A cloud-based, centralized contract repository is a highlight of modern contract management software solutions. Prior to the technological advancements of today, traditional contract management processes were conducted manually – leading to disorganization, a lack of cohesiveness, and document loss. In these previous management methods, storing and sorting physical documents was very ineffective and risky. Contracts and related documents were often improperly categorized (or not categorized at all) in physical storage systems – leading to difficulty and time wasted when searching for a specific document in the repository.
With a centralized repository provided by contract management software solutions, the contract manager or business owner can build, store, manage, sort, and execute contracts in a single location. The Dock 365 Contract Management System (CMS) uses a centralized contract repository. In this repository, you can create, store, sort, and manage contracts in one location, allowing you to find contracts quickly while increasing visibility. The contract repository includes an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capability to convert old contracts and make them searchable within the database. To create a cohesive and streamlined contract management process, we recommend utilizing a centralized contract repository to store all of your contracts.
What is a contract repository?
A digital contract repository is often referred to as a “centralized repository” or “contract management repository”. A contract repository is a centralized place where contracts and related metadata is kept and managed. The repository will function in various ways based on the type of business, growth of the business, the number of users, and types of contracts and documents.
Contract management software has made some incredible advancements in recent years, and leading businesses and organizations are making the transition to digital contract lifecycle management in large numbers. A digital contract repository is an electronic contract storage system that allows users to tag, sort, categorize, archive, store, and retrieve their company contracts and associated documents in a cloud-secure environment.
How To Use A Digital Contract Repository
Contracts are the cornerstone of every business partnership, containing critical information and sensitive data pertaining to company performance stats and other business relationships. Your method of contract storage, accessibility, and organization is dependent on the contract lifecycle management solution you adopt. Today, digitizing contract management opens you up to increased opportunities to extract more value from your contracts.
Manual, paper-based contract management is clearly outdated, risky, and slow. A digital contract management solution allows users to easily access their contract and associated data to analyze trends and gain insights into contract performance and statuses. Within your digital contract repository, you can derive key contract information to help you make the most data-driven business decisions. In addition, you can rapidly and accurately search for exact pieces of metadata, clauses, and contracts within seconds with advanced text-based search capabilities and customizable, savable filters.
First, you must locate all existing contracts to be placed into your contract repository. Ensure your software is updated to the most recent version and that you are able to upload and extract contract data. Contract management software can allow you to extract contract data into your new repository.
In the case of adding new documents and contracts, be sure to add them to the contract repository to mitigate disarray and fragmentation in your storage system. The best part of having a centralized contract repository is the way it takes every document in places them in a very secure place.
The Pain Points of an Inefficient Contract Repository
Microsoft Excel has historically been the key software used by businesses to store contracts. An ill-equipped contract repository will only make it harder for you to manage your current contract portfolio, and most especially, a contract portfolio growing in volume and complexity. If you currently struggle to manage your contracts effectively, then a poor contract repository certainly won’t make it any easier – particularly when it comes to gleaning insights on your contract data. Consequentially, it can leave your business vulnerable to several potential pitfalls including the following:
Poor data accessibility
Keeping contracts filing cabinets, shared drives, desktops, email chains, and other disjointed locations only leads to an increased likelihood of data and contract loss as well as bottlenecks in retrieving your contracts when you need them.
Contracts include highly confidential data, and with a repository system lacking in security, you run the risk of a data breach and your documents being found in the wrong hands. A digital contract repository offers encryption in transit and at rest, user permissions-based access features, and other robust security capabilities to minimize risk exposure.
Forgotten obligations and key dates
Are you tired of letting auto renewal and contract expiry dates slip through the cracks? Say no more with automated reminders brought to you by contract lifecycle management software. A manual contract repository makes it difficult to collect key dates and track obligations directly from your contracts. Contract management software extracts metadata like milestones, obligations, terms, and key dates so you can easily monitor these items and plan ahead for them with your team.
