This blog post was updated on May 13th, 2021. Its original publication date was February 4th, 2019.
Contract tracking can be a significant challenge for legal teams, procurement managers, contract managers, and other industry professionals. Manual contract management processes may suffice for organizations with low contract volume and contract complexity, but when the number of contracts increases to hundreds, thousands, and beyond, contract failure rates increase exponentially. Read on to find out how to master contract tracking with leading contract management software.
Lackluster contract management systems reliant upon manual paper and filing systems, spreadsheets, and emails are not enough for organizations to get the most out of their contracts. In addition to making it difficult to reach financial goals, ineffective contract tracking solutions lack security and put organizations at operational and regulatory risk.
When Contract Tracking Goes Wrong
Does this scenario sound like your contract tracking story?
Your organization stores documents on a shared drive, you track contract metadata on a spreadsheet, and you use email to manage the contract lifecycle from requests to renewals. You spend inordinate amounts of time creating calendar reminders and alerts in an attempt to stay on top of key dates, milestones, tasks, approvals, expirations, and renewals.
The organization’s shared drive has multiple versions of documents with various naming conventions and file structures. To further complicate things, employees have document versions stored in their folders - making it nearly impossible to search and find contracts (let alone determine the correct version).
Your contract tracking spreadsheet has helped you stay on top of key dates like expirations, but the risk of error is high due to the necessity of constant manual data entry, regular maintenance, and updating. When it comes to spreadsheets, there’s a lot that they don’t do:
- Spreadsheets don’t support alerts for important tasks or issues with contract terms or language.
- Spreadsheets don’t support sell-side contracts by revealing cross-sell, up-sell, pricing, or discount opportunities.
- Spreadsheets don’t support fast contract approvals and seamless routing for signatures.
More problems arise when your organization discovers multiple spreadsheets are being used and no one knows which version is most up-to-date.
Contract management spreadsheet processes can only support contract tracking at a base level because they often prove to be ineffective at accurately tracking contract lifecycle tasks, contract status, contract compliance, contract performance, budgets, purchases, and invoices.
The process mentioned above was certainly an improvement from not having a formal contract tracking process in place, but the positive impact isn’t enough when timelines shift, audit trails are nowhere to be found, and schedules need to be continuously and chaotically reconciled. Ultimately, your organization concludes that it is still losing contracts, and precious time is being wasted following up with internal resources and counterparties for approvals, negotiations, and wet signatures.
Putting an End to the Waste
The principal path to mastering contract tracking is to eliminate the waste in your process. Stop wasting time searching for documents, stop wasting time manually locating supplier information, and stop wasting time searching through folders and managing long spreadsheets.
The Path to Contract Tracking Mastery
Effective contract tracking is achieved with greater efficiency, more visibility, easier collaboration, more secure document storage, more flexible and intuitive task management, automated alerts, and rapid contract approvals.
The fact is that manual or hybrid contract tracking systems may work up to a point, but they cannot adequately support complex contracts and increased contract volumes.
Your organization requires a solution that is secure, web-enabled, searchable, and strengthened with intelligent workflow automation and contract intelligence. Your organization needs a solution that makes contracts easily accessible, supports comprehensive contract reporting and contract analytics, simplifies contract authoring, contract negotiations, and contract approvals, automates tasks, supports monitoring of contract status and milestones, and provides thorough oversight so that executed contracts meet compliance, regulatory, and other standards.
That solution is full contract lifecycle management software!
Embracing Technology for the Win
Leading contract software supports effective contract tracking with a secure contract repository, increased visibility, intelligent merging of contract clauses and templates from a preapproved library, improved contract collaboration, comprehensive performance insights, full audit trails, and faster contract close rates. CLM technology is user-friendly - facilitating quick adoption by all users and impacted stakeholders.
- a secure, centralized contract repository with virtually unlimited document storage.
- robust version tracking and audit trails.
- tracking for virtually unlimited attachment types including contracts, POs, invoices, supporting docs, and more.
- vendor compliance tracking.
- award management tracking.
- contract record audit tracking and logging.
To better manage the entire contract lifecycle from "cradle-to-grave", look for additional future-minded contract management software functionality including:
- user-defined and system fields.
- automated notifications and alerts.
- intelligent automated workflows.
- IntelliSign electronic signature software functionality.
**The only solution on the market that supports all of the abovementioned, process-defining tools on one centralized source-to-contract management software suite is CobbleStone Contract Insight®!**
CobbleStone Contract Insight is flexible and configurable to your organization’s process and standards. Given all of the robust tools that CobbleStone offers on one unified platform, It’s no wonder why Forrester names CobbleStone a Leader in CLM software!
CobbleStone Software has been a visionary pioneer in contract lifecycle management since its inception. The myriad of features available with CobbleStone Contract Insight thoroughly equips organizations to manage contracts efficiently, easily manage risk, oversee compliance, rapidly draft documents, track costs, obtain alerts, sign documents with electronic signatures, and decrease contract management costs due to minimized productivity stemming from outdated contract administration.
Learn why thousands of contract managers across the globe trust CobbleStone with their contract management needs. To learn more about CobbleStone’s unparalleled contract software, book a free demo with a Contract Insight expert today!