Who Needs Contract Management Software?

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    Learn about who needs contract management software.Many different types of organizations can enhance their respective source-to-contract needs with user-friendly and flexible contract management solutions.  To that end, we’ve examined five key organizational roles and explore their contract management challenges and how they can empower themselves with leading contract management software.

    Contract Managers

    The Trouble with Manual Contract Management

    A manual contract management process may be acceptable for an organization dealing with a few dozen contracts per year. However, once that number skyrockets into the hundreds or even thousands, contract management professionals must adjust accordingly.  Manual contract management practices often involve:

    • filing cabinets for paper documentation.
    • emails for task tracking.
    • various disjointed spreadsheets for version tracking.
    • ineffective and disorganized digital storage.

    Key dates and milestones are easily missed when an inadequate task and alert system is not in place, leading to increased risk, contract lifecycle bottlenecks, and reduced contract performance.  With a document drafting system that relies on multiple people creating, reviewing, and revising contract documents, time is wasted:

    • creating new documents.
    • downloading templates.
    • finding relevant information.
    • manually imputing data into a vast array of fields.

    Insufficient contract tracking prevents an organization from reaching its goals because it:

    • lacks cohesion.
    • lacks security.
    • causes delays.
    • puts organizations at operational and regulatory risk.

    To make matters worse, when a contract is finally approved for signatures, manual signing practices are outdated and slow. This leads to delayed contract execution.  Additionally, the direct and indirect costs resulting from paper-based processes, printing, wet signatures, administrative time wasted, and mailing fees can become exorbitant.

    Take Contract Management to the Next Level

    Leading contract management software helps contract managers to navigate the ever-changing landscape of contract management best practices.  A unified and secure contract repository system helps contract managers optimize contract and document duties such as:

    • location.
    • protection.
    • organization.
    • searching.
    • sharing.

    Additionally, audit trails provide an accessible, up-to-date record of contract version changes.

    Contract workflow automation reduces contract lifecycle delays by notifying the right people at the right time with automatic alerts, task reminders, and unlimited contract notifications.  Workflow helps track every stage of the contract lifecycle with collaboration, negotiation, and approval management tools - cutting contract approval time, reducing bottlenecks, and assigning accountability.

    Contract management automation helps contract managers create timely, accurate, and compliant contracts, documents, and letters that merge approved data fields and clauses.  An intuitive interface allows document versions and templates to be easily exported into standard file formats.  Microsoft Word plug-ins expedite drafting and review. Intelligent contract tracking tools supply contract managers with:

    • increased visibility.
    • a secure contract repository.
    • approved templates.
    • clause libraries for streamlined contract drafting.
    • performance insights.
    • improved collaboration.
    • and full audit trails.

    Consequently, contract managers see faster contract-to-close rates.  Tracking for unlimited attachment types, pre and post-award tracking, compliance tracking, and audit tracking allow contract managers to smoothly adapt to evolving standards and processes.

    Electronic signatures cut send-to-sign time up to twenty percent, saving time and money, providing enhanced signing security, and improving business relationships and visibility.

    With unlimited and secure file storage, intelligent workflow, contract lifecycle automation, enhanced tracking and search tools, and easy-to-use eSignatures, leading contract management software has everything contract managers need in one platform.

    General Counsel, Paralegals, & Corporate Legal Teams

    The Challenges of Legal Contract Management

    The all-encompassing and ever-growing challenge General Counsel and paralegals face is the increasing volume and complexity of contracts.  An inefficient contract management process makes the toughest contract management challenges for legal departments virtually impossible to overcome.

    The management of templates and standardized clause libraries is essential for ensuring the use of approved contract language and clause ownership.  The assembly and secure storage of documents and versions are instrumental in making the most up-to-date versions of contracts, agreements, and documents readily accessible.  Additionally, legal professionals must negotiate back and forth with counterparties and stakeholders.

    On the back end of a contract, signatures must be obtained, and the obligations and compliance of contracts must be adequately tracked.  On top of that, legal personnel must continuously engage with multiple pre and post-approval contracts simultaneously.

