Any organization with a sizable contract portfolio counts on their contract manager, or contract management team, to ensure that every agreement is carefully monitored from signing through the closeout process. Depending on the number of contracts, the value of those agreements, and the risks associated with not managing them effectively, various solutions can be implemented to help ease the burden of keeping up with them manually.
What kinds of tools do contract managers need to be successful? This blog covers why dedicated contract management software should be at the top of the list, and how it impacts the legal team.
For help quickly identifying the best type of solution to address your specific contract management challenges, download The Buyer’s Guide to Contract Management Software.
When you’re responsible for keeping up with hundreds or thousands of contracts, having an organized system for managing your documents is key. Contract management software includes a centralized document repository where all of your agreements can be housed and organized according to your needs.
That means that the next time you’re faced with an urgent request to produce the specific details of an agreement - like the end date, the contract value, or the opt-out window - you know exactly where to look. And with advanced search and OCR capabilities, you can find any contract or key term in seconds.
Drive Greater Efficiency
One of the greatest challenges contract managers face is the struggle to handle contract-related tasks in a timely manner. While many people are still using spreadsheets to keep track of agreements and the various clauses, deadlines, and other details connected to each contract, this manual method adds time and complexity to the contract management process.
Contract management software comes with helpful features designed to speed up the contracting process, including things like:
- Artificial intelligence - The majority of AI features are designed with speed and efficiency in mind. AI has the potential to do some of the heavy lifting for you, and can automate previously manual tasks, like pulling out key pieces of metadata from your agreements, and automatically generating contract outlines so you can easily jump to any section in a given document.
- E-signature - Electronic signature has become even more important in the last year, and is now one of the most sought after contract management tools in the remote working environment. Some contract management software solutions are able to integrate with third party e-signature providers, and some include built-in electronic signature functionality, eliminating the need to adopt and implement additional software.
Eliminate Contract Silos
Another reason contract management software is so beneficial for contract managers is that it can remove information silos and help you share some of your contracting responsibilities with various departments and stakeholders.
Legal teams and contract managers have traditionally been the keepers of all contract information within an organization, but technology has improved the process. Contract management software makes it easy for others to reference relevant contracts so you aren’t forced to get involved every time a colleague has a basic contract question. With permission-based user roles, you can assign varying levels of access to different folders in your contract management system, so authorized users can log in and see the agreements that pertain to their role or department. This allows contract managers to remain in control of the contract management process, but also enables more people to get involved with the oversight of corporate agreements.
Achieve Greater Contract Insight
Many legal departments adopt contract management solutions because of the ability to streamline the reporting process. When done manually, contract reporting often requires a significant amount of time and effort to organize, review, and present data in a meaningful way. With help from contract management software, custom reports can be set up once and scheduled to run on a recurring basis, so key contract insights are automatically delivered to your email inbox. You can also create custom reports that are regularly sent to key stakeholders throughout your organization, so various executives and department heads always have updated information about the contracts they care about most.
Find Peace of Mind
Finally, contract management software offers contract managers - and their colleagues - peace of mind. Especially when dealing with a high volume of contracts or high value/high risk agreements, it can be stressful trying to keep up with so many moving parts, knowing that one missed detail could have a tremendous negative impact on the business. With features like automatic milestone alerts to keep you informed, contract management software adds a layer of protection to your process and eliminates the need to track contract deadlines manually.
Plus, when your contracts are stored in one central, secure location, you know that all of your agreements are just a click away and always accessible.
For help identifying contract management solutions that align with your challenges, goals, and budget, download The Buyer’s Guide to Contract Management Software.