Contract visibility during contract management can be hard to maintain. Without the right tools for successful contract oversight, your organization can lose sight of contracts. Up-to-date contract document versions can be scattered amongst outdated ones. Contracts and contract data can be lost or misplaced if stored improperly. Contracts can be difficult to access and yield meaningful insights from with tedious and error-prone searching methods. Key dates and milestones can be missed - causing contract lifecycle bottlenecks, missed obligations, and compliance issues. Luckily, it doesn't need to be this way. Read on to discover four contract visibility tools with user-friendly contract management software.
Contract visibility allows organizations to find, oversee, and track contracts during contract lifecycle management. Organizations looking to improve the management of contracts should seek a way to easily store, locate, search for, report on, and track contracts from contract requests to contract renewals. Contract visibility can be supported with robust contract management software with the following advanced tools.
#1 - A Secure Contract Repository
As hinted above, contracts, contract documents, contract data, and more can be easily lost or misplaced without leading contract management tools. Luckily, your organization can leverage a secure contract repository system to take a great step toward full contract visibility.
Contract repository tools within enterprise contract management software can allow you to leverage robust contract intelligence to intelligently map contract data you introduce to easily configured user-defined fields and mission-critical fields provided out-of-the-box. Your organization can centralize and easily search for this necessary contract data as needed from a centralized and secure location within a robust contract management software platform - increasing accessibility and contract visibility.
Dealing with sensitive and confidential data with emails and spreadsheets can leave that data vulnerable to breaches. Thankfully, you can quickly identify sensitive and confidential data with contract repository software. By trusting a leading CLM software provider that is SOC 1, SOC 2, Privacy Shield, and HITRUST compliant, you can be confident that your data rests in a secure location while providing access and visibility to your team.
Without strict and meaningful contract data permissions that allow stakeholders to view only the necessary information pertinent to their responsibilities, you can face the risk of data falling into the wrong hands. Fortunately, a secure contract repository system can enable you to configure user permissions to allow stakeholders relevant access to only specific contracts, documents, and data - without granting access to extraneous parts of the system.
#2 - Contract Searching & Reporting
Without the ability to easily search for contracts, contract documents, and contract data, your organization can encounter contract lifecycle bottlenecks, overlooked or misplaced contract assets, and missed opportunities and insights. Luckily, leading-edge contract management software offers advanced searching and reporting for optimal contract lifecycle management.
Let's take a look at contract searching first!
Quick search functionality within leading contract management software makes it easy to search for contracts, contract documents, contract clauses, and associated contract data. Your CLM software users can virtually effortlessly enter a string of letters, words, or numbers for searching. For example, your users may "quick search" the term "ABC Agreement," and the system can search data fields for "ABC Agreement." Quick search functionality can provide filterable, sortable results that can easily be exported to a spreadsheet format. Contract management system areas listed on the results page can be accessed directly via a clickable link. As such, your users can quickly locate contracts, clauses, documents, and fields - significantly reducing contract lifecycle bottlenecks and enhancing contract visibility.
Robust contract management software also offers field-level searching to drill down even more when searching. Rather than searching all record metadata in your contract repository for a term, field-level searching allows you to narrow searches to, specifically, one of your configured or out-of-the-box contract data fields. Again, let's look at our "ABC Agreement" example. Maybe this time, your team only wants to search for "ABC Agreement" within a field for "Contract Title." You can easily filter so that this "Contract Title" field is scrubbed for your term "ABC Agreement." The filtering, sorting, and exporting options mentioned above apply for optimal convenience and visibility.
Now let's take a look at contract management reports!
Ad hoc reports for contract management are also almost sure to improve contract visibility drastically. Advanced CLM solutions offer an ad hoc report wizard to streamline your path to complete contract visibility. You can preview and edit configurable contract management reports for important contract data at a glance. Ad hoc reports can be easily configured, sorted, named, and saved for future execution, charting, and virtually effortless exporting to the aforementioned file formats. User permissions restrictions can give you control over who can view and interact with ad hoc reports. For optimal CLM governance and visibility, you can configure automated emails of ad hoc reports daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly. What's more, ad hoc reports can be configured to display on your users' configured dashboards for mission-critical contract management reporting at a glance upon logging into a user-friendly contract management system.
