How do you make the contract approval process more efficient with less risk?
If your company is like many, it has no efficient means for receiving and reviewing vendor contracts for services and products. Contract review requests may come through phone calls, faxes, or emails, creating a great deal of confusion and inefficiency:
- Employees and managers are unable to see where requests are in the process.
- New or revised contracts that need immediate approval in order to support the operations of the business or, in the case of sales, win new business, are delayed or lost due to the request not receiving approval in a timely matter.
- Request information is missing, requiring numerous back and forth communication to get all required information.
- There is no audit trail for who requested approval, who approved it, when it was submitted/approved, etc.
- There is no high-level view of how many requests were submitted and where bottlenecks may be occuring.
By providing employees with a central web dashboard to submit and track a request for new vendor contracts, timeliness and productivity are dramatically increased. After choosing and implementing a workflow management solution, the contract approval process becomes more streamlined. In some cases, approvals for contracts are received in a matter hours, down from days or even weeks. The employee submitting the request will know immediately if the new contract provisions are approved and will be able to review any revisions or comments that are made within the dashboard. In addition:
- Contracts requiring multi-level approval are automatically routed to the next approver.
- Contracts can automatically be routed based on amount, requester, region or any other business rule.
- All process information is preserved for auditing purposes.
- Approvals can be made from any computer or mobile device or by clicking a link in an email.
- Substitute approvers can be assigned and automatically alerted when the original approver is unavailable.
- Contracts can be pushed into document management systems, CRM, ERP, etc. as part of the process.
This example shows how an organization might handle vendor contract approvals, with several levels of approval and other requirements needing to be met as the process moves along. This provides numerous checks and balances that ensure the organization’s best interests are met.
Oakland Unified School District has a mission critical workflow management system for handling vendor and contract approvals.