This is the second in a two-part blog series covering the basics of contract management software.
In our previous post, we covered the beginning of the basics of contract management software: contracts database, milestone alerting, and management reporting. Today, we’re going to review three more ways contract management software helps companies work more efficiently.
The Import of Existing Data and Documents
What this is: One of the biggest hurdles to overcome with contract management software is the actual implementation of the system and getting existing data and documents into it. Depending on the features of the solution you choose, implementation will look different from provider to provider. With some services, you have to manually enter contracts, with others, you can bulk upload. At ContractWorks, we know that starting to use the system is the single most important step you can take. We provide our users with bulk upload of all document data via csv as well as bulk drag and drop upload of contracts and folders.
Why this matters: Software that doesn’t get implemented doesn’t get used. If the obstacles in implementing a contract management system are too large, employees often put it off and it won't happen. This leads to wasted company money and time. However, an easy-to-implement system can save time and money, adding efficiency to the process.
Secure Document Repository for All Contracts
What this is: Some contract management software functions as a contract repository, allowing companies to save all of their contracts in one location, rather than having them saved in different folders scattered all over a hard drive, in a different software system entirely, or even in a physical filing cabinet. Be sure to check the security standards when vetting providers. Not everybody will adhere to the same standards, and your contracts contain sensitive company information. Look for encryption (both in transit and at rest), two-factor authentication, and user roles (more on that below), as a jumping off point.
Why this matters: This helps companies in two primary ways. First, keeping your documents in a secure repository that is located with your contracts database allows for quick and easy accesst to the contract itself should you need to reference it. No hunting through filing cabinets, in folders on computers, etc. Additionally, keeping your contracts in contract management software that includes a secure document repository protects any proprietary or sensitive information your contracts may contain.
Implement User Permissions and Track Activity
What this is: Contracts frequently contain a great deal of confidential and/or valuable information. Or they can be specific to a certain department and access needs to be limited. Because of this, it’s important for administrators to be able to control who can or cannot look at certain items and to monitor overall contract database activity. Based on the previously-mentioned IACCM report, this is a feature that is commonly missing from contract management software. At ContractWorks, we provide detailed activity records and permissions-based user roles so that contract administrators are able to keep their data secure and grant permission on a granular level.
Why this Matters: Not everybody needs access to everything. Attempting to control access in a system without user persmissions is impossible, and attempting to do it with a spreadsheet takes up a lot of unnecessary time. Utilizing a system with built in permission-based roles streamlines contract management and protects your contract information.
Now that you know what the basics of contract management software is and how it can help you work more efficiently, it’s time to move away from spreadsheets! Contract management software simplifies the contract management process and helps companies keep track of their many executed contracts by enabling them to store all such documents in one secure location, stay on top of important dates, and search for certain provisions to ensure compliance, among other useful tools.