It’s 10 am. Do you know where your important documents are? These days, not having a handle on your information is the business equivalent of wondering if you’ve left your stove on at home – it’s stressful, uncertain, and potentially dangerous. No one wants the extra worry hanging over their head, especially concerning something as critical as contracts. Yet that’s what we bring upon ourselves when we leave our contracts in the hands of 1990’s processes, vulnerable to destruction or misplacement and taking a toll on our compliance.
We don’t want this for you. You deserve better. So we’ve compiled a short list – here’s three solutions that can help relieve the burden of manual contract processes:
1. Electronic Signatures
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 (or, God forbid, FAX IT. Is that still a thing?) seems like something we should no longer have to do in 2015, yet here we are.
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 and secure. Just this technology alone has saved organizations tens of thousands of dollars and shaved days off the signature process.
2. Paper Document Scanning
Filing cabinets may be a great place for dead bugs and the smell of the 1970’s, but they’re not particularly ideal for business contracts. There’s a lot of reasons to store those digitally, not the least of which is the ability to manage regulatory compliance. In addition, digital contracts are quicker and cheaper to transport and store and simplify accessibility and collaboration. They’re impossible to lose, impervious to fire or flood, and there’s tons of options to keep them secure.
3. Enterprise Content Management
Enterprise content management (ECM) is the biggest and most effective solution of the ones listed here, as it affects a number of different areas from information accessibility to process automation and speeds the process from start to finish. Contracts are automatically captured into the system upon arrival, where they are strategically indexed and searchable by keyword. From here, they are easily accessible to everyone with clearance to do so. ECM can be used to create workflows, store contract templates for quick creation, and provide audit trails and automated document retention to improve compliance.
Contract management is a big job, but somebody has to do it. We might as well make it easier when we can. To learn more about the solutions listed above, scroll down and check out our webinar recording, “Conquering Contract Management in a Digital World.”