A user-friendly online contract management software report designer can offer your users even more contract visibility with governance over the appearance, layout, and information displayed on contract management reports. Leading CLM software solutions even provide drag and drop report designer functionality similar to that of other leading 3rd party reporting tools. The functionality can provide a visually engaging experience and allow your contract management software users to configure detailed and fleshed-out reports that include text, images, graphics, variables, conditions, cross-tables, multiple data summary options, and much more. Award-winning contract management systems let you easily export reports as ranging file formats.
Visually engaging executive graphical dashboards allow your users to see mission-critical contract data at a glance for enhanced contract analytics. These dashboards can include crucial analytics including (but not limited to):
- Contract KPIs (shown below)
- Contracts Overview
- Contracts by Department
- Vendor Management
- Year Analysis
- Bids Overview
Learn more about visually attractive report options like the one shown above.
Need more time to decide on your contract management software investment? No problem! Download our free contract management tracker below in the meantime!
#3 - Contract Management Workflow Automation
Manual contract workflow methods involving emails for task completion, spreadsheets, and shared drives can only get you so far in the age of legal operations digital transformation. To keep up with contract management demands, implement contract workflow automation for contract visibility throughout the contract lifecycle.
You can configure contract workflows for contract lifecycle management tasks from contract requests to contract renewals with user-friendly contract software. You can configure your users assigned to tasks to see task notifications and alerts within the system and via configured automated emails. Scheduled notifications and reminders make it so that your team can automate the oversight of each stage of the contract lifecycle to keep your team alert when task due dates are approaching, when they have arrived, and when they have passed. Need extra assurance that tasks will be completed? No problem - you can utilize task escalation functionality. If a team member is not completing assigned tasks in a manner you see as timely, you can trigger the automated escalation of incomplete tasks to a new contract management resource - promoting efficiency, punctuality, accountability, and - of course- ultimate contract visibility throughout your process.
As previously expressed, it is easy to lose contract visibility when dealing with misplaced contract document versions - sadly unsure of which of your contracts is the most up-to-date. Luckily, advanced contract management software can support contract version control and comprehensive audit trails for maximum contract visibility.
In-system contract management software version tracking can be a game-changer for contract visibility. Advanced CLM solutions offer a proprietary document editing interface. Whether creating or editing a document within your contract management software system or importing contract document versions from familiar work processing tools - your contract management software platform can be configured to automate version tracking with numbered and timestamped versions for thorough contract process visibility. Version tracking can also be enjoyed with centralized and robust contract management software connectors for ease of use and a familiarized word processing experience - such as with connectors for MS Word, MS Outlook, Google Workspace, and MS Office 365.
Award-winning contract software can also provide enhanced audit trails to the contract data field and contract document levels. Your team can confidently keep track of original values, dates, times, and employees that changed contract data fields and contract documents. Log-in attempts, viewed contracts, and fields on contract records that have been added, modified, or deleted can be included in audit trails with time, date, and user stamps. Audit logs are easily reportable with the reporting tools mentioned in this blog post. Your team can review audit logs as often as needed. Automated version tracking of contract files and attachments is readily available as well.
Contract management version control and audit trails are essential in promoting contract visibility in the age of digital transformation.
Contract Visibility With CobbleStone Contract Insight®
Now that you know the importance of contract visibility tools for successful contract lifecycle management, you should consider embracing an award-winning contract management software platform that provides comprehensive contract visibility with all of the four key tools mentioned above. That solution is CobbleStone Contract Insight. CobbleStone's scalable, low-friction contract management software platform has been trusted by contract professionals in a variety of industries for over 20 years and counting. CobbleStone has been praised and awarded for offering contract lifecycle management tools to conquer contract processes with optimal contract visibility.
Just look at how CobbleStone transformed legal operations in 2021 alone!
If you are looking to positively transform contract tracking and contract lifecycle management, book your free demo to see CobbleStone Contract Insight in action!