Contracts are integral documents in any business. They serve as a legally binding agreement between two parties and help protect the rights of both sides. Therefore, companies must manage their contracts effectively, ensuring all necessary paperwork is up-to-date and securely stored. This can be achieved through document management software, which offers a range of features to help streamline the contract management process.
Enterprise document management software is an enterprise solution that stores, organises, and manages digital documents. These solutions provide businesses with secure access to their documents while allowing them to automate specific processes, such as workflow approvals and data collection. With document management solutions, organisations can significantly reduce paper waste while gaining better control over their data and improving collaboration across departments.
Document management software can help organisations to manage their contracts more effectively in several ways. For example, the software can store and organise all contract documents in one centralised repository. Doing so allows for rapid retrieval of documents and improved visibility into what is stored where. As such, it ensures that essential documents are correctly placed, and everyone has access to the same version of a document at all times. This blog will share tips on how to manage contracts using enterprise document management software effectively.
1. Centralise Your Contract Management
The first step to effective contract management is to convert all your contracts in a single location. This means creating a digital repository where you can store all your contracts, making them easily accessible to authorised users. Enterprise document management software makes it easy to centralise your arrangements, as it provides a secure and easily accessible repository that can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously. By consolidating your contracts, you can improve visibility and control over your contract management processes.
2. Standardise Your Contract Templates
Standardising your contract templates is another critical aspect of effective contract management. Standard templates help to ensure consistency and accuracy across all your contracts. Document management software allows you to create and customise contract templates that meet your organisation’s unique needs. You can also use these templates to automate contract creation and reduce the time and effort required to create new contracts.
3. Automate Contract Workflows
Automating contract workflows is another key benefit of document management software. Automated workflows can streamline contract management processes by automatically routing contracts to the right people for review, approval, and signature. This can help to reduce delays and errors in the contract management process, improving overall efficiency and productivity.
4. Set Up Alerts and Reminders
Missing key contract dates, such as renewal or termination dates, can be costly for your organisation. Setting up alerts and reminders using document management software ensures you never miss a critical contract date. You can stay on top of contract deadlines and avoid costly mistakes with automatic notifications and reminders.
5. Implement Version Control
Document management software provides version control, which is crucial in managing contracts. Version control ensures that all changes made to a contract are tracked, enabling you to maintain an accurate audit trail of all contract modifications. With version control, you can quickly and easily access previous versions of a contract and review any changes made, which is especially important in dispute resolution cases.
6. Ensure Security and Compliance
Security and compliance are critical when managing contracts. Document management software provides robust security features, such as access controls, audit trails, and encryption, that can help you keep your contracts safe from unauthorised access. Additionally, document management software can help you comply with regulatory standard procedures, such as GDPR or HIPAA, by providing features such as secure data storage, automatic retention policies, and the ability to track access to sensitive documents.
7. Analyse Contract Data
Document management software provides powerful analytics tools that can help you gain insights into your contract management processes. By analysing contract data, you can identify trends, identify scope for improvement, and make data-driven decisions. For example, you can use analytics tools to track contract performance metrics, such as contract cycle time or contract value, and identify ways to optimise your contract management processes.
In conclusion, effective contract management is crucial for organisations that want to maintain visibility and control over their business transactions. Document management software can help you centralise your contracts, standardise your templates, automate your workflows, set up alerts and reminders, implement version control, ensure security and compliance, and analyse your contract data. By leveraging the above mentioned tools and techniques, you can improve your contract management processes, reduce costs, and mitigate risks associated with contract management.