As a busy general counsel, you have dozens of things on your plate every day, and likely don’t have much time to keep up with all of your company’s contracts. Not properly managing your contracts, however, can come with serious legal and financial risks.

Fortunately, there are several straightforward strategies that can help you quickly improve your contract management process.

What can happen when you lose sight of your important agreements? Some of the risks of not properly managing your contracts include:

● Failing to notice if a contract has auto-renewed, which can cost the company money.

● Being in breach of contract without realizing it, which can damage a company’s reputation and lead to lawsuits.

● Being unable to locate a contract quickly, which can impact the company’s ability to make informed business decisions.

● Losing a deal due to slow contract execution.

Overall, inadequate contact management costs organizations 9% of their bottom line, according to World Commerce and Contracting.

What can you do to stay ahead of contract risk? Here’s a preview of a few of the strategies for mitigating contract risk. 

Centralize your contracts - Storing contacts in scattered locations can reduce visibility into your agreements, making it hard to keep track of contractual obligations. 

35% of corporate legal professionals store contracts across multiple locations, including various inboxes and computers, according to ContractWorks research. 

Set milestone reminders - Missing contract milestones can result in wasted money, compliance concerns, and even lost business.

56% of companies have missed at least one automatic contract renewal, according to ContractWorks research.

Track contracts during the signing process - Sending and signing contracts manually creates extra work, adds costs, and wastes time.

60% of business and technology leaders say that e-signature is critical in supporting business continuity and agility, according to Gartner research. 

Digitize paper contracts - Storing physical copies of paper contracts increases the chances of your agreements getting lost, misplaced, or damaged.

71% of companies can’t locate at least 10% of their contracts, according to the Journal of Contract Management.

For more tips to help you stay ahead of contract risk and a deeper look at how these strategies above can help, download 6 Simple Strategies to Mitigate Contract Risk, a free infographic from ContractWorks.