(c) Contract lifecycle management (CMS / CLM)

Contract lifecycle management (CLM). Once signed, a CLM (or, equally, a contract management solution (CMS)) will be the place from where the contract will be managed: a CLM will allow all operational people to be involved to take note of the relevant rights and obligations; a CLM will send timely e-mail alerts to those who need to take action (e.g. renegotiate prices, decide upon continuation or expiry), and will give an complete overview of all rights and obligation of the organisation.

Integrating with ERP, CLM, other. The contract will have operational consequences: components or raw materials need to be purchased, personnel allocated, purchase orders prepared and issued (enabling the other party’s invoicing), etc. The contracting-related applications should normally be able to exchange the data with ERP, CLM etc.

Smart contracts. Developments of artificial intelligence may go further than contract analysis tooling: they may provide for sets of contractual arrangements that may automatically trigger agreed contractual effects upon the occurrence of certain events. One may think of the payment of pensions upon a person’s 67th anniversary, the automated payment under an L/C if the advising or confirming bank approves the proper receipt of documents required by the L/C (compare section 5.4(b)), or any other standardised or commoditised type of transaction.

Such ‘smart contracts’ are included in a ‘blockchain’ (which ensures that the agreed terms will not be modified without the approval of all contracting parties) and called ‘smart contracts’. Their implementation may not give room for ‘interpretation’ (see section 1.2). The phenomenon of smart-contracts-technology may be suitable for commodity trade and mass consumer contracts. Still, its application in normal contractual relationships seems to be minimal.

Collaboration ITC and Weagree. The International Trade Centre ITC has entered into a collaboration with Weagree, a leading innovator of the legal sector. Weagree provides an advanced and user-friendly contract automation solution for creating high quality contracts, including tailoring of any of the ITC Model Contracts. Part of the collaboration is the establishment of an online platform on which organisations can tailor any of the ITC Model Contracts to their specific transaction or a legal relationship.