If you are a contract manager and your company has not invested in a contract management solution or is using an outdated, bulky, or inefficient system, there is a good chance that you are wasting more than just your valuable time. Failing to use the appropriate technology can stall operations, lead to cost overruns, and plague overall efficiency. These days, effectively managing a contract portfolio requires utilization of a sophisticated contract management solution that facilitates the following:
As a contract portfolio expands, it becomes increasingly difficult just to find a place to store the many documents. Even if your company has transitioned to a paperless office, the electronic version of those documents can still take up precious space on a computer drive or company network. Of course, this is one of many reasons that more and more companies are turning to primarily cloud-based operations, and contract management should not be an exception to this change. By utilizing an online contract repository, all of the company’s contracts will be centrally located, making them much faster to find.
Obviously, knowing exactly where contracts are stored makes it a lot easier to retain control over them. But, contract management solutions can take the level of control even further by offering access and user restrictions. For example, contracts can be saved into folders, and a user’s access to a folder may be granted or restricted depending on the individual’s need to know certain information or position within the company. This kind of control ensures that contract data remains confidential, and prevents the possible leaking of beneficial contract terms, which could undercut a company’s competitive edge.
In addition to being assured that all of a company’s contracts are located in one spot and keeping a handle on who is able to access those contracts, a strong contract management solution includes additional security features to further ensure that contract data is adequately protected. Some examples of these important security features are the use of multi-factor authentication for users entering the system, data encryption, and disabled printing, among others.
Contracting, particularly during the management phase, requires parties to make important decisions within limited timeframes and to act quickly to ensure proper and timely performance. For this reason, contracts must be easy to access and even easier to search. A strong contract management team frequently references the terms of a contract to confirm that they are complying appropriately. As a result, it is imperative that such searches can be conducted quickly and efficiently, which is far more likely when using a purpose-built contract management solution that has a search function.
Contracts usually contain a series of deadlines, and with a ton of contracts, this would mean having to remember a lot of specific dates, which is virtually impossible. Thus, utilizing technology is essential to ensuring that a company keeps up with all of its time-bound commitments. Once a contract is uploaded, it should be easy to create alerts that will generate an email reminder when an important milestone is approaching.