As businesses grow in size, they take on relationships with new partners, associates, and customers. All of these interactions are governed by legal documents to ensure that all parties involved have a clear understanding of their obligations to each other. Whether you're using a local contract management system or don't have one at all, migrating to a cloud-based solution can massively improve your ability to manage contracts. Contrary to popular belief, not all systems take weeks (or months) to implement. Read below for tips on how to begin migrating your contract repository to the cloud in 30 minutes.
Setting Up an Organizational System
The first step in moving your contracts to a cloud repository is creating an organizational system for your contracts. You may already have one in mind or are currently using one. The most common themes are organizing folders by contract type- be it vendor agreements, NDAs, client agreements, etc. and then using subfolders for more specific information. Check how the cloud-based system you've chosen is structured. ContractWorks, as an example, uses a file-based tree system that is familiar to anyone who has operated a personal computer before and makes it simple to drag-and-drop folders of contracts directly into the system in an organized fashion in minutes.
Establishing Access Control
You will likely have several employees who will need to access the contract repository, however, not all employees will need access to all data. This is where access control comes in. When selecting an online contract repository, ensure that your system of choice has the ability to assign access in a way that makes sense for your business. ContractWorks has several permission-based user roles, including view-only, print-disabled, and full-access and you can assign access by folder. Taking a few minutes to set up permissions when implementing your contract management system will save time down the road.
Creating Tags and Templates
Adding custom tags to your contracts to track metadata is extremely useful for tracking and reporting on contracts at a later date. Establish contract types and what type of data should be tracked for each type. You will likely need to track different information on a sub-contractor agreement, then say, on an NDA. In a system like ContactWorks, establishing the types of contracts you're uploading and the specific data that needs to be tracked for each type during initial setup will allow you to run specific reports on this data and easily search for this information down the road.
Altogether, the basic implementation of a new contract repository can be done in as little as 30 minutes- allowing you to start to make a material impact on your contract management process immediately.