Subpar version control
Collaboration and communication on your contracts become harder than it needs to be with a manual contract storage method. You’ll often have people working on the wrong contract draft version, or the wrong version might find itself in the wrong place. The poor ability to control contract version histories only leads to decreased visibility and increased confusion. In more extreme cases, minimal version control can result in the deletion of contracts or losing your contracts entirely.
Struggle to monitor KPIs
Without instant access to your contract data, it becomes nearly impossible to use your data to effectively oversee and monitor contract KPIs – cutting into your ability to analyze contract performance and business achievements.
Expensive compliance outcomes
A manual contract storage method increases costs by incurring fines and penalties associated with contract noncompliance and failure to adhere to industry and regulatory requirements and policies.
Cloud-based contract repositories are ideal for time management and efficiency. This is because the energy and time spent on manually searching for contracts and clauses, or monitoring compliance, can be drastically reduced. By using the contract repository, key contract managers and employees can shift their efforts towards more important tasks that require a hands-on approach, rather than be pulled to administrative duties. This way, your contract management team can increase productivity instantaneously. You can perform several functions pertaining to your contracts in a single secure place with the repository.
Let’s discuss the many benefits of a centralized repository.
Using a contract repository will decrease the fragmentation of your data and increase overall cohesiveness and organization. During contract life cycle management, it’s very likely that data will get fragmented at some point. Even by using a solution such as SharePoint to collect your data, it’s inevitable for data to become scattered due to numerous people and parties inputting different information. Utilizing a centralized contract repository will help in contract and metadata storage and management on a large scale. Additionally, contract metadata can be uploaded into the repository for contracts that are both new and pre-existing.
A massive advantage of a cloud-based, centralized repository is the fact that is provides a detailed birds-eye view of all contract information. Digital contract repositories provide business owners with a single source of truth regarding where their contract data is stored. Every contract detail, including contract type, name of the client or vendor associated with the contract, expiry date, status within the lifecycle, execution date, and more is readily available. Previous contract management heavily relied on excel spreadsheets or written documents to track specific contract details. Authorized users can access contracts without the hassle so they can attain accurate information relating to ongoing business relationships.
Human error is one of the largest areas for potential discrepancies that you will encounter during contract life cycle management. By entering data manually into spreadsheets, errors are bound to occur. Small errors can lead to large impacts business-wide.
What could human error cause in my business?
Reduced mastery of contract obligations
Missed renewals and deadlines
Misinformed business decisions
Inaccuracies in various reviews and reports
The Dock 365 Contract Management System offers a centralized contract repository that can automate data entry. In this way, your contract management team can work with a consistent user interface and eliminate human error – giving you and your stakeholders more confidence in the data storage, security, and accuracy of your contract repository.
Storing contract documents has never been easier. With our cloud-based, contract management system, you’ll never have to worry about losing track of documents. The previous manual method of storing physical copies of contracts and related documents made storing and retrieving copies incredibly difficult and disjointed. Storing physical documents takes up a large amount of space, increasing costs and decreasing efficiency. Now, you can use a digital contract repository that stores documents within a cloud and centralizes every piece of data. Finding a single document or clause within your contract repository is incredibly easy and efficient.
A cloud-based centralized repository is perfect for boosting overall performance and time efficiency. This is because the energy and time spent on manually searching for contracts and clauses, or monitoring compliance, can be drastically reduced. By using the contract repository software, key contract managers and employees can shift their efforts towards more important tasks that require a hands-on approach, rather than be pulled to administrative duties. This way, your contract management team can increase productivity instantaneously.
Within your centralized repository, you can categorize documents according to your business’s needs. Assign groups and folders so various document and contract types are delineated effectively. Due to the electronic organization of documents, you don’t have to stress about human error and the misplacement of physical copies. With standardized contract categorization, the admin can control contracts in a systematized manner according to company policies.
