Every organization that has a large contract portfolio will rely on their contract management team for successful monitoring of each legal agreement through the various stages of the contract lifecycle, such as contract negotiations and signing. The quantity of contracts, value, risk potential, and complexity of such agreements will determine what protocols should be set in place for the most effective approach to managing your organization’s contracts. There are several different tools provided by modern contract management software solutions that will assist your contract management team and your legal team when overseeing contracts.
Contracts are at the core of any thriving business or organization. However, legal teams often work on contracts using manual processes as opposed to leveraging a software-based approach to contract management. Your organization’s legal team can benefit from a contract lifecycle management (CLM) system to help systematize your daily legal tasks while increasing productivity and efficiency. Additionally, contract management software can help you reduce costs by expediting contract lifecycles. This is made possible by way of a centralized, cloud-secure contract repository. Using your repository, you can easily search and gather important information, locate opportunities, and take strategic action that will allow you to speed-up contract lifecycles.
With all of this in mind, let’s discuss several ways that contract management software will advance your contracting processes and assist your legal team.
For an in-depth overview of the contract intake process for your legal team, click here.
An organized system is an absolute must-have if you are consistently working with a high quantity of contracts. By leveraging a contract management software solution, you can centralize all of your contract data within your digital repository, allowing for simple and secure storage and retrieval. If you’re ever in a pinch and need to locate specific contract details immediately (i.e., opt-out window dates, expiration dates, etc.), the centralized repository makes it easy to find exactly what you need within seconds. Advanced filtered search capabilities allow you to find contracts, clauses, and other key details on-demand.
Contract management teams oftentimes struggle to properly manage all of their contract tasks and responsibilities with timeliness. Many teams continue to utilize manual processes like spreadsheets and shared drives to monitor their legal agreements, clauses, and deadlines associated with each contract. By tracking these details manually, you waste time and make the process that much harder and risk prone.
With contract management software, you can use various features to streamline contract management. For example, electronic signature integrations are an important addition that any contract management team should use. With an electronic signature solution like DocuSign, Adobe Sign, or Sertifi eSignature, you can expedite contract execution – especially now in a widely remote working environment. Our Contract Management System is integrated with the aforementioned electronic signature providers for an additional touch of efficiency.
With contract management software, you remove the tendency to develop silos of information, and you can help share your contract tasks with other departments on your digital solution that is accessible at any time, any place. In addition, these software solutions allow users to locate contracts instantly whenever a contract-related query is raised. One particular standout feature of contract management software is how it can provide security and protection to your organization’s sensitive data, and a centralized system allows for just that.
Permission-based access and user roles assist in risk mitigation by giving you to ability to assign levels of access throughout your contract management system, meaning you will only allow authorized personnel to view agreements that are relevant to their role. In this manner, contract managers can fully control their contracting processes while allowing for more people to help at the same time.
Reporting is made simple with a contract management solution. When creating contract reports manually, it takes an exorbitant amount of time to organize and synthesize contract data. However, contract management software can generate customized reports on a regularly scheduled basis, allowing you and your team to automatically receive key contract data to your email. Keeping executives, stakeholders, and department heads in-the-know of the most updated contract information regarding key contracts is incredibly simple with the numerous reporting capabilities provided by your software solution.
Gain peace of mind with a contract management solution that removes the guesswork. When an organization works with a high quantity of contracts or works with contracts that are high stakes/risk and high value, maintaining an efficient and risk-mitigative process can be taxing. One small error could lead to significant negative impacts on your organization, so leveraging a software solution can help add a layer of protection.
For your legal department, we suggest leveraging automated alerts to ensure all obligations and key dates are being met, so you never miss fulfilling your responsibilities or miss contract expiry and renewal dates. By storing contracts within your centralized, cloud secure repository, you’ll know exactly where your contracts are located at all times. To add, contract management software pinpoints important dates and clauses within contracts that are critical for legal professionals to keep in mind, helping to protect against the impacts of human error when keywords and clauses aren’t notated.
In essence, contract management software is key to risk mitigation, allowing your legal team to see which contracts are near expiration, which contracts require renegotiation, and which contracts and clauses require review. These features allow your legal department to skip past many unnecessary stresses while practicing some key risk mitigation strategies.
Locating keywords, important terms, clauses, and even contracts themselves can take a great deal of time. This unfortunately can cause other critical legal responsibilities and tasks to be tossed to the side. A user-friendly contract management software system can help you locate relevant documents in your centralized repository with advanced filter and searching capabilities, allowing your legal team to save time, energy, and resources.
For more information on the top legal contract management software features, click here.
Collaborating and communicating with several employees can prove to be difficult at times, especially when working on high-stakes, complex legal agreements. When working with employees remotely, time zones can add a bit of a challenge to developing an effective channel of communication. For example, version control can be an important issue when considering collaboration, where monitoring various edits, reviews, and contract iterations is critical.
Contract management software offers your legal team several advanced, collaboration-minded features to keep employees on the same page – literally. Your employees will be able to work on the most current contract versions at any time, allowing them to easily track changes, redline, and review contracts and associated documents. Gone are the days of email chains and back-and-forth now that you can use a centralized system perfectly suited for cross-department communication and collaboration.
Many legal departments today still review their contracts manually. Locating contracts and developing contract reports can take tons of time and can increase the likelihood for human error. However, contract management software can do all of the tasks required in a successful and productive contract review. With optimal character recognition (OCR), you can identify key dates, important terms, and clauses immediately. These software solutions will only make contracting more powerful and effective, giving your legal team more time to spend on other responsibilities and strategic initiatives.
For a detailed contract review checklist, click here.
The legal industry is considered to be an industry that is weary to transition to new technological systems, as some manual systems seem be tried and true. This may be because legal operations typically require a systematic, linear, and manual working process. While this approach can work, legal technology can seriously up-level and improve efficiency – leading to serious results.
Legal technology today is evolving and finding its way into several industries as it improves and advances over time. In this manner, legal professionals could be assisted by the centralization and digitization of data, where all their organization’s contracts are kept in one place rather than in filing cabinets or in shared drives. A cloud-based digital contract repository solves this problem, removing the stress involved when a contract is lost or temporarily missing. Your repository is accessible to all of your employees and other authorized users at any time, any place in the world, on any digital device.
This means that legal teams who leverage contract management software can gain the competitive edge over others who currently do not use a software solution for their contracts. Contract management software doesn’t only allow users to access an organization’s contracts at any time, but it allows them to stay up to date on their contracts with automated reminders and notifications. For the most secure and productive approach to contract management that relieves stress and unnecessary pressures from your legal team, leveraging a user-friendly contract management system is the best investment you could possibly make.
For a comprehensive guide to legal contract management, click here.
Give your legal team the best contract management software so they can perform their responsibilities with the best assistance available. Dock offers an affordable and user-friendly approach to contract management that leverages your existing Microsoft 365 infrastructure. If you're in the market for a dedicated contract lifecycle management software solution, reach out and we would love to assist you with a complimentary demo of our solution.