Once your company has made the decision to invest in contract management software, it may be overwhelming trying to figure out which service to select. Many services likely appear identical on the surface, but the fine print will no doubt paint quite a different picture. When choosing a contract management solution, here are five things the service must have:
Contracts are critical assets for most companies, and thus they must be treated accordingly. Once a contract is finalized, it must be stored in a safe place, such as an online repository. But, any random contract storage tool will not suffice. Contracts can reveal a lot about a company, including the names of its primary contracting partners, the terms on which it strikes deals, and perhaps even intellectual property-related details. As a result, all company contracts should be saved in a highly secure contract database, meaning one that has two-factor authentication procedures, advanced encryption measures, and certified data centers.
A User-Friendly Interface
One of the reasons companies are often hesitant to commit to contract management software is because it seems like more hassle to set up and learn the system than it is worth. Busy managers usually do not have the time or patience for overly-complicated business solutions, and unfortunately, a lot of the contract management solutions on the market are exactly that. However, there are providers who understand the many constraints on busy leadership teams and thus purposely design solutions to allow for seamless implementation and immediate use. The best contract management solution is one that does not require an inordinate amount of time to establish and start using.
Straightforward Pricing Plans
In addition to avoiding complex contract management services, a number of companies have been led to believe that they all cost a fortune and/or have a bunch of hidden fees. There are no doubt plenty of those out there that are best avoided. But, a reputable provider will offer a simple solution at a reasonable and transparent price. ContractWorks, as an example, offers a flat rate for unlimited storage and users, so that our clients never have to worry about upgrading or getting hit with unexpected charges.
Another frequent concern when it comes to choosing software relates to the availability of support technicians, or in many cases, the fear that there will be a lack thereof. Contract performance is often dependent upon the ability to retrieve and review contracts quickly to identify which items need to be addressed. Consequently, if there are any glitches, issues, or simply confusion over how to use the system, it is imperative that a knowledgeable representative be available immediately. Busy companies usually don't shut down just because the clock strikes 5 p.m., and they should look for providers who will be there for them anytime that they are needed.
A Satisfied and Growing Client List
One of the best ways to research a service provider is to look at client testimonials or speak directly to companies that use their service. It is important to invest in a solution provider that understands the contracting process and has a good level of client loyalty to prove it. It may also be helpful to look at comparison sites to see how one service stacks up against another. And, companies should never be afraid to ask prospective providers for references or concrete data to back up any of their assertions.