Contract management best practices include streamlined, standardized and proactive processes.
Looking for Contract Management Best Practices?
Let’s face it.
No matter what your industry, agreements are the energy source that power business.
Agreements govern all facets of a business. Everything from employees coming to work and performing their job to suppliers agreeing to deliver goods and services on a certain date for an agreed upon price.
Of course, is why so many businesses choose to use written contracts to keep track of and enforce these agreements.
But what good are written contracts if you can’t easily keep track of and manage them efficiently?
Shockingly, it’s estimated that today 85% of businesses still manage their contracts manually.
This Means they keep all their vital contracts only in file cabinets.
Not only does this skyrocket overhead, it often results in missed deadlines and opportunities for profit through more favorable renewal terms.
According to Industry Week, companies lose 3 to 5% of savings opportunities because of auto-renting evergreen contracts.
Some of the biggest costs of managing contract manually are:
1) Rising Administrative costs.
• Manual contractual tasks take longer to perform.
• Important documents get missed placed or even lost.
• Contractual processes are not streamlined or efficient and can result in a sharp increase in man-hours.
2) Missed opportunities and savings.
• Because of the sheer workload of manual management, many purchases happen outside of contractual agreements.
• This drastically reduces your awareness and control over company spending.
3) Control & visibility
• Contracts are not within reach. This makes it difficult to measure and improve processes which can lead to a further loss of control.
However, here’s some great news.
With the use of a contract management best practices and a contract management software solution, contract approval time drops an average of 82%! (Source: Aberdeen)
Processes become streamlined and automated. This increases your control over spending and reduces your overhead.
So what are contract management best practices?
Streamline, standardize and automate are the themes in contract management’s best practices. Here are the vital components.
1. Have a central repository for all contracts.
• Manages the full lifecycle of a contract.
• One click access to all of your contracts.
• Gives you greater control over your spending.
2. Install alerts and reminders
• Eliminates unfavorable auto renewals.
• Gives you time to renegotiate or cancel the contract.
• Reduce risk by ensuring compliance.
3. Standardize Processes.
• Shortens workflows.
• Increases your procurement team efficiency.
• Saves time and money.
4. Have a proactive approach to managing contracts.
Want to get started putting all of these best practices to work in your business? Try out our Contract Assistant Software and get on top of your contracts. Click here to learn more.
How would you describe your contract management system?
• Manual and inefficient?
Well if you said anything other than, “A streamlined, automated machine...”
You’ve come to the right place.
Assuming you have a contract management system, it’s likely a cumbersome process, with your employees scrambling around.
Sending countless emails back and forth.
Comparing different versions of the contract to find the most recent one.
Trying to track down the person with signing power.
Missing crucial deadlines, terminations, or upcoming renewals.
Losing opportunities to renegotiate tough terms.
Suffering payment errors and penalties, and even increasing your risk of litigation.
They’re busy. And they try hard. But are they really able to keep up with manually tracking and administering the piles of contracts that virtually every business generates?
Yet at the core of every business today are contracts.
They govern everything from employees’ daily actions to even the business entity itself.
So if you want to grow at the speed of business these days without increasing your risk of cost overruns and litigation, you need a streamlined and automated contract management system.
In fact, according to Entrepreneur Magazine, if your company has more than 10 contracts, you will benefit from even a basic contract management system.
But how do you do it?
How do you:
✓ Keep all of your contracts at your fingertips so they never get lost.
✓ Stay on top of expiration dates and milestones
✓ Keep alert to upcoming renewal opportunities
✓ Streamline your approval process
✓ Equip yourself to meet obligations and enforce your rights.
And how do you build a system customized to suit your exact needs?
And how do you do it if you’re not an expert contract manager yourself?
Fortunately, we have an answer. It’s called Contract Assistant.
With Contract Assistant you’re covered in the three most important facets of contract management:
1. Contract Storage
With Contract Assistant:
✓ Your contracts are accessible at a moment’s notice
✓ Your contracts are stored in virtual file cabinets so the documents can never be lost or misplaced.
✓ Contract Assistant helps to centralize all your contract information for easy retrieval and reporting and supports multiple databases.
2. Contract Tracking and Search ability
✓ Once inside the Contract Assistant database, nearly all of your contract data fields are changeable. Customizing at this level can be done by an administrator and requires very little technical prowess.
✓ Our Standard and Pro editions offer robust Overview and Notes & Comments tabs on the bottom of every contract. These tabs can hold a huge amount of information for a notes section all of which can be searched and reported so you’ll never misplace your notes again.
3. Reporting and Alerts:
✓ Alerts are essential because managers need to be notified that a contract is automatically renewing, expiring, or a key provision is about to take effect.
✓ With Contract Assistant, contracts are accessible and constantly top of mind so you can enforce contractual obligations and collect all revenue that’s due to you,
✓ Users can set multiple alarms to ensure that deadlines are not missed and can search the database for contracts using keywords.
✓ The software offers multiple security options including read-only databases, role-based permissions, field level security and security access groups
Once downloaded, the software is easily navigable and very intuitive, which means a low and fast learning curve for you. And thanks to our Quick Start Guide, you’ll be up and running within hours:
Upon first opening the software, users are immediately directed to a helpful tutorial entitled, “Entering a Contract in 10 Easy Steps.”
And if your company manually keeps track of your contracts in Microsoft Excel, Access, or SQL, Contract Assistant can help with the transition by migrating existing contract data into the Contract Assistant Software so you can be up and running in no time.
Request a Live Online Demo of Contract Management Software
Get personalized 1-on-1 service before you even try or buy Contract Assistant.
When you’re done, you’ll have a coordinated contract management system that is customized for your company and manages your contracts like a streamlined automated machine.
Imagine being able to finally be able to keep all of your contracts just one click away. So they will never get lost. You can stay on top of expiration dates and upcoming renewal opportunities- as well as enforce your rights.
You can do all of this all while minimizing your risk of litigation and expensive renewals of unfavorable contracts.
Thanks to our simple, flat rate pricing you won’t blow your budget.
This is how a great contract management systems are built.
Now there are more complicated and expensive systems out there…
But ask yourself.. Do you really have the time and resources to learn all the confusing bells and whistles of overly complicated systems? Or do you want to get up and running fast? And not be frustrated relearning how to do complicated things every time you need to change something?Not to mention all the hours you have to spend learning these systems.
So here’s what you need to do next…
Just sign up today and let our industry recognized software transform your messy file cabinet system of contact management into a streamlined, automated machine.
And best of all, if you worry about your data being safe on the web, Contract Assistant software runs locally. So you can rest easy.
This is how great contract management systems are built.
What’s the fastest and easiest way to improve your company’s profitability by 9%?
According to research by the independent International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM), the answer is to improve your contract management.
So what is contract management and how do you improve it?
It’s been defined as “ The process of systematically and efficiently managing contract creation, execution, and analysis for the purpose of maximizing financial and operational performance and minimizing risk.”
The benefits of contract management include:
• Spend visibility:S Lets you know if you are buying from the right suppliers, at the right times, in the right quantities and prices.
• Risk reduction: Contract management ensures you are on top of vendor compliance and performance, so you can take appropriate action if needed.
• Cost Savings: Having a system in place streamlines contract creation, authoring, and the negotiation process, making more it efficient and less expensive. In addition, software solutions have built in alarms that can notify you when unfavorable contracts are due to be renewed. This allows you to renegotiate unfavorable terms and prices.
Then what is the fastest way to improve contract management? Well, it’s actually simple. You need to have just two things:
• All your contracts in one place, so you have access.
• An organized, systematic plan.
Sounds easy, right? Yet shockingly, most companies lack a clearly defined contract management system and it costs them a fortune. According to some experts, many companies incur more than 50% of their costs in contracts. (In the case of the Oil & Gas industry this number can be as high as 70%).
So having an organized solution is essential. But how do you do it?
Step One To Improve Your Contract Management System
The first step boils down to going through your entire organization, finding all of your contracts and getting them in one place.
Access. You need to have quick access to your contracts. You want to be able to click a button and find the information you are looking for immediately, versus searching through mountains of files and drawers to find it. Just doing this first step will save you hours of wasted time.
The ugly truth is that your contracts are probably scattered throughout the company. So you will need to go in virtually every department and find them. Once you accomplish this, you’ll need to come up with a plan.
Step Two To Improve Your Contract Management System
The second step in designing your plan to improve your contract management is to determine how much data you actually need to track in your contract management system.The amount of information you need to have can vary greatly from business to business. Some companies will need tack the minute details of contracts because of stringent industry standards. While others only want to know the beginning date, the ending date, who is involved and the value of the agreement. The decision you make at this stage is crucial to the success of your system. If you try and track too much data or information that is non-essential and your system will be cumbersome and squander resources. Not tracking a sufficient level of data and your system will not be effective.
4 Questions to make a better tracking decision for improved Contract Management
To help you make a better decision, here are four quick questions to ask yourself:
• What is the detail level you would expect to have in your contract management system?
• What is the level of detail that you absolutely must have?
• How many resources would you like to attach to your system?
• How many resources can you afford to allocate to your system?
Answering these four questions will help you come up with a contract management system that you can feel comfortable with, will work for you, and not waste your time and money. If you already have a contract management system in place, you can use the answers to improve it.
Remember, at the end of the day the most important part is that you have access to all of your contracts -whenever you need them. You’ll know where they are because they are either attached to files or they are in a database software. You can easily access all of your contracts and the important information in them. By following these steps, you’ll improve your contract management system, and in the process improve your company’s profitability.