Is Contract Creation Software really a necessity? Aren't things anyway better? The problem with creating contracts is not the large volume requirements and tight deadlines, but the granular shortcomings underpinning it, like:
- Manual and non-standardized workflows
- Outdated word processors and tools
- Multiple channels for collaboration
- Distributed storage
- No access and edit control
When combined, the above attributes make contract creation a time-consuming process, with a very high margin of error.
With contracts being a business priority, the right tools can make a significant difference. Contract creation software transforms the hassle of generating contracts from complex to simple. It leverages automation to bring efficiency and accountability to the workflow, resulting in faster and accurate contracts!
What is Contract Creation Software?
A contract creation software is usually a word processor that enables the drafting, editing, and review of contracts.
Traditional platforms, such as Microsoft Word, provide basic features like grammatical checks and track changes. While these platforms help “put together” a contract, they are not optimized for an increasingly decentralized workplace and are prone to inefficiencies and inconsistencies.
On the other hand, an integrated contract creation software like SpotDraft offers advanced services, such as templatization, automation, improved redlining, clause referencing, and other purposeful features. This helps ease contract workloads, improve collaboration, enhance output, and promise better security.
What does Contract Creation Software Solve?
1. Streamline Contract Creation
Requests for new contracts travel through multiple channels before it arrives on the lawyer’s desk. This process is often time-consuming and prone to miscommunication.
A contract creation software solves this by serving as a triaging platform to manage all contract-related tasks. This way, the legal team can accept and prioritize incoming contract requests easily. The software also integrates with other business tools to enable direct and instant communication between teams, instead of relying on email threads and Slack messages to keep track of contract requirements.
Inputs from different teams and third parties are required at every stage of the contract. If communication occurs at an individual level, it is difficult to coordinate with other stakeholders effectively, leading to chaos and delays.
A contract creation software makes it easier for teams and counterparties to work on contracts together. Through features such as scoped comments, editor tools, etc., it is possible to invite specific users to provide their suggestions and edits directly on the contract.
3. Access Control
Not everyone should be able to make changes and edit parts of the contract. With traditional word processors, it is challenging to control who has access and permission to make changes to the document.
A contract creation software allows departments to assign roles to their members, restricting who can view and make changes to contracts. Additionally, by delegating tasks and responsibilities, the organization can manage its workflows better, while at the same time maintaining contract creation as a decentralized process.
4. Quality Control
Every team follows a myriad of approaches to contract creation, making them incompatible with the other. Also, to ensure consistency in legal language, lawyers have to manually refer to external sources, increasing the time spent on the document. Finally, the legal team cannot prevent other users from making changes to the contract once it is in the workflow, thereby placing more pressure on them during the revision cycles.
Contract creation software offers a standardized methodology to creating contracts that are easy to implement and highly scalable. Lawyers are also able to easily access definitions and older contracts for better reviews. With version controls, it is possible to keep only a few fields in the contract editable, ensuring a lower margin for error.
Creating contracts on basic word processors is slow and inefficient. Legal teams also need to rely on external tools, such as email, calendars, reminders, etc., to assist them with the creation process. Additionally, these word processors do not sync with other enterprise tools such as CRMs, ERPs, etc., resulting in double work for the organization.
Modern contract creation software like SpotDraft offers a complete ecosystem to create and manage contracts end-to-end. With inbuilt tools, like the contract editor, reminders, templates, and more, the work is cut out for the in-house legal department and other business teams.
Today’s contract tools also integrate seamlessly with other third-party enterprise software, allowing better faster creation and execution of contracts.
Must-Haves In A Good Contract Creation Software
Business teams are dependent on the in-house legal department to fulfill all of their contracting needs. But, what if they could take ownership of basic contract-related tasks. Using templates, the legal team can prepare contract formats in advance, allowing other business teams to quickly pick and edit the template to proceed. Templates help business teams function independently and also remove an extra step from the contract creation process.
In between creating contracts and reviewing them, the in-house legal is also tasked with ensuring that the use of legal definitions is accurate and uniform across documents. With an in-built clause library available, lawyers will be able to look up and import clauses instantly, thereby speeding up the contract creation process.
DIY Contract Assembly
Contracts can be intimidating and confusing for non-legal personnel. The only way to solve this problem is by making the exercise very simple for them. By using an intuitive questionnaire format to assemble contracts, it is possible to collect information from business teams without breaking a sweat. For the legal team, this means less time spent screening contract details and more time to pursue other impactful tasks.
Contracts is not a solo pursuit, it engages multiple stakeholders simultaneously from start to finish. So, how to ensure transparency and accountability in the process? The presence of an audit trail can help monitor who makes changes to the document when and where. This makes it easier for the in-house legal team to review edits and mitigate risk, if any, quickly.
Manually organizing contract activity results in inefficiencies and extended timelines, all of which are not suitable for a time-bound business environment. A contract creation software offering automation can help speed up workflows by lowering operating costs, promising consistency, and increasing output.
Approvals take up a significant amount of time in the contract workflow. This is because business teams have to coordinate with different stakeholders to receive their signatures on the document. With eSignatures, one can easily set up smart instructions to collect approvals from different users simultaneously or sequentially.
Different departments within an organization utilize a variety of tools to assist with their tasks. A contract creation software that easily assimilates with other enterprise solutions will help improve information sharing between teams and even enhance the effectiveness of teams. For instance, the sales team can quickly draft contracts by importing client data from the CRM platform.
Contracts are often created and stored haphazardly as different departments operate in silos. This makes it difficult for the teams to track the location of the legal documents and retrieve them when required. By opting for a cloud storage alternative that centralizes all contract information on a single platform, teams can gain better access and control over their contracts.