You know the drill: to avoid losing hard copy documents, you scan and store documents for future retrieval and sharing. Problem solved, right? You are on your way to a “paperless office,” right?
Not quite. Unless your company has a protocol for what to do with important scanned documents (and contracts definitely fall into that category), then you may be making things worse.
Run-of-the-mill document scanning devices and applications help clean-up the piles of paper on the desks of the finance and administration departments. But scanned documents filed away in a folder (nested in another folder, of another folder) or drive can be forgotten, “mislaid” and overlooked as easily as paper documents.
And that’s dangerous. Who has access to these sensitive documents? Are they being shared across unprotected networks? Also, not centralizing these documents can leave different parties making different changes to the same contract document. Imagine the headache when a note is not entered on a centralized record that notes an important “make good” a vendor owes you. One department says it is owed something from the vendor while another knows nothing about it – and bills as a result of that.
Some large enterprises try to get around this common problem with document retention policies. But more often than not, applying a document retention policy depends on how well your tools do the job for you.
This is one of the better reasons to consider contract management software. Contract Assistant, for example, eliminates file chaos by:
- Providing quick and easy access to important information
- Centralizing a place for all contract records
- Linking to or actually storing electronic versions of paper documents
- Generating standard and custom reports
- Sending automatic reminders of critical dates and more
With Contract Assistant, at least for contract documents and records, you would know there is one place to go, one central repository of information that can then be used appropriately. We can’t guarantee Contract Assistant would help your company go “paperless” (that’s between you and your fleet of printers to determine), but it certainly will help your electronic filing chaos.