Let’s assume that you’ve decided that your company or department needs contract management software. You’ve done your legwork, examined all the features, maybe you even took advantage of a 30-day trial.
But that may not be enough – there’s another step that’s highly recommended. For users who work in large enterprises, the true effectiveness of contract management software is magnified many times when there is full buy-in from key stakeholders. Contract management for large enterprises is rarely a one-department function, so wider interest for a solution will help you get to implementation quicker.
By sharing what you’ve learned about the way contract management improves efficiency and reduce risks (from missed contract deliverables, rising admin costs, etc.) you can also share the workload during roll-out.
To get enterprise-wide buy-in for a solution, consider the following tactic. Form a working group to examine the need for contract management:
- Get participation from likely hands-on users, but also those in departments most likely to use the information gathered from contract management software.
- For possible end-users, try to expose them to a trial version or to participate in any live demos.
- Be sure to record the working groups efforts to share with management (to document progress).
- Get input on objectives/goals of centralized contract management from all stakeholders.
- Ensure the goals go beyond administrative goals (for example: make contract info records easy to access) to specific financial goals (for example: document operating costs such as invoicing preparation time).
- Have the working group prepare questions for a prospective vendor about key support needs beyond implementation (different users may have different ongoing needs).
While it could feel daunting to roll-out contract management at once to an entire company, forming a working group and “spreading the workload” among all the interested parties will make the job far easier.