Much like contract management software, contract lifecycle management software helps you manage contracts. The big difference between the two is that contract lifecycle management software covers every stage of the contract, from pre-award to post-award — although many people use the terms interchangeably since a lot of contract management software programs now also handle the contract lifecycle.
During the award and post-award phases, there are plenty of opportunities for a contract to fall by the wayside. Tracking the contract’s lifecycle helps prevent this from happening.
Contract lifecycle management software gathers all the contracts you have in one place, extracts data (like who the parties are and what the terms of the contract are) from the contracts, and makes note of contract deadlines.
It also helps with the approvals process, which can be a big source of bottlenecks. Instead of having to manually remind the legal department or managers that the contract needs to be signed, the software can do it automatically by setting up workflows.
There are a lot of options available if you’re looking for contract lifecycle management software. Some programs may already have a lifecycle management module. Others are part of supply chain or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
Here are a few of the best contract lifecycle management software programs currently available.
Best contract lifecycle management software in 2020
Onit Contract Lifecycle Management
If you’re looking for a program that can manage the entire supply chain, not just your contracts, you may want to consider Oodo.
This open-source program includes sales, customer relationship management (CRM), project management, manufacturing, inventory, and accounting, as well as contract lifecycle management. All these modules are fully integrated, so if you’re hoping to reduce manual processes, it’s worth taking a look at Oodo.
Originally considered a program just for contract management, Conga Contracts automates different steps in the contract process, including creating, negotiating, approving, and renewing contracts. It can be installed at your location or used in a cloud environment.
Conga Contracts includes a contract creation and request portal, automated reminders, and automated approval processes, as well as a dashboard to view the status of contracts at a glance. It integrates with electronic signature services like DocuSign and Adobe Sign.
Like Oodo, Oracle NetSuite contract lifecycle management software is part of a larger package of solutions.
NetSuite is an ERP system that handles a lot — accounting, financial reporting and analytics, order and billing management, CRM, and more. It integrates with many third-party systems and has modules for different industries, like manufacturing. You can also view the status of projects and contracts on a dashboard.
If you’re looking for contract lifecycle management software that zeroes in on contracts, consider ContractWorks. It uses a centralized repository to keep track of contracts, provides alerts for key milestone dates, and has a built-in electronic signature feature./p>
Companies can use ContractWorks to view all their existing contracts and set roles and permissions so that only certain users can approve contracts.
Another product solely built for contract lifecycle management is ContractRoom. It captures contracts, processes images, and offers case management and records management features.
ContractRoom handles everything from creating the contract to collaborating on clauses and electronically signing the documents. You can set up workflows to automate things like assigning tasks and creating time lines for tasks. ContractRoom integrates with Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, and Google Calendar to import and send contracts.
If you’re looking for contract lifecycle management software in the cloud, try Outlaw. It handles contract generation, negotiation, execution, and management. Outlaw creates a central repository for all your contracts and allows for cloud-based redlining, contract approval workflows, and audit tracking.
One of the unique features of Outlaw is its proprietary word processing software, which lets you turn existing contracts into reusable templates with smart variable fields that include editable legal language. You can create contracts in Outlaw with a plain English overview, and it will provide legal definitions and summaries for you.
Known for customization features and integrations, Onit Contract Lifecycle Management software creates an audit trail and transaction histories to help you comply with your contracts. It integrates with some of the more popular electronic signature platforms, like DocuSign and Adobe Sign. Onit has built integrations for software like SharePoint, SAP, and Workday. It’s a comprehensive package with a lot of features.
These are just a few of the contract lifecycle management software options available. As with any software program, it’s important to consider the needs of your organization before you start using it. Remember to think about the programs you’ll need to integrate the software with as well.
For example, if you’re looking for a full-featured software package that extends to supply chain or ERP functions, look at Oracle NetSuite, Oodo, or something similar. If you’re looking to manage only the contract lifecycle, a standalone product may be enough for you. Check to see what kind of integration support the software includes, as well as APIs offered to help you connect the software to your existing systems.
Learn more on how to write a contract from our extended guide.