Take a moment to think about your business and the vendor contracts that govern its operations. Can you answer these basic, yet crucial, questions?
- Which is your most profitable contract?
- Which is the least profitable?
- Is your business paying for duplicated or overlapping services?
- Which contracts are up for renewal?
- Is your business already past the time to decline any auto-renewals?
If you can answer these questions quickly and confidently, congratulations. But there is a good chance that you don’t have an answer for some or even most of these questions.
It’s easy to think of contract management software as a “nice to have” administrative tool. But having a full-featured contract management tool will give you the kind of information you need to answer the above questions – and know a lot more about the true costs of contracts.
If you think of contract management software as a key reporting tool, you are closer to the mark than thinking of it as primarily “administrative” in nature. Reporting is a crucial step in the contract life cycle and one that can be automated and enhanced by using contract management software.
Contract Assistant, for example, has rich reporting functions. Knowing the importance of reporting to end users, Blueridge Software includes in the Standard Edition a library of starter report templates. At the PRO and Enterprise edition level, users get a rich starter library as well as a report generation tool – Report Designer.
Reporting even basic information on all your company’s contracts on a regular basis for review and analysis can really pay off. Depending on your management structure, contract managers may be required to report on the full spectrum of contract performance metrics, or may only be asked to deliver reports and notifications when exceptions are discovered. In either case, the information gathered from contract management software from the very beginning of a contract becomes the basis for all reporting, no matter the format or detail.
The flexibility of Contract Assistant, for example, allows for so much customization that you can gather data on select fields quickly and easily. If you want to find out more about all the benefits of contract management software, download this complimentary executive summary report, “Contract Management Software – Reduce Risk While Saving Time & Money.”
In 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.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a contract as:
- a binding agreement between two or more persons or parties
- a business arrangement for the supply of goods or services at a fixed price
The complexity of different contracts can differ hugely depending on the size of your business, your industry, etc. But increasingly complex contracts can quickly creep into your business as your growth scales with success.
While it might be suitable to manually manage a few contracts as you get started, it is a job that can reach an overwhelming level almost overnight without the right tools in place.
With a contract management system in place, you can track, search, and even report on conversations that potentially affect contracts and terms. Wouldn’t it be a real game-changer to simply open your contract management software and have all the crucial data at your fingertips before you renegotiate a contract?
In today’s digital age, it is practically unacceptable to continue keeping important contracts and documents stored solely in file cabinets, desk drawers, and bankers boxes in some off-site storage center. Relying upon a single paper copy of these documents raises a significant amount of risk in your business operations. But with a contract management system, you can retain electronic copies for convenient access while safely keeping the original hardcopies with your other critical paperwork.
Properly managing contracts serves two purposes: doing so protects your business from the risks and litigation associated with contract breaches, and also opens up a unique opportunity to boost profitability. Want a little more in-depth information on the benefits of contract management? See our exclusive white paper: How Contract Management Software Reduces Risk.
If your organization doesn’t use contract management software, perhaps this potential situation may sound strikingly familiar.
In every office, there is one go-to person who knows just about everything to do with the operations and administration. For this example, let’s suppose the office is yours and this person is “Sue”. Continue reading