What is contract renewal with automation and why is it important?
Contract management and contract renewals are crucial business functions, yet are often time-consuming manual processes that can create bottlenecks, delays and frustration. Streamlining the contract management workflow, while maintaining the integrity of the audit trail using contract automation can simplify the contract renewal process and build better relationships with key stakeholders.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) uses artificial intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) that allows software robots to “learn” the tasks and automate routine business processes. An RPA solution like intelligent discovery process takes a further step into automation, helping to discover processes that can be automated throughout the contract lifecycle. Processes that can be automated include contract renewals, approval workflows, contract template preparation, following up on electronic signatures, and filing documentation, to name a few.
What are the benefits of managing contract renewals with automation?
Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM), including new contracts, renewals, contract workflows, obtaining e-signatures and ensuring contracts are received by the renewal date can be time-consuming parts of procurement, especially when the workflow process is complicated.
Since many contracts rely on templates and electronic signatures, it’s a business process that is ideally suited to RPA. Here are some benefits of automating the contract management process:
Contracts, amendments or renewals involve manual processes, time-consuming contract drafting and updates, multi-stakeholder approval process and business processes for audit trail and contract lifecycle management (CLM). Functions can be automated as part of a company's digital transformation. Symantec saved 4500 hours with Automation Anywhere’s RPA.
Employees are key stakeholders in the contract management process, and can identify bottlenecks, business processes, workflow and test contract management software. They can help create contract templates, approval processes and contribute to a user-friendly contract solution, all providing employee growth opportunities.
Manual contract creation data-entry is time-consuming and error-prone, causing frustration for stakeholders, internal/external salesforce, procurement, providers, and counterparties. Contract management solutions and apps can automate and streamline workflow, create and update dashboards, and employees can focus on relationship management.
Incomplete contracts or with errors reflect poorly on the issuer. Contract management software integrations improve response times, identify renewal opportunities, ensure contract renewal dates are met and streamline renewal management and approval processes. These factors build trust and reputation with both internal and external stakeholders.
Automated contract management solutions can streamline functionality, simplify the contract management process, the approval process and track milestones and contract data to provide a transparent audit trail. RPA can make contract amendments in real-time, providing real-time status updates to salesforce and stakeholders.
RPA contract management software monitors renewals and reminders, creates real-time templates, obtains electronic signatures, and archives contracts. The ability to update a centralized repository, milestones, and dashboards offers a streamlined workflow. Dai-ichi Life Insurance found how efficient RPA is, with an annual savings of 132K hours.
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Who benefits from contract renewal automation?
RPA streamlines business work processes across all locations for contract negotiation, creation and renewal, flags and investigates inconsistencies, archives contracts, and manages required documentation to increase profitability.
Automated contract management solutions support sales teams during contract negotiation/renewal. It provides real-time contract term updates or amendments without manual delays, notifies key stakeholders and updates contract status, contract data and approvals and shortens sales cycle.
RPA and CLM software can review pricing, invoices and payments, flag discrepancies and inconsistencies, prepare, send and reconcile invoicing and identify deviations from standard terms. It can provide real-time reports and audit data and update budget numbers.
Contract management software creates a repository for contracts, creating and updating a real-time database of contract templates, contract language, clauses, exceptions, amendments, electronic signatures and contract renewals accessible across any platform, routing updates to key stakeholders.
An automated central repository contract management system increases security, transparency, oversight and searchability. It generates contracts based on standard templates, establishes controls for amendments and protocols for routing non-standard/post-signing amendments for investigation.
There were times when I had to stay up until 3 in the morning processing order forms. Now, the bots handle the processing, and I can focus more on customers.
- Brandi Ford, Senior Contract Administrator, Automation Anywhere
reduction in contract processing time
reduction in exception handling with AARI
decrease in signature processing time
How managing contract renewals with automation can help your business
Contract management can maximize financial performance and increase business. Procurement and supplier contracts have direct impact on supply, costs and profits. Automating contract renewals can streamline approval processes, standardize contract drafting, provisions and workflows, adhere to regulatory compliance requirements, establish a central repository so that contracts can be retrieved easily, and create a transparent audit trail.
- Use current CLM software to complete many clerical functions consistently and continuously
- Ensure contract pricing, invoicing and templates are consistent from client to client.
- Consolidate data from multiple platforms, including legacy systems, into a single dashboard
- Flag incomplete or erroneous information, route for investigation and resolve as soon as it’s detected
- Create a clear audit trail in your contract management processes
- Update contract negotiations in real time while maintaining an audit trail of changes and exclusions
- Check requests for discounts, pricing and exceptions against business processes,
- Book appointments and automatically send information and necessary documents to appropriate calendars
- Quickly identify and flag non-standard terms, rout them for investigation and update contract status
- Track tiered pricing, discounts and remuneration changes or penalties, and adjust pricing to reflect data
- Scan multiple data sources to flag suppliers who had issues, escalations, delays or non-fulfillment
- Ensure contracts are created according to standard terms, with automated data control and regulatory compliance
- Reduce human errors, improving cash flow and saving time in manual reconciliation and data entry
- Analyze contract provisions, flag discrepancies, exceptions, discounts, and deviations
- Capture, extract, and process data from a variety of formats for contract amendments, terms and conditions
- Generate real-time data, exception reports, reconciliation, and transparent audit data on demand
- Increase productivity, reduce errors, and provide process transparency across the contract management lifecycle
- Investigate, analyze and resolve exceptions, discrepancies and reconciliation issues
- Route upcoming renewals to sales, customer support, accounting and procurement
- Access data from a variety of enterprise systems and documents, collate the information and generate reports
- Improve interdepartmental communications, optimize contract workflows and create uniformity in terms and pricing
- Identify compliance concerns, rout issues to the appropriate department, and provide supporting documentation
What to look for in a contract renewals automation platform
When considering an investment in an automated contract management solution, it’s important to consider what type of solution you are seeking. How widespread do you want to incorporate it? Perhaps you’re just looking for a contract automation solution to complete fields in a contract template at this time, but you may want other features in the future. Because your business needs change as the company grows, you want your automation solution to be scalable. So you can add on creating custom contracts, sending contracts for approval and electronic signatures, flagging exceptions and other actions.
What type of enterprise platforms do you currently operate? Will you need to extract information from legacy systems? Is the contract management solution compatible? Can you scale the solution to your needs? Do you have in-house expertise to customize the contract management solution? Line out your needs now and future-focus.
How to get started with contract renewal automation
Start by identifying the functions or business processes to automate, and determine what your proof of concept will be and how to evaluate success. Are there key departments that would benefit from contract renewal automation? Where are the bottlenecks in your operation?
You can try Automation 360, the world’s leading intelligent automation platform for a fully supported 30-day free trial, giving you time to test the Proof of Concept (PoC) and business case. Automation Anywhere can assist you at every step of the way.