There are plenty of contract types that organizations must deal with all the time. Each contract must go through a specific process that usually involves numerous stakeholders and is rife with potential barriers to productivity. As it plays an important role in most business transactions, making the contract approval process flow as smooth as possible is crucial to the fluid running of your organization.
Examples of contract types:
- Sales contracts
- Employment contracts
- Nondisclosure agreements
- Procurement contracts/contracts with suppliers
- Promissory notes
- Licensing agreements
Barriers to Your Organization’s Contract Approval Process Flow
Let’s look at three specific breakpoints that can disrupt the contract approval process.
1. New Contract Creation is Tedious
Often the problem with the contract approval process is how time-consuming it can be. First, creating the contract document can be a laborious process when, depending on the type of contract, a host of documents and other data must be collected from various locations around the organization (and sometimes from external collaborators) and inserted into the contract document. Searching for and requesting the right information to be included takes time.
How automation solves it:
With the right workflow and content automation solution, such as Nintex Document Generation for Salesforce, contracts can be created with the click of a button, instantly containing client details and other important information. This can save hours each day, which your employees can direct towards more creative tasks or towards the client-facing responsibilities involved in contract generation.
Take a bill of sale contract. A member of the sales team can close a deal with a client over email which automatically sets off a workflow. The email is connected to the CRM solution (i.e. Salesforce), which is synced to a Box folder location or a SharePoint library. The salesperson simply clicks a button and a contract is generated. It is automatically filled with the client’s details and up-to-the-minute information, like discounts, from the deal.
2. Delays in the Approval Process
When a contract needs to be signed off by several stakeholders, it can take time and risks causing breakpoints in the contract approval process flow. Most organizations rely on email and attachments that get passed back and forth. There are several potential problems with this. Emails can lie unread and unnoticed for hours, even days. And edited versions of the contract can get mixed up. Figuring out which is the most up to date version can add more delays to the process.
How automation solves it:
Workflow automation allows for much faster document approval, which has a big impact on delivering contracts for your organization. Creating an automated workflow that triggers updates in other areas of the business can enable a lightning-quick contract generation process, where everyone who needs to see the contract can do so quickly, approving or editing as required.
Continuing with our bill of sale contract example, after the document is created, it needs to be approved. With Nintex, it is automatically sent to the sales person’s manager for approval, who casts their eye over the details and if needed can reply in a word (‘Approve’), adjust the document or forward it to another stakeholder, all from their inbox. If there is a delay, an automatic reminder is sent to help the process along. Once approved, the team member is notified and can send the document to the customer for sign-off, which can be captured instantly with DocuSign.
3. Inability to Measure Processes
It’s important to understand the impact of your processes on your business; how long they take and what pain points they both cause and solve. Based on this you can understand how to improve your business functions. When you measure your processes, you can understand more about them and how your employees respond. It is also crucial to maintain a secure, reliable document management process, especially with contracts for data compliance, to ensure important information can be found when required.
How automation solves it:
Sophisticated automated workflow solutions ensure that all your documents can be created quickly, but also consistently—an important part of measuring a process’s success or failure. Nintex Analytics can also provide data on where your processes are being delayed or performing inconsistently across a workflow which helps you adjust for the better.
If for some reason the bill of sale contract processes is delayed with process intelligence from Nintex Analytics you can see where in the process it fell off and use this intelligence to prevent it from occurring in the future. In addition, if we wanted to track each stage of the process we could use Beacons to gate each stage. This would provide us greater granularity in where the delays in approvals are and can help us focus on optimizing parts of the process rather than the entirety of it.
Nintex Streamlines Contract Generation and Approval
Nintex provides sophisticated workflow solutions that make generating a customizable contract fast and easy. No matter the area of business, your teams can focus on the more valuable aspects of their work while Nintex takes care of the rest.
Interested in learning more? Contact a Nintex sales representative here!