Businesses and organizations are always looking to gain the competitive edge in any way possible. This often looks like implementing the most cutting-edge contract management software and associated business solutions. The technological advancements available today have nearly eliminated the need for paper-based contracting. When compared to a digital contracting method, it’s no surprise that manual contract management (full of printing and snail-mail) is inherently risk-prone and time-consumptive. So, transition to digital contracting so you can save time and money with a far more productive process. Companies far and wide are making the transition to digital contracts as a smarter, electronic contract alternative.
Now, we’ll dive into 9 benefits of making the switch to digital contracts and how making this transition can support your business.
#1 Digital contracts save time
One of the most noticeable differences between traditional contracting with physical contract copies and digital contracting is how much time you’ll save. The traditional approach to contracting takes a substantially longer amount of time for your customer to receive, review, consider, and sign/execute the contract at hand. Drafting a contract and mailing a physical copy to the recipient takes long enough as is. Then consider the amount of time the hard-copy contract takes within the mailing system. After a couple business days, the customer receives their copy of the contract, which they then have to take the time to read and carefully consider its terms prior to signing. They then have to send the document back to you, which takes additional business days in the mail.
When considering contracting with businesses with higher workloads and employees, you might experience longer turnaround times. This in mind, you’re bound to lose opportunities here and there simply due to the time constraints placed on each company. Deals might stall due to delays in the prospective customer actually receiving, reading, and signing the contract. However, digital contracts solve this issue of time by allowing your prospective clients and customers to review, consider, and electronically-sign digital contracts on their own devices at their convenience. Digital contracts increase efficiency by expediting transactions, which can increase your closing rates and sales. In addition, digital contract solutions allow users to draft digital contracts and submit them in minutes without having to manually enter data in each proposed contract. This results in the ability to rapidly update documents and send them right away after meeting with a prospective customer.
#2 Improved risk management
With a digital contract solution, you will most certainly improve your risk management strategy. Not only are human errors reduced due to the reduction in manual data entry, but the risk of manipulative actors is cut down substantially.
Inaccuracies in data entries and failing to review the content included in a contract can lead to many avoidable repercussions. In addition, contract recipients might also neglect reading contract terms and conditions and therefore they sign off on inaccurate and incorrect terms.
Contracts are commonly manipulated in a traditional, hard copy contracting process. After a contract is signed, the sender or recipient of the contract might “doctor-up” the document. Digital contracts reduce the likelihood of this occurring, which can drive down the number of legal disputes that crop up.
By why do digital contract result in less errors? Here’s why:
Digital contracts give the contract creator and its recipient the ability to review and edit contract terms electronically prior to signing. In addition, digital contracts are designed for collaboration, where both parties can draft the contract together and decide upon terms that benefit both sides. Lastly, digital contracts support the contract creator and recipient in populating client data in smart fields rapidly and accurately.
#3 Digital contracts are more cost-effective
What business doesn’t want to cut down on costs? Digital contracting allows you to do just that while optimizing your contract management at the same time. Due to all of your contract activities being conducted over an intelligent contract lifecycle management software platform, you eliminate paper-based processes, equipment, and office supplies that are commonly used for contracts. Common hard copy contract materials include the following:
- Printing ink
- Printer maintenance and repairs
- Contract storage
Digital contracts eliminate the need for any of these. You’ll cut costs for both your company and your clients, which is certainly a bonus in terms of the client experience!
#4 Optimize processes with digital integrations
Electronic signature, CRM, business solutions software, and many other sophisticated innovations can be easily integrated into your digital contracting system. Integrate your contract management system with a CRM software, DocuSign, Adobe Sign, Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint, and others. This allows you to develop a more collaboration-friendly contracting system that will streamline your digital processes. Drafting, sharing, editing, approving, negotiating, and signing contracts become far more productive and secure than ever.
