Contract managers are pressed on several fronts. As professionals, they need to uphold the contracting standards of their organization across dozens of agreement types. As workers in a busy department, they need to produce agreements efficiently. And as the primary contact for business users who need contracts to do their jobs, they are asked more often than they’d like: When will my contract be ready?
Every contract carries with it some risk of noncompliance, but contract management software can reduce that risk significantly.
While instant results are wonderful, most good business decisions require delayed gratification. Profits are always down the road, new hires need weeks to get up to speed, improved workflows take time to kick in. You may feel that change is always a slow and bumpy process. If so, you will be surprised by the immediate positive effects that contract management software has on your operation. This investment gives you valuable results as soon as it is installed. The right software program will deliver three easy wins that promptly improve your business while easing your professional burdens.
For some business people, dealing with contracts is an unappealing part of the production, sales or fulfillment process. The real job begins, they feel, when the contracts are signed. In reality, contract management before signing must be a priority because nothing works well if this aspect of the deal is not in order.
If your organization is using a contract management system, you have probably addressed the use cases that led you to adopt it. You have a repository for contracts so that they are no longer lost. You have forms and workflows that create contracts and guide them through finance and legal for approval. You are associating your contracts with related documents such as statements of work, licenses, certificates of insurance, amendments, and addenda.
Advanced contract management software makes running your business easier, at least in theory. If you are at the shopping stage, one of those “theoreticals” is the choice between software in the cloud (SaaS or Software as a Service) and software installed on premise. Either mode of delivery can give you a program that improves risk management, compliance, and contract quality. Below are five points to consider.
Looking for an upgrade in your contract management system? You may be most of the way there. Office 365, the cloud-based collection of Microsoft’s productivity tools such as Excel and Word, is becoming standard at many companies. The combination of Office 365 and Azure – the Microsoft cloud where O365 lives – has capabilities that will make enterprise contract management easier and more secure once the tools are harnessed to business processes.
Self-service contracts let your employees make contracts without consulting legal teams. If you haven’t used self-service contracts or contract management software before, this may sound like a risky proposition. Don’t you need your lawyers to review contracts to make sure your interests are protected?
As technology evolves, companies must update their processes and software to remain competitive. This process of “digital transformation” can be applied very effectively to contract management, where the return on investment can be realized in the short-term, with potential for ongoing savings as more contract types and business units are included.
In Part 1 of this blog, we looked at three sticking points in the contract lifecycle that occur before signature. Understanding the contract lifecycle means identifying those sticking points and reducing friction so business gets done promptly but still safely under contract.
Here are three common sticking points that occur once the contract is executed.