Efficient and accurate processes are an important, though often overlooked, facet for businesses to optimize in order to meet goals. Unfortunately, many businesses are using outdated methods of document and contract management and fail to realize the impact this practice can have on productivity and overall success. One of the most practical and simple means of boosting business efficiency is making the switch to an electronic contract management system.
Through the use of CLM (contract lifecycle management) software, businesses can streamline workflows by having a centralized location for the storage and access of contracts and other important data. Search functions and customizable access management help to reduce the amount of time and resources spent granting access to documents and searching for information manually. And if you choose a solution with unlimited storage, you'll have the convenience of having all of your business's crucial contracts and documents in one place.
The Pain Points of Existing Processes
In addition to understanding the benefits of a contract management program, it is important to understand the potential pain points of existing systems and processes. If you're currently utilizing unspecialized, ad hoc solutions such as combination of shared drives, Excel files, emails, and calendar notifications, perhaps some of these downfalls are painfully familiar to you.
Relying on employees to manually manage contract deliverables and deadlines with sticky notes, calendar reminders, and the like, greatly increases risk. When you introduce the possibility of human error, you increase the risk of compliance issues, diminished reputation for your business and potentially even losing contracts altogether. Implementing an electronic contract management system will allow you and your employees to receive automatic alerts when contracts are about to expire or when other deadlines are looming, eliminating missed deadlines and other potentially costly problems for your business.
Lost or Mismanaged Files
For companies who do not have a dedicated central contract repository, it is not uncommon for contracts to be scattered in various places, including desktops, email, and occasionally filing cabinets. Without a central place to store and manage contracts, the risk of misplacing a contract or losing the most recent version is very real and could have disastrous consequences for your business. CLM software provides your business with a secure repository to store and manage contracts, easily eliminating the headache and repercussions of mismanaged, lost, or duplicate files.
Access to Old Copies
Another problem that surfaces when contracts are manually managed is version control- who has the most up-to-date version of any given document? It is almost impossible to accurately track updates made in spreadsheets (and by whom), and using email as a form of document sharing carries an even greater risk of inaccuracies. Using local hard drives for the storage of contracts and other documentation only exacerbates these issues. CLM software mitigates this risk by controlling how and where contract documents are stored, managed and tracked by your employees. Using a central repository in CLM software will make it easy to track the most up-to-date version of any contract and make it simple for contract managers to reference the appropriate copy.
Risk of Massive Problems Caused By Small Errors
Finally, it's worth noting that even the smallest of errors can lead to a massive ripple effect that can cause contracting issues put your business at risk of legal problems. The use of CLM software makes it possible to drastically reduce the chances of these kinds of errors happening.
Now that you have a better idea as to how CLM software can improve your company's efficiency and avoid potential pitfalls, how can you get started? The steps are quite simple:
- Review your current contract management process
- Implement the right CLM solution universally
- Increase awareness and compliance
- Measure the impact of your improved digital process
- Evolve and adapt the process as needed
And if you're looking for a CLM solution that's easy to implement, has all the features you need, and offers affordable pricing, check out a platform like ContractWorks today.