If your business or organization deals with a large number of contracts or if your business is looking to expand in the near future, it is worth considering implementing contract management software as part of or replacing your current contract management system.
Many businesses are finding their current management solutions do not work for end-to-end contract lifecycle management, and the systems they have in place are unwieldy and inefficient, and as such, costing them money. Poor contract management accounts for around 9% of lost business revenue annually, an astonishing number given the technologically driven solutions that are currently available.
As businesses adopt digitized and automated solutions to improve efficiency and manage the increasing risk of the economic global market and with digitalization at the forefront of many business initiatives, it is important that contract management doesn’t get left behind as businesses say goodbye to manual and paper-based processes and begin to embrace the future of technology.
So, what can contract management software offer your business?
Document Management & Becoming Paperless
Contract management has a substantial amount of documents and data required for each contract. Successful contract management is reliant on the correct storage and easy access to any required information over the course of a contract lifecycle. If a company has considerable number of complex contracts and third-party vendors, then it is vital for businesses to have a document repository. With digital advancement, contracts and all the associated documents are usually stored online. Contract management software offers a single centralized repository for all contracts and supporting data. Storing all documentation together streamlines the contracting process and provides easy access to information and easy management of documents, contracts, and agreements. It also allows for any future growth and scalability of your business. The software simplifies contract management and administrative processes due to the advanced search functions and tagging features. By using metadata to search contracts for key words and clauses, information can be identified quickly and easily, making contract management efficient and optimizing the time and resources available.
As well as being a far less complicated system, there is also the option of implementing e-signature tools within the software, to quicken the contract approval process and help your business become a paper-free environment.
Moving to a paperless system also has the benefits of improving your businesses green credentials, at a time when climate change is high on the agenda. Clients and customers are now being attracted to companies that have better eco-credentials and are seen as being environmentally conscious. If one of your business aims for this year is to be more eco-friendly then implementing contract management software can help your business reduce your carbon footprint by negating the need for a paper trail and so reducing both your usage and waste.
Ensuring Contract Compliance
In terms of compliance, contract management software offers several benefits to your business. Using the auditing features available, businesses can easily manage the various terms and clauses in contracts, and can also help businesses, particularly those in heavily regulated industries, stay compliant with regulations and legislation and protect against legal issues.
By integrating an automated system and the thorough record of all information relating to a contract or agreement that CM software offers, businesses can audit and track every step of a contract change and hold both employees and third-parties accountable for their actions, this ensures your business has some security in the event of contract non-compliance.
Mitigation of Risk
As well as improving compliance, contract management software can offer your business improved capabilities for the management and monitoring of risk. As businesses expand and increase their number of contracts, and relationships change and grow between your business and third parties, especially in relation to their value, risks also change and need to be managed, and as such, CM software is the natural solution to balance out the increased risk profile and overheads that third parties bring to the equation.
To prepare for the any third-party contract, CM software offers tools such as designing, building, and publishing intelligent questionnaires, identity management to identify, authenticate, and investigate individuals and companies, and most software has links leading to external databases such as those from Dow Jones and Thomson Reuters, giving access to advanced security profiling of both businesses and individuals and comprehensive background checks to help identify organisational risk. These validation features can prove extremely beneficial to businesses wanting to mitigate risk in a more efficient way than their current system.
In order to not be caught out by deadlines, clauses, negotiation and withdrawal periods, businesses must efficiently and diligently monitor and manage third party relationships once the onboarding process has ended. It is important that any supply risks, or risk areas are continually identified so that steps can be taken quickly to avoid any damage to your business or your business reputation. Software offers features such as incident capture and reporting suites. This ensures all incidents are stored and automatically assigned for investigation, whilst analysis tools can assist with legal protection for you during the lifetime of a third-party relationship and configuration tools to help increase accuracy in risk models and processes, as your risk management framework can be configured to match both perfectly.
Improved Data Analytics and Reporting
In order to make fact-based decisions regarding your contracts and their value, CM software offers reporting tools which allows an analysis of all the workflows and operational data relating to each contract and gives an overview of your business. By tracking important milestones and events and using trigger notifications for critical deadlines and deliverables, software can offer your business full control over a contract and avoid any costs to your business, especially during the contract renewal phase, as this is a particular provision that can be missed without adequate oversight.
Contract management software provides a consistent, automated process for management of contracts and the associated administration. It can offer a centralized platform for storing documents and data and a framework for standards and control procedures. Automated reporting tracks valuable information and uses trigger notifications so nothing gets missed. You can also keep on top of all compliance management and processes by using the custom reports feature, which allows you to analyze operational data, workflows, information, and documents. Having access to this complete overview of your contracts allows you to communicate and present changes to contracts and key findings to the employees and stakeholders across the business or organisation and third parties. This can simplify the contract management process, especially with ever changing regulations, and can keep you up to date in the fast-paced economic market.
If you feel contract management software can offer your business a viable solution to contract management, then do not hesitate to contact us here at Symfact, and we can discuss your individual requirements.