CCM for Contract Generation
In the era of always-on responsiveness and instant communications, organizations are looking at how to simplify the digital creation of contracts. Finance, procurement, legal, and other departments are looking to standardize and simplify the management of the underlying content and to automate the contract creation.
While many dedicated “contract management systems” are currently available on the market—including some with vertical specializations—the majority of contracts could be handled by the right customer communications management (CCM) platform.
If your organization already has (or is looking to acquire a CCM solution), you may be surprised to find out that you have a ready-made contract management solution available to you.
The most flexible CCM solutions can simplify contract creation and management.
Automation and Accuracy
Research from the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) reveals that contracts are a centralized business asset, as they define business relationships and formalize purchases and production arrangements. The more your organization grows and goes online, contracts begin to play a much larger role in your organization. Thus, the ability to manage your contract creation digitally becomes vital to risk management, operational efficiency, and the bottom line. This is very much in line with the current benefits and direction of the CCM industry.
When you look closely, you will find many similarities between contracts and other customer-facing content as they share many of the same attributes that require:
- Lowered legal and administrative costs
- Strengthened regulatory compliance
- Reduced manual processes, cycle times, and risk
Automation is the key to lowering costs, to reducing cycle times, and even to managing risk.
The faster you can create and deliver a quote or contract, the more likely you can find new customers, retain more of your existing ones and grow business. Human error represents a significant risk during this process.
The advantage of using CCM solutions is that it relies on reusable content objects so that content such as a terms or conditions only need to be created once and can be included in multiple contracts. CCM also takes advantage of conditional logic so that content can be included or excluded based on predefined criteria. Thus, a contract template could not only include, for example, state-specific terms and conditions in the body, but also automatically pull in required attachments and appendices.
The most flexible CCM platforms—just as their highly specialized (and sometimes limited) contract management software brethren—should deliver contract-specific content capabilities, such as:
- Review and approval processes
- Audit trail and revision history
- Collaboration between multiple users
Finally, CCM solutions can integrate with a wide variety of third-party software including digital signature solutions, electronic facsimile (fax) services, email services and web portals to further simplify and facilitate reviewing, signing, and delivering fully executed contracts.
Solutions and Partners
Upgrading your document generation processes helps eliminate human error via automation. With the right CCM solution partner, your business can reduce costs and focus more on relationship building with vendors and customers.
To see a flexible CCM solution with the right set of tools for generating your contracts, get in touch with Topdown.
About John Zimmerer
John Zimmerer is the senior director of marketing at Topdown, where he leads market research and outreach efforts for the company's customer communications and customer experience products. Most recently, John has been researching and writing about the future direction of the technologies that power customer experience, and is regarded as a thought leader in this area. John has nearly 20 years of software product marketing experience. His areas of expertise include market research, analyst relations, public relations and digital marketing.