Unlock Efficiency with Microsoft’s Contract Management Solutions

Contracts are the backbone of business operations, whether you’re a small startup or a global corporation. Efficient contract management is key to success, but it often involves lengthy approval processes. However, the utilization of Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software can significantly reduce approval times. So without further ado, let’s dive into the world of Microsoft’s contract management solutions and explore how they empower businesses to streamline operations, enhance productivity, and achieve unparalleled control over their contractual processes.

Addressing key challenges with contract management solutions:

  • Enhance contract automation – Utilize Power Automate to streamline contract processing from various sources, including emails, faxes, scans, and web downloads.
  • Optimize workflow and approval management – Leverage this intuitive contract management solution to efficiently manage, track, communicate, and automate the contract lifecycle.
  • Efficient document classification – Extend these solutions beyond contracts to effectively manage other document types such as Purchase Orders and Statements of Work.

With an understanding of the types of issues that can be solved with this tool, let’s take a deeper look at what each component really consists of.

There are 3 main components to explore within this Contract Management Solution. Microsoft Syntex allows you to create models that will streamline your processes. Then, Microsoft Teams integration is used to improve communication and efficiency. Finally, utilize Power Automate to bring it all together and reduce manual intervention. Keep reading to find out more!

So, what really is Microsoft Syntex?

Syntex enables training “models” designed to identify a particular contract type. When you apply these models to a SharePoint document library, they analyze all uploaded files and classify any contracts or relevant documents. The model can then extract crucial information according to your requirements and present it in a personalized display.

How is Syntex attached to Teams?

The next step is within Microsoft Teams, where you can establish a dedicated channel specifically for contracts, making it convenient to access and review them. Simply attach the SharePoint Document library as a tab in the Teams channel.

As your Syntex model scans the documents within the library, they will appear in the Teams tab labeled as “ready for review,” ensuring their visibility. You can personalize the appearance of the Teams tab by using tiles, offering an enhanced viewing experience. Each contract tile can display relevant details like status, client information, contractor details, and fee amount.

Additionally, the Teams channel can be used for open communication and updates regarding contract approvals, ensuring timely submission for payment.

How does Power Automate complete this process?

The third step is to use the integration of Power Automate, which streamlines the entire contract approval process by automating several tasks.

Notifications are automatically sent to users to inform them when contracts are approved or rejected, facilitating efficient communication. The contract status is automatically updated as part of the automation process, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information.

Additionally, new line items are created automatically for approved contracts, preparing them for a payout as per the defined workflow.

Check out the video below for an engaging demonstration and to take a deeper look into each of these functionalities.

Actions to Take When Planning a Contract Management System

Step 1: Microsoft Syntex

  1. Find 5 example files that you can use to “train” your new Syntex model to search for characteristics that are specific to the content type you’re trying to identify.
  2. Then, using Syntex, create a new unstructured document processing model. Using your example files you need to train your classifier with your example files. Do this by teaching it to search for characteristics that are specific to what you would see in your company’s contracts.
  3. In your model, you can also create an extractor to pull out specific pieces of data from each contract.
  4. After creating your model, attach it to a SharePoint Document library. As you upload documents to the document library, your unstructured document processing model will run, identify, and classify all files that match the contract content type you defined in your model.
  5. Finally, to ensure you are in compliance with any retention or security requirements for your contracts, you can use your model to apply a retention label or a sensitivity label that will prevent your contracts from being deleted for a specified period of time or to restrict who can access the contracts.

Step 2: Use Microsoft Teams

Now that we have a Syntex model up and running, we can create a centralized location in Teams for contract management communication.

Make use of the features that allow all stakeholders to:

  1. See important events.
  2. Interact with each other.
  3. Easily view all contracts that require action.
  4. See approved contracts to know when they can be submitted for payment.

Step 3: Use Power Automate

Finally, take action to build a contract management solution with a customized Power Automate Flow.

Some examples include:

  1. After your Syntex model has classified a contract, automatically change the contract status to In review.
  2. The contract is then reviewed and is either approved or rejected.
  3. For approved contracts, the contract information is posted to a tab for payment processing.
  4. For rejected contracts, the team is notified for further analysis.
  5. Extract key metadata info from your contracts, and apply to validate the extracted metadata with a Confidence score
  6. Integrate with other systems
  7. Report the current state of contracts through viewing lists or reports in Power BI

This is only a glimpse into what the full functionality of Power Automate offers!

To learn more about Microsoft’s contract management solutions, join us for a day filled with practical hands-on experience with our team members, specializing in creating Power Apps solutions, in a full day of instructor-led App creation workshop.

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