    With all of the abovementioned tasks and endeavors occurring at once and being managed by different members of a legal department, a decentralized and unsatisfactory contract management system with limited storage, limited security, and a lack of key date awareness would make successful legal document management nearly impossible – increasing the risk of:

    • lost documents and versions.
    • compliance and security issues.
    • approval and signature bottlenecks.
    • a lack of storage space.
    • workflow task delays.
    • missed key dates & renewals.
    • reduced contract value.

    Centralize Legal Document Lifecycle Management

    Legal teams can organize and centralize their contract management process with leading legal contract management software that automates the drafting and assembly of contracts, risk documents, agreements, and more.

    Document assembly is simplified when legal professionals have the tools to quickly generate accurate and compliant documents with an automated system.  An intuitive user interface with features such as quick search and MS Word integration allows for easy management and organization of multiple document versions and templates.  Document creation and contract drafting become smooth and efficient with collaboration tools built for legal teams.  With enhanced legal contract management software:

    • system admins can configure rules and set user permissions for document management and document version access so that the right people are working on the right tasks.
    • back-and-forth negotiation and post-approval tasks are unprecedentedly efficient with tools such as online negotiation portals, searching and reporting, automatic email and calendar alerts regarding key dates and renewals, and contract version history.
    • compliance monitoring makes it so that contracts and agreements meet regulations.
    • a secure contract repository enables legal professionals to store, track, and search multiple contracts easily.
    • clause ownership keeps templates secured and reduces the loss of legal properties.
    • furthermore, electronic approvals and e-signatures shorten contract-to-close rates.

    Stop wasting time and money with a disjointed legal document management process.  Consolidate documents, streamline approvals and compliance, and improve your ROI with leading legal contract management software.

    Procurement Professionals

    Manual Sourcing is Holding Back Procurement

    Manual and paper-based procurement management methods leave companies at risk for elevated procuring costs, lost documents, delays in the completion of procurement lifecycle tasks, slow approval cycles, missed opportunities for discounts, and uncontrolled costs.  Furthermore, an organization’s reputation can sustain damage due to missed payment deadlines, insufficient vendor management, ineffective dispute resolutions, and more.

    Procurement strategies relying on manual procurement tools creates an unsatisfactory, non-standard process that leaves organizations at risk for:

    • bottlenecks in the procurement lifecycle.
    • costly bidding on contract records.
    • slow bid response collection.
    • missed opportunities for growth and savings.
    • redundant, error-prone data entry.

    Take Control of Your Procure-to-Pay Process

    To simplify the procurement lifecycle and avoid the abovementioned issues, procurement professionals must empower themselves with leading eProcurement software.  The right platform provides the necessary tools to meet procurement goals and helps public and private organizations with fast benefit realization due to:

    • quick deployment.
    • simplified maintenance and support.
    • reduced total cost of ownership.
    • in-office and remote access.
    • end-to-end spending, procurement, and purchase tracking.
    • team collaboration.
    • intelligent and automated workflow.
    • automated bid advertisements.
    • online bidding.
    • diversity and vendor insurance cert tracking.
    • spend and cost comparison capabilities.
    • supplier ratings and scorecards.
    • electronic approvals and e-signatures.

    Reduce risk, standardize and organize your organization’s purchasing process, and maximize the value of your purchasing opportunities with cutting-edge eProcurement software today.

    Sales Professionals

    Insufficient Contract Management and Revenue Loss

    Manual contract management processes result in a lack of transparency, order, and accountability relating to tasks and projects that financially impact an organization – which leads to revenue leakage.  In many cases, it is not the contracts themselves that are the culprit, but rather an organization’s sell-side contract management process.  There are many reasons contracts may lose revenue, such as:

    • Lack of Contract Visibility: An organization's sales team spends too much time searching for contracts, fails to keep track of document versions, and scrambles to track the status of contracts.  As a result, time is wasted, and bottlenecks provide the organization’s clients with time to find solutions to their problems – through competitors.
    • A Manual Contract Management System: An inadequate contract management process involving emails and spreadsheets hinders the sales process of an organization and limits the number of contracts it can manage.
    • Poor Contract Performance Tracking: If an organization’s contract performance data requires manual collection, storage, and review that is naturally prone to human error, then it does not support the contract analytics and reporting capabilities necessary to drive revenue.
    • Insufficient Risk and Compliance Management: If an organization lacks the visibility and automation that ensures obligations are met, then it can fall behind, fail to meet contract terms, and face penalties and fines.
    • Ineffective Sell-Side Document Management: An organization's sales process is broken if the team spends too much time drafting documents that are held up in legal review, causing them to miss key dates, renewals, or other revenue-boosting opportunities.

