True Automation and Security of Contract Lifecycle and Business Process Management
Contract repository management software and web-based business process management solutions are critical enablers of business automation, driving both productivity improvements and revenue optimization. However, questions around accuracy, efficiency and even security can still be an issue. Barcode technology is the answer.
Placing ASC's barcode technology -- unique, permanent and always legible -- on each page of every version of a contract or document improves the efficiency and security of digital contract lifecycle and business process management. The barcode enables contracts and documents to be automatically and correctly filed in the online repository and associated with the right processes (approval workflows, report generation, alerts). This helps ensure the “filing cabinet” or database is up to date and accessible and also that next-in-line business processes are happening automatically. The barcode coupled with ASC's redlining and track change capability enables granular tracking of individual clauses and even words in a contract or document, both internally (creation) and externally (negotiation): To whom has it been sent, by whom, and when? Have they seen it, approved it? Who made the revisions, and what were their changes? Barcode technology is a true bridge between the print and digital worlds, between the signature on a paper contract and the certainty that a valid contract exists, between the contract terms and the electronic business processes that the written signature can initiate.
Intelligent Sorting, Redundancy and Repudiation Controls
ASC's barcode is the visible representation of a contract or document's digital record. The barcode on a document page can indicate which page of how many it is, when and where it was generated and help identify what changes have been made from previous versions and who has viewed the document.
ASC's barcode system automates checks and balances including:
- Verifying that all document pages have arrived
- Sorting the pages in the right order
- Turning inverted pages right side up
- Determining if the document is a new version
- Filing the document in the correct location
- Associating the document with appropriate business processes including workflows and approvals
- Sending documents to a "holding" area if business routing rules are not properly followed (e.g., a contract is faxed in as "signed and final" when still pending internal approval)
- Send automated email notifications regarding required workflow steps or items queued in the "holding" area
- Confirming whether each page’s content is changed/unchanged when proof of tampering is required (The barcode enables the original document to be traced and regenerated instantly, eliminating any potential for repudiation.)
ASC's redundant barcoding (two versions of the same code on each page) helps ensure the barcode is always legible and accurate so these barcode checks and balances can be performed systematically and without error.
Drop your contract on the floor in a jumbled mess? No problem with ASC's barcode technology!
Just pick the contract up and send it in per normal (fax or manual scan and email) and the intelligent barcode will sort the contract pages in the right order and right side up -- automatically -- and also proceed to file the contract in the correct place and start the appropriate sequence of contract workflows and approvals. The barcode will even recognize if contract pages are missing or from a different version of the contract and flag the document for your review or send you an automated email alert. Accurately and efficiently filing your contracts and documents has never been so easy.
There are some additional technologies considered to address automated contract management and security as well as other business processes such as public key infrastructure (PKI) and digital signatures and Optical Character Recognition (OCR). However, there are uptake, automation and security issues with those approaches which reinforce barcode technology as the superior solution for true contract/business process automation and security.
PKI and Digital Signatures
Public key infrastructure (PKI) technology and digital signatures promise to eliminate paper, but their expensive and cumbersome infrastructure have found limited acceptance, roll out to remote and diverse locations is not always feasible due to the expense/infrastructure requirements, and there are lingering uncertainties about positive originator identification.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology systems – which can usually import most contract/document language into most computer systems with quite a high degree of accuracy -- also show promise for contract and business process management. However, successful management of contracts and other business processes using OCR systems is only possible under highly controlled circumstances, because ambiguities, exceptions and inaccuracies (e.g., modifications, fax distortion and OCR intelligent guesses) do not flag themselves; they need to be manually discovered and fixed. Manual checks of sensitive and important documents, in turn, introduce the security issue of human error.
Why Barcode is Better?
In widespread commercial use since the introduction of 1973’s Universal Product Code (UPC), barcode technology is universal because it is proven to be inexpensive, stable and easy to use and it also works with enterprise-scale information technology (IT) systems.
All organizations can benefit from barcode solutions to improve their contract management operations and business process management needs. Barcode integration automates and simplifies contract/document filing and business process routing, reduces errors in administrative work, and enhances security. Streamlining these contract/document management processes significantly reduces timelines, resources and costs and improves productivity and increases revenue. The benefits of contract, document and form lifecycle management are clear; barcode technology makes them attainable.
ASC's unique barcode technology 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's solutions.
ASC’s barcode technology uniquely addresses security and automation needs for digitized contract management and other business processes.