Contract management can be costly, time-consuming and risky if it isn’t done right. For businesses of all sizes, having effective contract management protocols in place is vital. As well as streamlining the process, appropriate contract management systems can ensure that the business isn’t exposed to unnecessary risk. In addition to this, financial and organisation performance can be enhanced and maximised when you enforce effective contract management processes.
What is contract management?
Organisations enter into contracts all of the time. In fact, one business may enter into thousands of contracts on one day alone. As well as arranging individual contracts, such as hiring staff or working with a new supplier, businesses contract with clients and customers every time they make a transaction.
Ensuring these contracts are fit for purpose is vital for operational success. In addition to adhering to the relevant legislation and regulatory requirements, you’ll need to ensure that the terms of each contract are advantageous to the business, contain appropriate clauses in the event of a future dispute and feature a range of break clauses which will enable you to exit the contract if you need to.
Of course, managing each contract individually is a time-consuming job. Requiring consistent attention to detail, as well as in-depth knowledge of the law and your business needs, this type of task is typically something which needs to be undertaken by someone in an upper management position. If companies were to hire enough staff to manage their contracts, however, the costs could outweigh the benefits.
With dedicated contract management software, businesses can collate and organise contracts in one central location, as well as using in-built templates to form the basis of their contracts. Giving companies the opportunity to streamline one of the most time-consuming and important areas of their operations, contract management software is an effective way for companies to minimise risk, reduce costs and improve their performance.
Which contract management software is right for you?
When you’re choosing which contract management software to utilise, there is a range of features you’ll need to consider. Whilst standard contract templates may suffice for the large majority of your contracts, for example, you may want to use software which enables you to add industry-specific contracts and clauses. Using contract management software which offers specialised services, as well as generic terms and conditions, will enable you to draw up B2B contracts in seconds, and ensure that they’re in-keeping with industry expectations and standards.
Ease of use
To be effective, contract management software must be user-friendly. Being able to amend and modify contracts quickly and easily is vital if you want to modernise processes and increase efficiency. Furthermore, if staff are unable to use the software intuitively, they may abandon it altogether or miss out key contractual components, which could place the business in a risky situation.
Choosing contract management software which integrates with other commonly-used programs and apps can be advantageous, as staff are often familiar with these. Furthermore, any contracts you receive in alternative programs can easily be uploaded to your contract management system. With Symfact contract management software, for example, you can edit and modify contracts within the software, as well as using their in-built Microsoft Word extension. In addition to this, an easy-to-use drag and drop feature ensures the software is user-friendly and intuitive, for individuals with any level of technical proficiency.
Many of the contracts you’ll enter into will be feature non-disclosure or confidentiality clauses, so keeping them private and secure is essential. Whichever contract management software you select should offer enhanced encryption to keep your documents secure at all times. Data breaches routinely affect organisations of all sizes, and they can cause considerable fiscal and reputational damage. Considering the security measures of your contract management software is one of the most important aspects when it comes to selecting the right service for your business.
As well as enabling you to draw up accurate contracts quickly and easily, your contract management software should also encompass lifecycle management. Giving you the ability to manage contracts from start to finish, with in-built resolutions for potential issues which may arise, lifecycle contract management software ensures the entire contractual process is streamlined and doesn’t simply focus on the creation of contracts whilst negating the rest of the process.
Using cloud-based contract and lifestyle management software gives you additional flexibility, as well as increased security options. With the ability to access your software from any device or location, you can create, modify or enter into contracts from any location. Whether you’re working from home, hotdesking between offices or meeting with clients in the field, having cloud-based contract management software ensures you can close a sale, lock in a contract and secure a client from any location.