    In addition to dollars and cents, revenue leakage can result in lower profitability, decreased market share, underperforming stock, and less capital for growth, investments, and innovation.

    Stop Contract Revenue Loss

    The key to reducing your organization’s pattern of revenue-losing sales practices is improving its contract management process.  Email, shared drives, and spreadsheets will not suffice.  A contract repository alone is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough.  To nip revenue loss in the bud, sales teams need to manage the entire contract lifecycle with contract management software.  Leading contract management software can help sales professionals to:

    • control document versions, updates, accessibility, and approvals with audit trails.
    • draft contracts quicker with approved clause libraries and templates.
    • provide transparency regarding contract performance with contract management reports.
    • complete tasks and meet milestones with automated calendar and email alerts.
    • take advantage of beneficial opportunities and reduce unintended renewals or cancellations with consistent negotiation, renewal, and cancellation process tracking and alerts.

    Stop losing revenue and take control of your sales practices.  Shorten contract cycles, increase compliance, decrease risk, and find more opportunities for the contracts you manage by introducing an award-winning and user-friendly contract management solution.

    Compliance Professionals

    The Hardships of Manual Compliance Management

    Manually working with hundreds or thousands of different contracts and documents and overseeing obligations, terms and conditions, regulations, committals, and expectations is extremely inefficient.  Handling compliance management manually without issue is virtually impossible.

    Human error is inevitable, and mistakes in compliance management may be overlooked within a large volume of documents. Data handled manually is often stored in disparate systems, leaving crucial information dispersed.  Task management is a burden when different employees and departments are in charge of various tasks at different times – making the process overly complicated, slow, and with a high risk for error.  All of the abovementioned compliance issues can have very detrimental consequences for an organization’s post-approval process, such as:

    • violations of a contract’s terms.
    • late fees and bottlenecks.
    • litigation hang-ups.
    • and damage to both an organization’s budget and reputation.

    Simplify and Streamline Compliance Management

    Compliance oversight with leading contract lifecycle management software help compliance professionals stop missing deadlines and obligations.  A secure, centralized contract repository allows compliance personnel to keep track of documents pertaining to obligations, terms, regulations, committals, and key dates – all in one unified location.

    Quick search tools make it so that compliance professionals have the terms laid out in a contract readily available. Compliance reports help compliance managers stay ahead of obligations and deadlines, allowing them to assign tasks accordingly.  Task management is simplified with task and key date alerts, intelligent workflow, and task-escalation tools.

    With next-level contract management software, compliance professionals can furnish themselves with the tools to function within the terms of a contract, meet obligations on time, avoid bottlenecks, increase revenue, reduce risk, and maintain a trustworthy reputation.

     Excel in Your Role With Contract Management Software

     To meet contract-related goals, organizations should be managing the entire contract lifecycle. CobbleStone's Contract Management Software, Contract Insight®, is hailed as a leading contract management solution.

    CobbleStone's plethora of contract management features empowers organizations to manage contracts more efficiently by:

    • mitigating risk.
    • overseeing compliance.
    • drafting documents quickly.
    • tracking  and reducing costs.
    • receiving alerts.
    • signing documents with E-signatures.
    • transforming  outdated contract administration procedures.

    CobbleStone's contract lifecycle management software is relied upon by thousands of contract, legal, procurement, risk, compliance, and sales professionals worldwide.

    Make your case for contract management software. Download your guide now.

    Published: 11/15/19
    Sean Heck

    Written by Sean Heck

    Sean Heck is Content Marketing Manager at CobbleStone Software

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