Maria Thompson* What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about contract management? If you’re like most lawyers, the sheer volume of administrative paperwork and coordination involved in contract management will send chills down your spine.
Sending contracts back and forth, and getting them signed by the involved parties is a slow, inefficient, and cumbersome process. Moreover, it leaves your contracts susceptible to clerical and typographical errors. And then there’s the problem of random people getting unauthorized access to confidential information in contracts.
The good news is that you no longer have to depend on manual contract workflows. Instead, you can use a smart contract management solution like ContractZen to streamline the process.
Let’s take a look at some of ContractZen’s key features that help lawyers manage huge contract volumes without compromising on speed and efficiency.
The Need for Smart Contract Management
Contract management is a resource-intensive process that involves various steps, such as drafting, negotiating, signing and archiving.
Traditionally, it involves circulating physical copies of an initial draft among key stakeholders. Each party is free to make changes to the draft before finalizing the contract. Once the terms have been agreed upon, all stakeholders need to sign the document.
Administrative paperwork aside, the manual contract workflow presents various challenges for law firms. To begin with, remote work policies and social distancing regulations due to the pandemic make it difficult for the involved parties to collaborate safely.
Even if you’re managing just a handful of contracts at a time, manual contract workflows turn out to be slow and ineffective. Also, they create room for human error, communication gaps, and non-compliance.
Digitizing contracts and sending them via email, or a standard cloud storage platform, might seem like a feasible alternative. But that exposes your clients’ confidential business documents to security threats. Also, legal teams struggle to retrieve relevant information from documents stored in various folders and systems as contract volumes increase.
That’s where a feature-rich, dedicated contract management system steps into the picture. It helps lawyers overcome the challenges of manual contract workflows.
ContractZen: An Overview
ContractZen is an enterprise-grade corporate governance software solution. Simply put, it offers a secure platform for enterprises to store, share, collaborate on and manage important business documents.
Key features of ContractZen include:
- Entity management
- Meeting management
- Contract management
- Virtual data rooms (VDR)
- Digital signature services
- Metadata-driven search
The software uses advanced security measures, including RSA 256 encryption, multi-factor authentication, and digital rights management, to protect confidential documents.
How ContractZen Helps Optimize Contract Workflows
ContractZen isn’t simply a tool for secure storage and sharing of legal documents. It’s packed with features that help lawyers maximize the speed and efficiency of contract workflows.
With ContractZen, lawyers don’t have to worry about shuttling between clients’ offices with drafts. Instead, you can use the platform to import initial drafts and finalized contracts from their email inboxes.
The software can also generate PDF files of these emails, making it easier for lawyers to share drafts with the involved parties. Also, you can add relevant tags to each document.
ContractZen eliminates the need for scanning and storing contracts on computers. Instead, it provides cloud-based storage for all your documents.
That makes it possible for you to access, modify, and share contracts round-the-clock, irrespective of your location or device. You simply need a stable internet connection to log into your dashboard. There’s nothing to install, too, as the platform operates as a web app.
ContractZen uses AI-powered OCR and metadata-driven search to help you quickly find relevant documents. You don’t have to worry about where a contract is stored on the system. Instead, you simply need to enter the right tags to locate the necessary information.
Comments, Meetings and Signatures
Using a full-featured governance suite like ContractZen for contract management easily allows you to collaborate on agreement iterations with both internal and external stakeholders. You can associate multiple file versions with a single contract project, which encompasses discussion threads. These hubs can likewise be associated with meetings, with relevant sharing of minutes and follow-up tasks.
ContractZen also supports integration with leading e-signature services, such as Adobe Sign, SignHero, Assently, and DocuSign. While legal teams have been using e-signatures to finalize contracts, ContractZen eliminates the need to import your documents to another software.
As long as your contracts are stored on the platform, you can get them digitally signed by all stakeholders. It eliminates the need to wait for each party to physically sign the document, and send it back to your office.
Intelligent Contract Generation
ContractZen is compatible with DocFusion, a tool for template-driven and automated document composition. It facilitates automated contract creation using pre-built templates, legal clause libraries, and a drag-and-drop builder.
Also, you can leverage rule-based content creation to prevent anyone from making unauthorized changes to the document. That, in turn, minimizes the likelihood of errors and speeds up contract workflows.
Empowering Legal Teams With Smart Contract Workflows
Law firms have been notorious for relying on legacy systems to run their operations. However, the accelerated digital transformation of various industries emphasizes the need for legal teams to modernize their workflows as well.
A sophisticated contract management solution such as ContractZen can go a long way to weed out errors and inefficiencies. From automated document creation and metadata-driven search to e-signature services, lawyers can use various features to enhance their contract workflows.
Maria Thompson is a freelance legal tech and software writer who has written extensively about software applications and developments in law firm technology for the past decade.