Every business professional knows that compliance is crucial to the success of your company.
Unethical or disorganized business practices can cost a company thousands in lost revenue, litigation, and irreparable reputation damage. The vast majority (more than 80%) of transactions are tied to a contract. A contract mishap can change a company’s direction or strategy, or even grind business to a halt. Earlier this year, a contract deadline mishap impacted Super Bowl XLVIII. Deadline looming, player Elvis Dumervil couldn’t find a Kinko’s to fax over his new contract. So at 3:59 p.m. the Broncos fired him rather than pay the $13 million-plus cap charge.
Implementing a contract management software solution can help minimize and manage some of the risks associated with contract compliance. It helps you control and monitor the status of your contracts and keep up with deadlines. With it, you can track changes in contracts and share them with coworkers and clients.
Weaknesses in contract management result in a 9.15% hit to the average business’s bottom line.
Here are just a few features to look for in a contract management software product that can help your organization increase contract compliance.
Provide a centralized repository
Contract management software exists to provide a centralized repository that stores all important information related to a contract. When you need to reference an agreement or complete a review, all the information you need is right at your fingertips. Some systems will allow you to customize your naming conventions, customize the fields that you want to track, and store unlimited amounts of data and documents. Many systems will also allow you to search and report on any information stored in the system, which can provide important business analytics and aid in the audit process.
Most systems also provide alerts regarding key dates, tasks, and contract milestones. Timely alerts allow you to make and receive payments on time, complete appropriate reviews, submit forms, and complete assigned tasks to ensure thorough and responsible business practices. Some systems also integrate with your e-mail and calendar system to ensure that you’re seeing the alerts in time to take action.
These alerts can be used to automate your workflow processes right through the application itself. Some contract lifecycle management software products will even allow you to set up document templates using approved terms and language to speed the document drafting process and standardize contracts. Some products can also integrate with an external eSignature platform (or provide their own proprietary eSignature product) to easily facilitate the contract execution process.
Contract management software also enhances the security of your contracts. Certain software allows you to lock down sensitive and confidential records, documents, and personal information to limit security risks and data breaches. Many systems will also allow you to customize user permissions to ensure that data is only being accessed by individuals with the proper authority to view that information. Some systems also provide a full audit trail to track contracts, reduce risk, and hold employees accountable for any changes they make.
If your organization currently struggles with compliance, a contract management software product could be a worthwhile investment to enhance the functionality and success of your business. Creating a positive compliance culture at your organization ensures that you meet or exceed your service commitments, preserve your organization’s reputation, foster strong vendor-client relationships and retain a loyal client base.
To learn more about which contract management software people are using, check out our Top 20 Contract Management Software Comparison. To filter your options by feature, check out our interactive directory.
Looking for Contract Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Contract Management software solutions.