How To Improve Your Contract Visibility In 2024

How To Improve Your Contract Visibility In 2024

Contracts are the backbone of any business, governing relationships with vendors, partners, employees, and customers. Yet, many organizations struggle with maintaining visibility into their contract lifecycle, leading to various issues. Here's how to improve contract management process transparency for better outcomes.


Companies should always know where their contracts are, what stage they are in, and if they need any immediate action. Traditionally, businesses are known to depend on spreadsheets, drives, and email chains to keep track of their active contractual relationships. Although feasible, traditional approaches can become chaotic when contract portfolios expand and become more complex.

Fortunately, that’s not a concern for scaling businesses any longer. Advanced tools and strategies are available today to improve visibility throughout the contract lifecycle. Consequently, legal professionals won’t have to deal with missed deadlines, breaches, or inaccurate data.

Webinar on Benefits of Contract Management

What is contract visibility?

Contract visibility refers to the ability of organizations to have a clear, comprehensive, and real-time view of all their contracts. It includes knowing where contracts are and accessing, tracking, and analyzing the data within them. 

Contracts are the single source of truth for obligations, rights, payments, and responsibilities. Businesses must prioritize transparency in contract management to guarantee mutually beneficial and legally compliant contractual relationships. 

It goes beyond simply making the contracts available; all pertinent data and records must be easily retrievable. That is outside the scope of standard document management systems. Hence, organizations must look into advanced tools and strategies to ensure contract visibility.

What are the challenges in ensuring contract visibility?

Managing their constantly expanding contract portfolios is one of the biggest obstacles to maintaining visibility. In most organizations, contracts remain across multiple departments and platforms. There’s no centralized storage to organize and track them. Moreover, often contractual agreements are found in diverse formats (paper, email, and PDFs), adding to the diversity issues. 

Another challenge is that the contract management process remains strictly under the legal department’s purview. In such cases, sales, procurement, finance, and other relevant stakeholders have a hard time accessing the files and information. It can lead to performance and compliance issues. Lastly, there’s no point in establishing accessibility if the integrity of contracts is questionable. Therefore, manual processes and version control can also pose a challenge to contract visibility. 

Why is contract visibility crucial for businesses?

Whether in sales, procurement, or finance, simply carrying out a business contract won’t get things done. Relevant stakeholders must stay on top of them throughout the contractual relationship to ensure they’re making the most of them. Organizations require continuous access to the documents and related information to do that. Contract visibility is beneficial to teams in sales, finance, and procurement, in addition to legal professionals. For instance, salespeople can better serve customers with access to the contract lifecycle.

  • Stay on top of the contract lifecycle

Most businesses have automated tools to carry out the contract lifecycle. Even then, you can’t expect contractual agreements to get to the finish line without any hurdles. Any step of the contract management process, including drafting, negotiation, review, and signing, is susceptible to problems. If the businesses have visibility throughout the contract lifecycle, they can take immediate action as issues crop up. Additionally, it helps prevent the problems from getting worse. Consequently, they can avoid unnecessary delays and ensure smooth operation throughout. 

  • Establish compliance and performance

Business contracts dictate the rules, responsibilities, and rights of each party. Organizations need contract visibility to ensure everyone adheres to the terms and conditions. They can monitor contract performance and take corrective action to maintain a positive working relationship. Thus, they can avoid breaches and contractual disputes. Apart from obligations, parties must also keep track of contract milestones. Transparency is essential for meeting renewal, expiration, and payment deadlines.  

  • Contract intelligence

Contractual agreements hold a wealth of information for businesses to make informed choices. They can gain insights from executed contracts regarding vendors, customers, processes, etc. When stakeholders have complete visibility, they can use data analytics to gather contract intelligence. They can predict trends, identify opportunities, and mitigate risks. It enables businesses to make data-driven decisions about future operations, such as vendor selection and negotiation.  

Consequences of poor contract visibility

Missed deadlines and obligations: Lack of transparency in contract management can lead to missed important deadlines and obligations.

Increased financial and legal risks: Poor contract visibility can result in non-compliance with regulatory requirements, disputes with counterparties, or even litigation.

Inefficiencies and wasted resources: Without transparency, organizations will struggle to identify areas for improvement in their contract management processes.

What are the strategies for improving contract visibility?

