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Email Correspondence Lifecycle Management Automation

Angie Stockley, VP of Marketing and Communications, ASC Posted: January 22, 2015
Written by Angie Stockley

Capture, Automate and Control Your CLM Email Correspondence

Email is a primary method of correspondence during contract collaboration and negotiation including for such important tasks as commenting, sharing associated materials, redlining, approving, etc. Ensuring proper capture and record of the information assets in emails is thereby critical for assured access to the full utility of contract information and processes as well as proper risk mitigation and full adherence to compliance regulations and legal preservation requirements.

With the value-added ASC Inbox capability, ASC’s complete email correspondence lifecycle management feature, ASC automates the capture, indexing and archiving of contract email communications and associated attachments in a fully auditable centralized and secure repository, ensuring that all vital contract information including email messages, redlines, etc., are accessible to necessary stakeholders corporate wide.

Automation Process Overview

Email Automation Process Overview Diagram

As illustrated in the figure above, typical ASC negotiation automation steps include:

  1. From within the ASC system, the ASC user emails the other party the contract (email dynamically tagged by the system)
  2. The other party receives and redlines the contract and emails it back
  3. The ASC system receives and processes the email (based on the dynamic email address information) and alerts the ASC user via an email
  4. The ASC user receives the email, clicks on the link, reviews the redline and clicks save

Email Archival and Lifecycle Management

The ASC Inbox feature allows for emails originating from the ASC system to be applied a dynamically generated intelligent email address which thereafter enables workflow automation and a complete audit-ready history of correspondence.

For instance emails sent from the system are automatically indexed and retained in the system according to pre-defined business rules. Subsequent email replies (or forwards) are directed to the ASC platform’s special integrated Inbox which automatically indexes the email and contents and provides the functionality to correctly associate and store the information as attachments, notes, tasks or additional redlines.

The ASC system’s email correspondence lifecycle management automation capability thereby provides both an email archival solution as well as incorporates the email in the ASC system as a fully integrated record type with full lifecycle processing such as archival, retention and disposition management, complete history, association with appropriate contract forms, etc.  This ensures that all contract negotiation email correspondence is centrally housed alongside all other important contract content in a centrally accessible repository.

Dynamic Intelligent Email Address

The dynamic email address (Inbox ID email address) generated by the ASC system provides intelligent information such as the unique system user ID, the form (unique numeric document identifier) to associate the email correspondence with, as well as special server parameters that add to the automation accuracy and audit-readiness of the information.  There are alternate email address formats available dependent on the level of automation required and the preferences of the customer.  From an end user perspective the intelligence can be appended “behind the scenes” to the customer corporate email as well so the “From:” email address simply displays as the corporate email address.

Inbox Queue

Although the system intelligently knows from the dynamic email parameters what contract form to associate any correspondence with as a default, users also have the ability to easily override these intelligent defaults from within their Inbox Queue.

Once an email is received in the Inbox, the user can search and select the relevant contract form to associate the email and/or attachment(s) with or replace the current associated contract form.

Inbox Queue Email Example

Smart Alerts

Alerts can be set so that new Inbox messages automatically forward to the user’s corporate email address or other preferred email address (individually configurable in a user’s My Profile).

The system smartly knows that if a user sends emails to their Inbox themselves (e.g., forwards important information from another source), they do not need to be alerted of these emails.

Automated Workflows

Automated workflows, notifications, etc., are initiated as required once Inbox correspondence is associated with the appropriate contract form. For example, a resultant contract status change would automatically commence the next workflow step.

ASC Inbox Highlights

By leveraging ASC’s Inbox capability for email correspondence lifecycle management, users have the ability to easily and effectively:

  • Use their preferred corporate email client (e.g., Outlook, Gmail)
  • Share email correspondence with the system
  • Automatically capture email contents such as notes and attachments (e.g., presentations, proposals, images, etc.) and update related contract form fields and statuses according to pre-configured workflow selections and actions
  • Forward redlined versions of contracts, additional notes and attachments or associated documents directly into the system where users then have the ability to select the contract record or form for automatic attachment
  • Capture email meta data such as sender, recipient, subject, date and other data as well as email contents to improve ease of search and retrieval
  • Receive automatic alerts when a new Inbox message is received
  • Apply classification schemas, archival and retention rules, access controls, etc., in adherence with corporate policies and regulatory compliance requirements
  • Access ASC’s robust reporting, metrics and complete audit history for full visibility of all negotiation correspondence

Barcode Automation Technology

If you like the ASC Inbox feature, you will also like ASC’s barcode automation technology.

ASC’s advanced barcode technology intelligently automates document sorting, validation, notification, filing, workflows and exception handling; helps lock and track contract and document revisions to ensure document integrity and security; enables proof of tampering and ensures document authenticity; and identifies erroneous documents through an exception handling queue. Find out more.

Why ASC?

ASC's flexible Inbox or email correspondence lifecycle management capability is an integral part of all our web-based, zero footprint solutions.  Whatever your business process automation needs, you can trust ASC to deliver tailored online technical solutions that streamline your business operations for improved performance, advanced business intelligence and a better bottom line. Find out more about ASC solutions.

ASC's Inbox capability automates the tagging, capture and indexing of email correspondence throughout the contracting lifecycle.

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