There’s no denying that contracts are a key part of business, so it goes to follow that how you manage your contracts is equally important. Contract management processes are long, and executing them manually and on hard-copy documents presents unnecessary risks. It makes it easier to misplace important documents and increases the chance of mistakenly working with outdated versions, which could result in prospects losing confidence in your services and lost business. You may also have vendors who are contracted to provide you services, but they’re not contractually obligated to like you. You have to foster those types of beneficial relationships on your own through good communication, and part of that is solid organization. With your contract management software, you should be able to securely manage your contracts electronically in a well-organized repository that allows you to quickly retrieve the latest version of your documents. For that, you’ll need Enterprise Content Management (ECM).
Possibly a flow chart of the contract management process? Looks complicated. I’ll leave it to you.
ECM does a great job of handling one of the most important parts of contract management – security – by allowing you to choose who has what kind of access to your contracts. Some individuals can have the ability to edit documents, while others have read-only access or no access at all. You can also allow employees to view only certain parts of documents. With ECM, you can also automate document retention by setting timers so your contracts can be automatically disposed of when the time runs out. You’ll even get a reminder before they are removed in case you need to review them first.
ECM’s contract management tools aren’t just good for security reasons – they can help you improve service to your vendors and clients by streamlining the entire contract process. All of your contracts and any related documents will be stored in one central location, easily accessible from anywhere. This will simplify collaboration as well as give you the ability to cross-reference supporting materials without having to switch from program to program. Another way to improve business processes is to automate them. Several facets of contract management can be handed over to your ECM, such as document routing and approval. You can also be automatically notified of important dates for contract renewal or review and track any changes made to documents, making audits easier and less stressful.
ECM can make a substantial difference in the way you do business and lead to big improvements in compliance, productivity, and service. Don’t let the details of some of your most important processes fall through the cracks when contract management solutions can easily take care of them for you. If you’d like to dive a little deeper into what ECM can do for your contract management, take a look at our Ultimate Guide to ECM below!