For years now, companies have been making the shift to electronic management processes for countless business operations. Nowadays, there is probably some kind of software or cloud-based solution for virtually every business process. Contract management is definitely one area of running a business that warrants automation, as there are usually a lot of tedious tasks associated with administering a robust portfolio. There is really no reason to suffer this reality in perpetuity when there is comprehensive contract management software available at affordable prices. Here is why automation is the solution to your contract management headaches:
Instituting a coherent document retention and management strategy is critical to contract administration. No matter how small or how large a company’s contract portfolio is, most contracts and their related documents span quite a few pages. Of course, with the ubiquitous reliance on computers, email, and electronic documents, these files have to be saved somewhere. In some cases, there may be graphics, charts, pictures, or other aspects of the documents that end up making the files rather large byte-wise. Obviously, this can be a bit problematic when residing on a local hard drive and no one has time to deal with external hard drives anymore.
Companies may be tempted to set up a free collaboration tool like Dropbox or Google docs, but these solutions aren’t really appropriate for business documents, as they do not have strong security features. Instead, contract automation should be accomplished via a cloud-based management solution that allows for unlimited data storage. This will streamline contract storage and ensure that the contract information is stored safely.
In addition to saving contracts in one easy to access yet highly secure location, utilizing an automated solution can greatly facilitate collaboration. Even if team members are geographically spread out, there will never be reason for delays due to the inability to access a document or locate a critical piece of information. Before cloud-based computing, locating documents or having access to the most recent version sometimes interfered with someone’s ability to get things done, but that is simply no longer the case. With the right solution, the contract management should never have to worry about the hassle of missing a deadline or being caught off guard.
Managing a contract portfolio often requires consultation with external parties, particularly lawyers and accountants. There clearly has to be a safe and effective way to share documents with these professionals who provide invaluable services, without having to fear that the information will be compromised. Law firms often have their own data security tools in place, but it isn't realistic to rely on another firm’s technology to keep your own company documents secure.
Instead, the best thing to do is to set up an electronic system that allows for strict access controls, so that people who need access, whether temporary or for an unlimited period of time, can easily be added as permitted users. Having this kind of system in place will save a lot of potential hassles dealing with the fallout from a data breach.