With remote working fast becoming the new “normal” for many businesses, it is important that contracts can still be effectively managed with no loss of productivity or negative consequences on a contract lifecycle.
If you have members from your team working from home, you want to be sure you have the tools in place to support your contract management and the challenges that come from a remote working environment.
Although manually managing your contracts from home may be feasible, there is a huge loss of contract visibility, which makes any contract management harder and less effective due to the lack of data access and reduced version control.
There are also other challenges to consider, such as security and compliance. Trying to monitor and track your remote employees is almost impossible when you are still reliant on manual and paper processes, and not only does every phase of the contract lifecycle becomes slower and less efficient, slowing down sales cycles and creating organizational bottlenecks, but without the means to correctly track and audit your staff, you run the risk of incidents of non-compliance, security breaches and lack of accountability.
It is essential that your business can provide the correct platform to ensure your contract lifecycles and the management processes involved, still run smoothly through the switch to a remote working environment.
Contract management software can provide the solution to the problems outlined above. So, how can contract management software help?
Providing a cloud-based/browser-based central repository
One of the main advantages to contract management software for remote working, is that the majority are browser based. Having a contract management system that is based online has become essential. With many employees working from home and some of the world still under sanctions and lockdowns due to the current pandemic, access to everything you need without having to go to the office has become essential for a lot of businesses. This includes a central repository.
An online storage repository is a standard feature of all contract management software solutions. To safeguard your contracts and documentation, a central repository stores everything in a safe, single, online location.
By digitally collating all your contracts into a central repository you gain control over the access to the data and create a single source of truth. Version control is a best practice for any contract management system, but it becomes even more important when you have employees working from different home locations. By using contract management software, you can use the features provided to track any changes made to contracts and communicate and unify data, not just across your business, but to any involved third parties.
A central repository works best when your chosen contract management software has the capability to catalogue your metadata and use configurable search tools and data tags to identify contracts for key words and clauses. This is a crucial feature for remote working, as it allows employees to find and have quick and easy access to precise information, reducing the possibility for loss and error.
There is a reason a central repository comes top of our list of how contract management can help you, and that is because it helps keep a high level of organization, even with remote working, which in turn leads to greater efficiency, a tighter control on the contract process, easy communication and collaboration and access to everything your employee needs, wherever they are.
Creating standardized processes and procedures
Without standard contract management processes in place, trying to manage your contracts whilst working from home becomes increasingly difficult. There are often several different departments involved during a contract lifecycle and managing effective communication and processes throughout the different phases of a contract is hard enough when everyone is in the same building! Standardization can help with collaboration, improving productivity and a better use of your resources.
That is what contract management software can offer you, a series of standardized processes, so you know your employees are working from the same page. Standardized contract templates and contract language allows for a lighter load on your legal and compliance teams, and you can improve administrative efficiency by integrating any siloed departments.
If there are a set of standard processes and procedures throughout your contract management, your employees will have a base for their administrative tasks and have less issues dealing with your contracts when working from home.
Utilizing Electronic Signatures
To help employees whilst working remotely, you need to have access to electronic signature software. You can find dedicated e-signature software easily, but a lot of contract management solutions will already have integrated e-signature software within their own platforms.
Electronic signatures are legally binding and remarkably user-friendly, you can sign from any device! With businesses becoming paperless, electronic signatures are a step that needs to be taken regardless of remote working and being able to keep your signature and approvals process moving quickly even when working from home, without having to use a different software solution, is a key benefit of contract management software.
Using intelligent, automated workflows
If you choose an automated contract management system, all the information about your organization and associated entities will remain in one location, so you can access, maintain and manage complex contracts and control organizational structures without complications by using automated workflows.
By automating your contract management processes, you can vastly reduce the amount of time it takes to approve and implement any contract amendments, even if the person or team handling your contracts is working from home, by using features such as contract and approval notifications, internal alerts, and deadline reminders. Most contract management provider will have integrated auditing tools, so you can track your progress, management, and contract performance throughout each stage of the contract lifecycle, avoiding any bottlenecks and ensuring you are getting the maximum value out of each contract without any slowing of the processes, no matter where you or your employees are.
Security & Compliance
Due to the ever-changing nature around regulations and compliance, a cloud/browser-based contract management system can be vital in this digital age. An online system enables you to monitor any current events or issues from wherever you are, and the centralized data repository means your teams can access, understand, and act on any worrying data or missed contract obligations whilst working from home, helping to stay abreast of any compliance policies or regulatory rules.
The automated system of contract management software allows for information and new policies to be easily communicated throughout your entire organization. You can use notification features of certain platforms to send a notification out to every employee concerned when a policy or regulation has been changed or is up for review.
Using automated technology can enforce standards and processes and increases the likelihood of compliance, whilst having better communication with your employees and making internal policies easily accessible online by allowing company-wide access within your software, enables a greater compliance with policies, by increasing the value and importance employees put on changing policies and regulations. This is especially important for employees who work from home, as a sense of inclusion breeds greater compliance.
Using the auditing tools, you can make sure the performance of each contract matches the requirements for your business and third parties are fulfilling contractual obligations. By auditing and tracking every step of a contract milestone or change from wherever you are, you can hold everyone involved accountable for their actions, either in the office or whilst remote working, helping give your company some protection against non-compliance whilst improving efficiency. Automated tracking and regular auditing and reviews protects your company and minimizes the risk of poor compliance.
Security is a big worry for businesses with employees working from home, accidental data breaches can have hugely negative consequences, especially with the tightening of data protection regulations across the world. By using the latest encryption technologies and authentication and access tools, contract management software can be of huge benefit to businesses within a remote working environment, helping to ensure your information stays easily and effectively protected.
Remote Working with Symfact
At Symfact, our contract management software can help your business with the strategic management tools and features needed to maximise the benefits and reduce the challenges created by remote working. By using our software to automate and streamline your contract lifecycle management and associated governance and administration, we offer a platform from which your business can succeed, no matter where your business or employees are located! To give you an example of what our automated solution can offer you, here are some of the features in our platform that are ideally suited to supporting remote working:
- Contract templates & clause library
- Centralized repository
- E-Signature software
- Automated workflows & interactive dashboards
- Permission-based Access Control
- Trigger-based Alerts & notifications
- Reporting & Data Analytics
- Identity & Incident Management
- Custom reporting
To match the pro-active, 24hr approach to business and remote working, here at Symfact we support a multi-language, multi-currency, and multi-territory function on our online platform by allowing access through any browser. This makes our contract management software an ideal solution for international, multi-location business and organizations.
- With our encrypted data transfer, you don’t have to worry about staying secure on the go, we provide protection and privacy no matter where you are
- Control your contracts from anywhere with an internet connection, including mobile devices
- Access your contracts from anywhere with full configuration and security using access control tools, so no changes can be made without permission
- Global management with a browser-based platform
If you are interested in seeing how our intelligent solution can work for your business, even if remote working hasn’t become a necessity, then please contact us here at Symfact for your free demo.
We want you to work smarter, not harder.