stage
Contracts that ultimately fail tend to start having issues within this stage of the contract lifecycle. The most common reason for contractual failure is due to inefficient tracking of major performance metrics and important milestones. With smaller contracts, tracking these key data points manually on Excel spreadsheets and paper files might be permissible. On the other hand, when considering highly complex, large contracts, this manual method is just for too risky. Subpar at best. It’s truly a recipe for disorganization, miscommunication, and missed deadlines. To mitigate against unnecessary issues, implementing a contract management software solution is your best bet.
3 Key Contract Management Software Features That Increase Contract Execution Efficiency
- Automated contract lifecycle workflows
- An organized and centralized contract repository
- Electronic signature integrations
The stages leading up to contract signing and execution are designed to create a streamlined process for executing the approved documents. Constant monitoring of contracts and attentive reviews of documents are required for the success of your company’s contracts. We highly suggest consistently tracking the contractual terms and conditions to ensure compliance.
How Can Contract Management Software Help During the Contract Execution Stage?
Contract management software can help you centralize all of your company’s contracts into a single platform, allowing you to easily retrieve, monitor, and track your contracts at any time. This helps increase visibility and increase organizational awareness of key dates to be prepared for. Contract management software is also very helpful because it allows you to create and automate notifications, alerts, and reminders of contract expiration dates and renewal dates (as well as any other key item or date). With redlining and version tracking features, everyone involved can work on the correct document version at all times, mitigating against accidental bottlenecks.
Use A Comprehensive and Proactive Dashboard To Track Your Contracts
Tracking your contracts has never been simpler with the help of a user-friendly dashboard provided by your contract management software system. In addition, you can analyze data on demand and create thorough, detailed reports.
Contract management software also helps to automate many steps and processes within contract lifecycle management. During the signature step, your contract lifecycle management software helps to ensure that signatures are compliant. To add, your software automatically sends off requests for signing once the document has been approved.
The contract execution stage is central to contract lifecycle management, as this is what sets off and initiates the contract. With automated workflows, electronic signature integrations, a centralized platform for collaborating on your contracts, and several other features, you can offer a quality approach to managing contracts. 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 execution and signing, you can have an optimized contract execution stage and provide a top-notch experience for all of your stakeholders.
The Dock 365 Contract Management System simplifies contract management during the contract execution step of a contract’s lifecycle. Dock works to empower your contract management team, vendors, and clients with rapid contract execution and signing features.
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.
Written by Lindsey Paulk
Lindsey Paulk is a Content Writer in Jacksonville, Florida that specializes in digitally communicating all-things contract management.