In a centralized repository, all sensitive data is kept safe so you can make tampering and document loss a thing of the past. Adopting a centralized contract repository software is an easy way to mitigate risk immediately. Don’t let your company’s reputation be soured by a lack of data security. Within a contract repository, your contract manager can enable specific security measures and permissions within the software to limit access to certain contracts and related documents. In previous manual contract management, security risks and the potential for tampering were highly increased. In electronic contract management, it’s impossible for a forgery to take place because users are noted within the software every time an individual accesses a document.
Version tracking is one of the most revolutionary features provided by a centralized repository. Within the lifecycle of an individual contract, the contract will undergo several edits and iterations by many different people. It’s important that the correct version of the contract is in the right hands at all times so that the correct information is relayed during its lifecycle. During contract building and drafting, several experts work together to create a contract. While spreadsheets provide a simplistic overview of data, as well as a convenient method to track contracts, using spreadsheets is a manual contract management method that cannot effectively handle complex contracts or a high volume of contracts for an organization.
Within the centralized repository, the user can select the most recently edited document so they can continue working on the correct version of the document whenever they desire. To scale your business and make the most of your relationships with your vendors, it’s necessary to switch from a manual contract tracking approach to a digitized one. If you desire to increase the number of vendors you work with or the volume and/or complexity of contracts, make the switch so that you can optimize these processes.
Our system is equipped with a customizable, filtered search function. Want to save a custom filter to use again in a similar search in the future? You can do just that within our centralized repository. Simply search for whatever type of contract, clause, or document you need by typing specific keywords in the Search bar. Apply several filters to find highly specified data instantly. In this way, time efficiency and productivity are maximized within your centralized contract repository.
Contracts include a whole host of sensitive information, and a digital contract repository increases the efficiency of sorting through this information so you can retrieve specific data points whenever needed. Searching, reporting, and data analysis are simplified with the assistance of your repository, where you can take data points and develop KPIs and assess performance on proactive, comprehensive contract data dashboards.
Lastly, our contract management software offers you the ability to set custom notifications, reminders, and alerts so you can stay proactive and aware of any critical date. Rather than rely on a third-party notification, our software has all you need to stay on top of contractual obligations. Thanks to automated notifications, your team never has to miss a renewal or expiry date ever again.
Does your contract management team spend far too much time looking for certain contracts, clauses, or associated documents?
When your contract management team conducts a “search mission” for pertinent documents as a part of day-to-day operations, it’s a sign that the current system is below standard. Thankfully, there is absolutely a solution for these types of headaches. If your team is overburdened by the need to locate hard-to-find documents consistently, it pulls time and energy away from contract administration.
Using a centralized contract repository rather than manual data entry via spreadsheets, you set up your contract management team for success and time efficiency. Contracts can be easily located and filtered through so that your employees can focus on other critical tasks and propel business objectives forward.
When you have no clue where contracts are located, it makes it astronomically difficult to prove if your business is in compliance with specific rules and regulations.
With fragmented data storage and management, you make it nearly impossible to define what is occurring organization-wide. Reduce regulatory and financial risks by employing a centralized contract repository. By having on-hand access to supplier or vendor certificates, you can stay informed of the correct actions to take, ensuring you provide external auditors with proof of your business’s compliance. A centralized contract repository can function as a source of truth of your business dealings and serves as a source where non-compliance occurrences can be identified and then corrected.
Do you have a centralized repository? If not, you are certainly leaving some incredible benefits on the table. Our Dock 365 Contract Management System will help you store, manage, and create contracts so you can streamline, optimize, and achieve business results.
With readily available data, improved communication, maximized security, enhanced client satisfaction, increased integrity, and higher levels of accuracy, you can make great strides in your contract management processes today.
Our contract management software was created with your business needs and goals in mind so you can up-level your business strategy and increase the value of your experiences with clients and vendors alike.
Schedule a live demo of Dock 365's Contract Management Software instantly.