Contracts can be a total snooze-fest, am I right? But managing them is no laughing matter. That’s where contract lifecycle management (CLM) comes in. CLM is a structured approach to managing contracts from creation to execution and beyond. By following a structured process, you can ensure your contracts are well-managed, legally sound and effective.
In this article, we’ll hold your hand through each of the nine stages of a contract lifecycle, from contract request to analysis. We’ll give you practical tips and best practices to help you become a contract management superstar.
The contract request stage is where the magic begins. This is where you identify the need for a new contract and gather the necessary information. This stage sets the foundation for a successful contract, so don’t skip it or you’ll regret it later.
During the contract authoring stage, the real fun begins. This stage involves a team effort, with stakeholders from legal and procurement departments working together to create a comprehensive and effective contract. Think of it like a game of contract Jenga – the more carefully you craft the contract, the less likely it is to topple over and cause a legal headache.
Scrutiny starts in the contract review and approval stage. This is where legal and procurement departments take a magnifying glass to your contract and make sure it complies with relevant laws and regulations. Don’t be offended if they make changes – they’re just trying to protect your business (and theirs) from any legal snafus.
During the contract execution stage, it’s time to make things official. You’ll need to ensure all parties involved in the contract sign it and that all relevant stakeholders are notified of its execution. Think of it like signing a marriage certificate – you’re in it for the long haul now.
The contract management stage is where the real work begins. This is where you’ll need to keep a watchful eye on your contract, monitor compliance and make any necessary changes or amendments. Imagine it as a plant – if you don’t water it regularly, it’s going to wither and die.
This stage is where things start to get serious. You’ll need to put on your police hat and ensure all parties involved in the contract are complying with the terms and conditions outlined in it. This is no easy feat and requires you to be organised so that important information doesn’t slip through the cracks. Contract Management Software with automation features can help enormously with compliance; reminding you of dates, impending renewals and expiries.
The contract renewal stage is where you’ll need to decide whether to keep things going, shake things up, or call it quits. This is your chance to reassess the contract’s effectiveness and make any necessary changes. Think of it like a relationship – if it’s not working, it’s time to move on.
The contract termination stage is where things can get messy. Whether it’s because the contract has expired or because one or more parties have breached the terms and conditions, it’s important to handle the termination process carefully. You’ll be “breaking up” with them, and breakups are never easy, no matter how necessary.
The contract analysis stage is where you’ll get to see how well you did. By analysing the contract, you can identify any areas for improvement and make necessary changes to ensure its continued success. Think of it like getting a report card – aim for an A+ every time.
If the big CLM still seems daunting, consider introducing contract management software into your processes. With WebCM you can easily manage each stage of the contract lifecycle, from request to analysis, all in one place. Say goodbye to the headache of manual contract management and hello to efficient, effective and legally sound contracts.
WebCM offers a user-friendly platform that simplifies contract creation, review and execution. You can easily track compliance and manage renewals and terminations and ensure your contracts are legally sound and comprehensive.
Don’t wait any longer to take your contract management to the next level. Sign up now for a free trial and see how WebCM can transform your contract management game! Get in touch with us today via our contact form, or give us a call on 1300 699 322.