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4 Ways to Improve Your Manufacturing Contracts With Automation

    

As automation became the norm in manufacturing, with more and more equipment, heavy machinery, and computers taking over the job responsibilities of some of the people working on the lines, there was widespread concern that tens of thousands of individuals would be permanently out of work. But, these machines require people to maintain and oversee them, and thus there has really been more of a shift in the type of skills needed from the manufacturing workers. After all, there are some aspects of production that a robot simply does not have the skills or dexterity to complete.

 

Now, it is believed that as machinery, and eventually even robots, evolve and are capable of handling some of the intricate facets of manufacturing, that any such computerized equipment that is used “will work with people rather than replacing them.” This combination of technology-driven automation and critical thinking human minds should further augment manufacturing companies’ production capabilities. Of course, any production improvements also entail an improvement to the bottom line because it generally leads to higher outputs.

 

But, adding automation to the manufacturing process on the assembly line is not the only place that it will improve a company’s output and profitability. Utilizing automation in other aspects of a business’s operations, such as contracting, will also enhance efficiency and even improve the contracting process, resulting in stronger contracting partners, more contracts, and more lucrative deals. And, any concern that relying on an automated contract management system will eliminate positions is equally unfounded, as a solid contract management team will still be needed to oversee the process. Fortunately, using an online service will help the team better manage the contract portfolio. After all, since the team will not have to spend as much time dealing with manual tasks, they can focus more time on managing what really matters, which of course is contract performance. Here are four ways automation improves contracting:

Rapid Setup and Maintenance

Making the initial transition from a traditional paper filing system to an electronic one may seem like more hassle and work than it is worth. There is no denying that it will take a coordinated effort from multiple departments to make this happen. Contracts are often saved separately depending on their content and the department to which they apply. Of course, this contract scattering is the exact reason that transitioning to an electronic system is a necessary step.

Fortunately, a reputable contract management service has been designed to make the transition as seamless and painless as possible, with quick uploads and even a drag and drop system allowing for a surprisingly rapid setup. Even if the one-time setup takes a few days, once it is completed, engaging in consistent and immediate uploading as soon as contracts are executed becomes so much easier going forward, freeing up precious time.

Centralized Control

One of the primary advantages of making the transition to an online contract management system is the fact that all of the contracts will be safely stored in one location. This allows the lead contract manager to retain total control over the portfolio. In addition to knowing exactly where all of the company contracts are saved, the contract manager can grant or restrict others’ ability to access the online database or certain items saved within it.


And, when allowing others to view the contents of the portfolio, for whatever reason, the contract manager will be able to monitor any activity that occurs. Thus, by eliminating paper versions of contracts and consolidating the portfolio into an online database, the contract manager will have increased oversight and thus be able to manage the company’s contracts more efficiently.

Quick Searches

Of course, saving all of a company’s contracts in an online database not only ensures that the contract itself can be found easily. By retaining an electronic version and uploading it into a centralized database, this will also allow the contract management team to locate specific clauses and terms quickly and efficiently.

This is particularly useful in manufacturing, as a company may receive competing bids for supplies and thus want to review its existing terms to determine whether it can get a better deal elsewhere. This would likely require a lot of paper sifting and page flipping with a hard document, but in an online system, an advanced search function will greatly facilitate any such searches and allow for faster decision-making.

Automatic Alerts

Staying on top of important dates and deadlines is obviously very important in manufacturing. There may be multiple shipments of parts coming from around the world that must be tracked, as well as the payment due dates for those parts. Depending on the complexity of the products that a manufacturing company is churning out, this may require quite a few contracts, which of course means quite a few dates to remember.


Clearly, as production expands and a company grows, it becomes increasingly difficult, not to mention unwise, to try to rely on one’s memory for this. By instituting an electronic contract management system, the team can create customizable alerts with respect to these dates, along with auto-generated email reminders, reducing the likelihood that an important deadline is missed.


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