Every company has to deal with contracts at some point. There's a reason that contract life cycle management is an incredibly important part of business. Being able to effectively move contracts throughout their life cycle is important for your overall success. One of the best ways to implement effective contract life cycle management is to use a SharePoint contract management system. Let's take a look at some of the reasons you should use a SharePoint contract life cycle management system.
One of the biggest issues that comes up during contract life cycle management is human error. Most professionals agree that human error is a major problem at each stage of the process. In fact, only 4% of procurement professional say that human error has never impacted the contract process. By using SharePoint as the basis for your contract management system, you gain access to automated workflows that can cut out much of this human error. Workflows can be used to notify specific people when a contract is moved along its life cycle. This can help with getting things reviewed and approved quickly so time isn't lost.
By using SharePoint to manage the contract life cycle, you can make it easy to create contracts. You can automate several parts of the contract creation process with special questionnaires. By answer these questions, certain fields and clauses are filled and added to the draft of a new contract. This can help your company maintain consistency in your contracts and speed up the contract management process. Guided contract creation is also great for minimizing risk and ensuring that all of your contract are compliant.
If there is one thing that can get you in trouble with contract life cycle management, it's losing contracts. Lost contracts can mean that lost revenue and opens you up to compliance issues. Your contract management process needs to make it so it's incredibly easy to find your contracts. Luckily for you, SharePoint is a great tool for helping people search for their files. SharePoint offers a robust number of searching options that can be used to make it easy to filter and find what you're looking for.
Alerts and Notifications
Piggybacking off of our last point, losing contracts means that you may also miss important dates and deadlines. These can include delivery dates, project milestones, renewal dates, and more. If you're using SharePoint for contract management, you can set up automatic alerts and notifications when a contract reaches certain milestones or dates. For example, this can include payment and expiration dates. This can help you avoid paying more for automatically renewing contracts - something that can be a major headache.
One thing that can slow down contract life cycle management is waiting on signatures. If you're using outdated methods, it may take time to email people appropriate documents and wait on them to be signed. With a SharePoint contract management system, this is a thing of the past. SharePoint contract life cycle management integrates with e-signature tools like DocuSign to eliminate the need for clunk signing processes. Instead, you can digitize the whole process and save a ton of time.
If you're practicing effective contract life cycle management, then you should know the overall state of your contracts at all times. If you're not using a contract management system, or you're using a less-advanced one, then you may not get accurate reporting of what is going on with your contracts. SharePoint contract management offers real-time reporting of what is going on with your contract management. This allows you to track user activities, what contracts have been accessed, workflow status, and what the status is of most of your contracts.
Contracts are too important to not have a large number of eyes on them. That's why you need a system that makes it easy for people to collaborate on your contracts. SharePoint and Office 365 are built on their reputation for facilitating collaboration. A SharePoint contract management system would make it easy to share confidential documents securely both inside and outside your business. You'll have access to a dynamic co-authoring environment that makes it easy for people to create, review, edit, and add to your contracts.
Microsoft Tools Integration
SharePoint and Office 365 are tightly interwoven with the rest of Microsoft's tools. This includes Word, Excel, Active Directory, and Outlook. This can help legal and contract teams to create, review, track changes, and assign user permissions to enterprise contract management process.
As part of maintaining compliance, you need to make sure that your contracts are stored securely. Luckily for you, SharePoint makes use of Microsoft's secure, compliant servers to store you contracts and documents. SharePoint contract management is highly secure and capable of keeping all of your sensitive contracts safe.
One thing that all companies should keep in mind is how well are its tools going to scale with its growth. Is a solution that works for you now going to necessarily work the same for you 6 months down the line? What about if you've added an extra 50 employees? You need a contract management system that can scale with how you're growing. SharePoint contract management is perfect for businesses and enterprises of any size. The system can support up to 500 million documents - more than most companies will ever need.
Sometimes someone makes a change to a contract, but no one's sure what that change is. You could have someone go through the whole document to try to find the change. However, that takes a lot of time and can slow down your contract management process. Instead, you could use SharePoint contract life cycle management and use document version control. This allows you to track changes in real time so you can either go through and review them or roll them back if need be. This allows you full control over your documents and what happens with them.
Contract life cycle management isn't a fun process, but it is a necessary one. Your company should consider adopting a contract management system so you can make CLM easy. If you are interested in learning more about contract life cycle management, or you're interested in adopting a CMS, fill out the demo form to the right. We'd love to have a conversation with you about how a CMS can benefit your business.
Written by Quentin Russell
Quentin Russell is a Content Specialist with knowledge of Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing.