Contract Management 101: Why data needs to be in a database

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Not all economies are created equal.

In boom eras, for example, the emphasis in organizations and enterprises is on how to organize and stay ahead of change. These days, in an era of steady-but-slow economic growth, there’s a continuing interest in productivity.

Even modest gains in productivity can impact the bottom line. Consider the impact on a staff of reducing just two hours of unproductive work every week.  By the end of the month you’ll have gained an entire extra eight hours of work from that same staff.

But how do you improve productivity when your enterprise is already as lean as it will get in terms of resources and staff? This is the all-too-common thorn in the side of many enterprises.

One way is to ensure you’re using in-house data to its full potential. That means ensuring the data is in a coherent database.

Contract management solutions may not sound like a likely place to start to boost productivity. We know from experience, however, that contract organization practices in many enterprises are simply nonexistent. Contracts are often stored away, rarely accessed, and peculiarly disconnected from larger enterprise efficiency practices.

One of the easiest ways to ensure productivity is to centralize information that was previously diffused throughout the company. Here are just some of the ways centralizing contract information boosts productivity:

  • — Electronic records that store the key information by fields means all of those fields can be searched quickly – giving users access to key information quickly, efficiently.
  • — Quick retrieval of stored or linked documents means quicker turnarounds on questions about existing contracts. Think how much this may mean to sales teams looking to close a deal quickly.
  • — A database of stored contract documents means your company has a historical archive of types of contracts it has used. Legal departments especially benefit from this.
  • — Quick access to contracts and documents ensures those involved in contract creation can reliably access the most up-to-date records to structure new deals.
  • — Organization and review of contract records by date allows for quick compilation of data over specific periods – which is critical when compiling information for quarterly, bi-annual or annual reports.
  • — Electronic records can be backed up many ways: files copied and stored on other servers, or stored offsite, or stored using cloud-based services. All of these are options are better than haphazard electronic storage of un-networked files, or physical files when disaster (fire, flood, storm) strikes.

 

These are really just a few of the benefits – there are many more your organization may encounter. Many users of contract management software also note the benefit of simply understanding the full range of contracts and their financial impacts on their enterprise.

That may be harder to quantify as a productivity booster, but in a slow-but-improving economy, any gain or insight from in-house data helps.

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