Contract workflow automation helps legal teams move contracts through the proper steps based on contract type, financial data, risk level, and more. Software contract automation can help legal teams execute routine legal documents at a scale more efficiently than ever before. Understanding the basics of what is required for each contract is an essential first step for legal teams in developing a contract workflow. Once you know what you need from your workflows, you can use workflow automation software to reduce the time it takes to execute documents, increase compliance, reduce risk and more.
Why Should You Use Contract Workflow Automation Software?
Before we begin talking about workflow automation capabilities, it’s important to understand why a legal team should use them in the first place. The sheer volume of routine contracts that pass through the legal department can affect the efficiency of all teams. In some cases, like in a smaller company, a dedicated function that handles the documents may not yet be in place. In turn, the founders or a sales team may need to run the process, which takes time away from their actual job. Even in large companies, legal teams may be overrun with countless contracts requiring approval rights from sales managers, finance leaders and other company members, which carries a considerable risk of missing deadlines and affecting workload. Contract automation software, and the capabilities of these particular forms of automation, can improve workflow efficiency and help eliminate the problems faced by legal teams who still use traditional, manual contract practices.
Below are four of our top picks for game-changing contract management workflow automation capabilities that can save you and your company time and money.
1. Approval Workflow Automation
Approval workflow automation is a beneficial tool for attorneys working to ensure the appropriate persons are looped into all the necessary contract negotiations. Before legal can approve a contract, the legal team must thoroughly examine everything stated within the agreement to ensure it is accurately presented to the parties involved and each individual is comfortable to approve. A contract automation playbook can help shine a light on who the stakeholders are and the appropriate time to be brought in. Manually conducting this step is both time-consuming and prone to human error. Automating approvals through a contract management workflow offers many benefits to legal teams, including:
- Increased compliance within company standards
- Decreased risk of miscommunication by the inclusion of appropriate stakeholders
- Reduced time waiting for requesting/navigating contract approvals
- Transparent reporting on who has approved contracts, who is awaiting approval and reasons for non-approval
2. Contract Template Automation
Automatic contract template generation is a massive timesaver for legal teams and can aid the workflow in many ways. When you use contract automation software, it will present you with an array of pre-built contract templates you can use for day-to-day business. Contract template automation can generate specific templates with certain clauses or information based on inputs communicated through a contract request. When a template is generated within the contract automation software, it becomes populated with agreement-specific information, such as the other party’s details, financial elements, signatory information and further customized details.
Adding a template generation step to your contract management workflow ensures your contracts are correct and allows you to fill customized fields in seconds. This enables legal teams to save time and reduce human errors. Setting up your contract templates is an excellent time investment to save you time and improve your contract workflow in the long run.
On a personal note: I dislike few things more than moving through a contract document to input the other party abbreviation in 30 different places because find/replace isn’t working. Contract automation software templates have helped me avoid doing this on multiple occasions.
3. Contract Storage Automation
Sifting through old emails to look for specific bits of information pertaining to legal contracts can take up to 20% of an employee’s workweek away from them. This reason alone makes it worth using workflow automation to improve your document storage practices. Fortunately, you can make document storage an automatic part of your contract workflow with ALOE Legal Project Management Software. Whether you’re using a document storage solution within your contract automation tool or you’re integrating with the larger company’s storage solution, you can add an automatic step in your process to save executed contracts (or any other versions of the contract) in a central repository so they can later be found in seconds. You’ll no longer require a manual method to file documents to ensure your storage is done correctly or worry that an executed document is on a previous employee’s computer stuck within their inaccessible email. All your documents will be available to you as needed with this contract workflow automation.
4. Contract Renewal Automation
Automated contract renewal is an excellent source of ROI for your contract management workflow tool. When automating renewal processes, you can reduce lost revenue from existing contracts that expire without renewing. There are many ways that legal teams can use contract automation software for their renewal processes. We’ve outlined a few below; you can:
- Automatically send an email to the responsible internal party before the auto-renewal period/expiration.
- Remind them to follow up with the customer and alert the legal team with the result.
- Automatically send an email to the customer before the auto-renewal period/expiration.
- Automatically generate an amendment based on their response.
- Automatically generate an amendment/new contract at a designated time and alert the responsible legal team member — use this as an introduction to negotiations in the renewal conversation.
These workflow automation capabilities are just four ways you can change the game with contract workflows. Legal technology offers many other opportunities to streamline processes and automate steps to support legal teams’ productivity and efficiency.
Discover Bigfork Tech’s ALOE Workflow Automation Software
With contract workflow automation, legal teams can gain control and manage their work with more efficiency in less time – saving companies considerable costs in the process. Bigfork Tech’s ALOE workflow automation software can help take over your mundane tasks with contract automation to optimize your legal department’s productivity and accuracy. See how ALOE can save you time and money by requesting a demo, or feel free to contact the workflow automation experts at Bigfork Tech with any questions you may have.