The commercial industry is pretty filled to the brim with contracts, and the processes surrounding them are often long and unpleasant. Between routing and approving and signing, there’s a lot of opportunities for hold ups, and after all is said and done, you have to somehow keep track all those contracts. This is crucial, as contracts are an extremely important part of business – on the list of “Things Not to Lose at Work”, “Contracts” is probably third on the list, right below “Your Mind” and “Your Coffee”. Sometimes the first two are unavoidable, but there are contract management tools you can use to avoid the third, and that might occasionally help with the first. Your coffee is your responsibility.
Here’s three solutions that may help ease the pain of your contract processes:
The 168th draft of your contract has been approved! Hooray! Now it’s time to sign it! The signing of a contract is the most crucial part of the whole process, but manually signing a contract is one of the most needlessly complicated and frustrating ways to literally dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s”. Having to print out your contract, sign it, and then scan it and send it back is kind of a buzz kill, not to mention a huge waste of paper.
Electronic signature software makes this process refreshingly easy by allowing you to sign with a few clicks of a button. With the security and authorization measures that are used by digital transaction systems, these electronic signatures are not only legal, but incredibly reliable. Just this technology alone has saved organizations tens of thousands of dollars and shaved days off the signature process.
This step is super important in the whole “not losing your contracts” part of the process. It’s usually much faster and easier to pull up an electronic file than it is to go digging for a paper copy. They’re also easier and cheaper to transport and store, and safer in the cloud than they are in a filing cabinet, on your desk, or on the floor.
Enterprise content management (ECM) is the biggest and most effective solution of the ones listed here, as it helps with a number of different areas from organization to process automation. When used as a contract management SaaS, ECM speeds the process from start to finish. Contracts are automatically loaded into the system upon arrival, where they are strategically sorted and searchable by keyword. From here, they are easily accessible to everyone with clearance. ECM can also automate repetitive tasks such as contract routing, store contract templates for quick creation, and provide audit trails and automated document retention to improve compliance.
Commercial contract management is a big job, but somebody (probably you) has to do it. Fortunately, someone out there invented technologies that can smooth out the bumps in lengthy contract management processes, opening doors to productivity opportunities that are worth looking into. To learn more about the solutions listed above, click on any of the links in this article, or download our free guide to Enterprise Content Management below.