Scanning documents isn’t helping you go “paperless”

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.

Hot topics in contract management solutions

Contract Management Software

Contract Management Software

We started this blog just 18 months ago, so we thought this would be a good time to take stock of what feedback we’ve received from visitors. It is clear that readers have an interest in our blog, but the following are the three most popular blogs posted (so far, that is).

Top Three Most Popular Posts

  1. News Flash: Introducing Contract Assistant PRO Edition 3.7!
  2. Key Benefits of Contact Administration
  3. 8 Steps to Choosing a Contract Management Solution

What’s driving the interest in new versions, key benefits and how to select contract management software?

Taken together, these three topics are a snapshot of where many people in large and small enterprises find themselves: knowing there has to be a solution out there, and wondering what the real benefits are. After all, businesses today have more contracts than ever — and those contracts are increasingly complex. Add to that situation an ever-increasing pressure to drive costs lower and the result is longer-term agreements with suppliers of all types.

For many employees and business owners, this combination of circumstances cries out for a way to better manage contracts to reduce risk, centralize information and generally make a difficult, disjointed process more coherent.

So we see the interest in choosing a contract management solution, and interest in benefits. And of course, interest in Contract Assistant naturally follows that. We see a lot of interest in our free 30-day trial as well as our free 30-minute demo of the product as well.

Considering the list of risks associated with no or poor contract management, is it any wonder why readers are exploring the benefits, best practices, and case studies?

For more information about document retention policies, see this prior post. And here is a quick case study of how Texas A&M-Corpus Christi solved their contract management issues with Contract Assistant.

Avoiding contract crisis: Putting contract management on the “important” list

By: Judy Tucker, business consultant, Blueridge Software, Inc.

Crisis Trap - Contract Management Software

Image: renjith krishnan /

I had the luck to be caught up in the early days of the PC industry. Knowing nothing about computers, I stumbled into a fledging software company and soon found myself climbing what passed for a corporate ladder.

Those were heady times, as the power of computing moved from huge machines kept behind locked doors to small boxes sitting on the desks of ordinary people. The growth rate of our young company was insane. I knew there were things I wasn’t getting to, that there were things that as an organization we weren’t getting to, and that some of those things were important.

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Contract Management for Corporate Counsel

Corporate Counsel

Sura Nualpradid /

Many departments within a company can benefit from contract management software, but corporate legal is a natural.

Every company needs a corporate counsel to vet contracts at some point. All too often, however, during a contracts lifecycle, key information about a contract tends to get dispersed – and lost to legal’s view.

For instance, what if a client’s contract calls for X number of products to be delivered within a certain time period. However, during the agreed upon period, your company cannot take delivery of that contracted number of products due to warehouse problems. So, numbers are altered and an agreement reached. But this “agreement” happened between a product administrator, warehouse, and the contracted vendor, leaving legal out of the loop. At the end of the contract period, the billing department may be looking for a “make good” and ask the legal department to write a letter regarding a possible breach of contract.

This can be a touchy situation, leading to confusion and maybe even a bruised business relationship – maybe even lost business with a key partner.

With a centralized repository of contract records, information on deliverables, met obligations and key deadlines can be entered in notes or linked to relevant documents or document excerpts. Consider the time and trouble that saves when internal departments ask for legal to either weigh in or take action on a contract. Without all that information in one accessible place, tracking down something as simple as a mid-contract amendment can be tiresome and labor-intensive.

With a single contract database corporate counsel departments can ensure:

  • a holistic view and approach to managing a corporation’s legal obligations through the contract lifecycle
  • consistency of contract execution
  • reduction of duplicated services and efforts
  • limited errors and unapproved changes to contracts

Mitigating organizational risk and maintaining compliance with federal, state and local law can also be more effectively managed with contract management software. Read some of our previous posts on how proper contract administration and use of document retention policies can reduce the business risk of your organization while helping you meet the demands of laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

Reputable legal associations suggest contract management software as a reliable resource for in-house legal departments as well. Check out what the American Bar Association (ABA) and Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) say about contract management software.

Key Benefits of Contract Administration

contract administrationIn previous posts, we’ve talked about how contracts are an important part of administering your business operations and how contract management software is a leading tool to help you stay organized. Maybe that’s why you are investigating – or have even already purchased – contract management software.

Implementing a solution, however, isn’t just about importing contracts to have electronic copies and then maybe setting a few alarms to remind you of key dates. To proactively reduce risk and business liability, and maximize operational efficiency and profitability, you need to practice effective contract administration – the ongoing governance of each contract.

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