A traditional approach to contract management means files are stored across cabinets and shared drives. It hinders transparency and makes it challenging for organizations to track contract access. So, the first step towards improving visibility is bringing your business contracts to the digital age. Here’s how:

Implementing contract management software

Contract management software offers users access to the entire contract lifecycle, from drafting to review to post-execution. As the whole process takes place on a single platform, it’s easier for businesses to keep track of the contractual agreement. For instance, Dock 365 provides a comprehensive overview of the entire contract management lifecycle. The customizable dashboard provides real-time information on contract status, upcoming deadlines, etc.

Creating a centralized repository

Having all the contracts in one place is the best way to improve visibility. Organizations can do that by creating centralized contract repositories. It enables them to store, organize, and search contractual agreements effortlessly. With advanced search functionalities and organized categorization, stakeholders can locate specific contracts, clauses, and terms within seconds, eliminating the need to sift through endless folders or emails. Collaborating on contracts becomes seamless with centralized repositories, as multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously, track changes, and communicate in real time. 

Standardizing contract templates and metadata

Another strategy for improving contract visibility is to standardize contract templates and metadata. By creating standardized templates for different types of contracts, businesses can ensure consistency in language, formatting, and terms. It improves the searchability of contracts across the board.

Additionally, by standardizing metadata, such as contract expiration dates, renewal options, and obligations, organizations can easily search, filter, and retrieve specific contracts based on criteria such as contract type, expiration date, or parties involved. This enhanced searchability enables quick access to relevant contract information, saving time and effort in contract management.

Establishing clear ownership and accountability

Access control allows businesses to control who can view, edit, and approve contracts at various stages of the contract lifecycle. By implementing access control mechanisms, organizations can ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive contract information, reducing the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches.

For instance, Dock 365 offers different levels of access to the contract management platform. Businesses can set up individual permissions for each contract or task. They can specify who would be the owner, editor, or viewer of a specific contract. It enables organizations to limit access to contracts to specific departments or teams. As a result, vendor agreements are the only thing the procurement team has access to and needs to worry about.

Automation for alerts and notifications

Businesses can set up automatic alerts to notify stakeholders about upcoming deadlines, milestones, or changes in contract status. By automating this process, organizations can ensure that nothing falls through the cracks and that contracts go through the lifecycle efficiently and effectively.

Dock 365 allows businesses to set up automated alerts for contract renewal and expiration. Thus, they can ensure concerned parties receive the necessary warning and can take timely action. Users can also set up reminders for specific contractual obligations or tasks to guarantee all parties carry out their responsibilities. Notifications of any modifications to the contractual agreement are sent in real-time to the relevant stakeholders.

Integration with CRM and ERP systems

Contracts are necessary for all departments to function, including sales, finance, HR, and procurement. Managing contracts in silos can lead to inefficiencies and redundancy. Lack of access to contract terms and obligations may cause employees to waste time looking for information. Integrating an organization's contract management platform with other systems that its staff members use can help close this information gap.

For instance, Dock 365 integrates with applications like Microsoft 365 Dynamics CRM, Salesforce CRM, Business Central, and NetSuite. Thus, users can access the entire contract lifecycle from either platform. All pertinent data is kept in one central location by syncing contract data with ERP or CRM systems. It eliminates the need to switch between multiple platforms, providing a holistic view of contract status, terms, and performance. It improves contract visibility across the organization.

Webinar on Benefits of Contract Management Using Salesforce


All contracts in a business's portfolio must be easy to access, monitor, and evaluate. Contract visibility enables organizations to gain a comprehensive understanding of their contractual relationships. With the right information at the right time, they can make informed decisions and mitigate risks proactively.

They can identify potential risks, such as non-compliance with regulatory requirements or missed deadlines. It allows them to take corrective action before issues escalate. Owing to the significance of visibility, Dock 365 provides a comprehensive overview of the contract management process. They can oversee contracts through every stage of the lifecycle. There are custom reports and dashboards for real-time data on performance, compliance, and milestones. Moreover, all the contractual agreements and related files are stored in a centralized repository for utmost transparency.
Schedule a live demo to learn more about the benefits of Dock for businesses.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is not intended to be legal advice; rather, all information, content, and resources accessible through this site are for purely educational purposes. This page's content might not be up to date with legal or other information.
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Written by Deepti Gopimohan

As a creative content writer, Deepti has spent years assisting brands to share their unique voice with audiences, complying with the latest marketing trends and strategies. Her educational background in Literature & Journalism has helped her research and publish content for diverse industries & mediums.
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Reviewed by Naveen K P

Naveen, a seasoned content reviewer with 9+ years in software technical writing, excels in evaluating content for accuracy and clarity. With expertise in SaaS, cybersecurity, AI, and cloud computing, he ensures adherence to brand standards while simplifying complex concepts.

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