Digital transformation in the workplace is enhancing productivity and collaboration by employing the use of software and smart devices to streamline processes and embrace a new way of working. Digitalization improves communication, content and document management, and the flow of information through an organization without the restriction of geographical borders or time zones.
Solving Problems with Contract Management Software (CMS)
Contract management is often viewed as a complicated and cumbersome task. This is definitely the case when the whole contract process is manually managed. The traditional paper-based way of working makes the contract lifecycle a difficult one. Here are a few reasons why a manual contract management process has increased risk that results in increased costs and wastes valuable resources and time.
Contracts usually involve different participants and teams. When a draft contract is created, there will be multiple iterations as it moves between required personnel for comments and approval. Waiting for responses causes delays and understanding of the contract can be misconstrued or interpreted incorrectly. Miscommunication can slow down the contract process or even result in the contract failing altogether.
CMS allows notes and documents to be attached to a draft contract as it gets circulated electronically, while keeping a full audit trail of any annotations, comments, and edits.
Clarity and Accessibility
After a contract is finalized and signed, they are often stored away in a filing cabinet or saved to a team member’s hard drive. When the contract has to be audited or monitored for overspending or renewals, it is not an easy process to manage. With CMS, contracts are stored centrally so they are easily found and alerts can be defined to notify key people about costs or expiration.
Contracts have associated risks that not everyone may be aware of. Using a contract management system can let you record these risks with contingency plans. And because each contract is different, it is possible to lose specific information in paper-based contracts. CMS can include customized information with important alerts to notify the relevant people the moment anything changes.
Main Benefits of CMS
The purpose behind implementing contract management software like ParleyPro is to streamline workflows and processes, while ensuring full compliance and transparency. There are several advantages that come together to fulfil the purpose of CMS:
Quicker Sales Cycles
Using an automated contract management solution facilitates the closing of deals quicker once negotiations are complete. There is no need to collect the paper trail to get a handle on the contract details.
CMS has e-signature capabilities that can be securely and instantly applied to finalize contracts regardless of where key participants are located. Digitally signing a contract adds speed and convenience to the contract process.
With automating the contract process, many features expedite the workflow such as having contract templates and instant approvals. This allows staff to work on other tasks that actively contribute to business performance. The frustrating and tedious task of managing paper-based work can be eliminated, which inevitably contributes to better productivity.
Authoring templates help with creating and maintaining approved legal clauses and customizable protection to prevent abuse of policies. Templates allow flexibility while preventing any actions that could potentially expose the business to risk.
A central repository with user dashboards provides invaluable analytics for contracts. CMS allows the design of custom reports to monitor and analyze contract history for opportunities and potential exposures.
How to Choose CMS
Starting to shop around for a contract management solution can feel like an overwhelming exercise. There are many software systems out there but it’s not a matter of one size fits all. A first step is listing your business’s expectations so you know what to address within the current system and what outcomes will be achieved with a specific toolset.
Core Software Features
The following points should be included in the core CMS offering to streamline processes for enhanced efficiency:
- Central contract repository
- Easy contract search
- Contract automation
- Ability to design and streamline processes
- Visibility, control and configuration of dashboards
- Seamless integration and deployment
With each vendor shortlisted, a live product demo should be scheduled to explicitly focus on your business and contract types. It is the perfect opportunity to deep dive specific processes that you can later compare between systems.
Every vendor quote should be compared against licensing, limitations, subscription length, customization costs, and user training. Customer support is another important factor and costs involved with extended support must also be checked. Looking for hidden costs is important before finalizing any vendor partnership.
Whichever vendor you choose, ensure it meets your expectations to enhance team interaction and collaboration, provide quick access to information, improve business execution, and remove silos in the business to facilitate knowledge sharing.
CMS gives significant benefits over manual, paper-based processes. Automated workflows leads to greater customer and employee satisfaction while adding to compliance, accuracy, and business intelligence.
Conducting thorough product research is important. Going through this exercise requires patience and planning – a rushed decision can lead to serious and expensive mistakes. A robust, quality contract management solution should have the desired features and functions to ensure a successful implementation.
Customer and value driven vendors will offer the best support and up-to-date technology that meets your business needs. By developing better methodologies, you can create an efficient workplace. Using digital, automated workflows to your advantage will give your company the competitive edge.