A lot of previously tedious business processes have improved thanks to technology and the ability to automate. Although plenty of companies no doubt continue to rely on manual processes to manage certain aspects of their business operations, automation is increasingly becoming a necessity and the norm. The need for automation is particularly important for contract management given that it is a document and detail heavy area with which companies must contend. Here are some of the key problems that contract automation can solve:
Transitioning to a paperless office does not just help save money on ink and paper. By eliminating papers and the need for filing, companies can save on real estate space, cabinets, and most importantly, time. Rather than print out lengthy contracts and then waste precious hours organizing them, it is a lot easier to upload an already electronic document into a cloud-based contract management repository. Plus, locating these items when they are needed is a lot faster when they can be located via a quick online search.
Copying and Pasting
Companies that have not made the move to an online contract management process probably utilize spreadsheets to keep track of things. More than likely, this requires the copying and pasting of key information from the contract into the spreadsheet and perhaps vice versa. This obviously requires a lot of painstaking effort, and given the human element, this is far more likely to lead to mistakes. By storing and managing everything in an online system, there should be no need to copy and paste to other documents or applications.
Editing or Relying on Outdated Versions
Contract management teams who continue to save documents on a locally shared drive may end up working on an outdated version. However, with cloud-based contract management software, multiple users can review and edit documents in real time. There should only be one version of an agreement, and it has to reside in a central location so that everyone is using the same, up to date version.
Waiting on Others
Depending on how a company stipulates that its documents must be saved and shared, people may have to wait on a colleague to finish with something before they are able to access it or work on it. If someone is out of the office or gets behind on his/her share of the work, this can throw everyone else off schedule as well. But, if the contracts are housed in one secure location, the inconvenience of waiting for others never has to be an issue.
Using Multiple Applications
The whole point of contract management software is that it enables companies to oversee their contract portfolio in a secure, efficient manner. Without this sort of system, contract management teams are likely using several different applications to keep everything straight. This probably means having a ton of different screens open, with a lot of opening, closing, minimizing, and clicking. In addition to being incredibly annoying, this is downright inefficient, so automating as much of the process as possible is imperative.
Perhaps one of the handiest features of online contract management is the ability to generate customized alerts related to contract actions and deadlines. Instead of incessantly checking a spreadsheet to find out if something is coming up, automated alerts can be sent via email so that deadlines are not missed.