#5 Increased security
Digital contracts are kept highly protected by many advanced contract management software security features. For a detailed overview on these tremendous features, click here. A paper contract is susceptible to manipulation during the contract lifecycle, particularly during contract drafting and signing. In this way, companies will leverage whatever means possible to ensure that the original agreement is kept in its initial condition, and this might look like maintaining several copies of the same document or utilizing a notary during signing.
Contract management software equipped with electronic signature integrations can substantially reduce the likelihood of a signee tampering with contracts. And while each party can certainly edit and collaborate on a contract during its developmental phase, digital contract management software places certain restrictions on user access to signatures. Digital contract management software also keeps comprehensive audit trails and version histories of each document. You’ll also be able to authenticate each contract and each signee and sender with encryption. Compliance management is also prioritized by digital contract management software to confirm that every contract is legally binding. And finally, digital contracts contain tamper detection features that alert the appropriate party (parties) in the case that tampering is evident.
#6 Optimize the customer experience
Digital contracts empower business to provide a top-notch customer experience. The digital approach to contracting enables businesses to send accurate, compliant contracts to their clients at faster rates, allowing clients to sign and execute them on their devices at any time. This cuts down the duration of the contract lifecycle itself, allowing you to draft and execute a higher volume of contracts in the same amount of time. Now, your clients can autofill their information into documents, use repeatable digital signatures, and rapidly complete contracts in a secure environment.
Electronic signatures are incredibly secure, fast, and user-friendly. Solutions like DocuSign, Adobe Sign, and Sertifi eSignature support businesses in creating an optimal customer experience that saves time and money for the customer.
#7 Improve compliance
Digital contracts are a great option if your business or organization is wishing to improve upon their current rates of compliance. While many of the problems regarding contracts fall under the category of contract law, more and more industries have become accepting of digital contracts.
Software built specifically for digital contracts stores confidential client information securely within a cloud-based repository to ensure that each party can sign off on a contract in good confidence that their privacy is protected. Gain control and confidence over your contract lifecycle management with digital contract software that meets compliance regulations and laws wherever you are located.
#8 Create custom, preapproved contract templates
Build professional contracts within minutes that are accurate and compliant every time with contract templates. When working with high volumes of complex contracts and a wide variety of clients and vendors, then it’s crucial that you cut down on time wherever possible. This means leveraging preapproved contract templates to streamline contract drafting. Now, you can reuse standardized contract templates for your most commonly used contract types as well as e-signatures for hundreds of thousands of clients.
If you consistently edit your contracts, then you can seamlessly refine them from their current template and only change select sections of the document as needed. Your digital contract software then saves the template so you can continue working on it at your own pace. Version control is prioritized by digital contract software, where you can easily save several versions of the same template and use them repeatedly – saving you time when drafting your contracts.
#9 Easily monitor your contracts during their lifecycles
Contract monitoring is made easy with digital contract software. With a proactive, intuitive contract management dashboard, you can easily review the status, progress, and performance of all of your contracts as they move throughout the lifecycle. Locating exact terms and clauses within your contracts is made possible with text-based search and custom filtering capabilities in your digital contract software. And with several versions of a given contract, locating these items manually can take hours. However, digital contracts empower your team to save time when needing to locate specific pieces of data and information. There are numerous key advantages to digital contracts when compared to traditional, hard copy contracts. You’ll save money, time, and improve your risk management strategy all while increasing productivity.
Switching to digital contracts is one of the most cost-effective moves you can make for your business in 2022. Why use the traditional, hard copy contract method when it’s prone to risk, bottlenecks, increased spending, and security breaches? Take your contracts to the next level today with the Dock 365 Contract Management System, built on your existing Office 365 and SharePoint investment for a user-friendly and intelligent approach to your contracts.
Learn more about our Dock 365 Contract Management System here.
Learn more about Contract Lifecyle Management (CLM) Software here.
For more information, we would like to welcome you to schedule a free demo with us today.
Written by Lindsey Paulk
Lindsey Paulk is a Content Writer in Jacksonville, Florida that specializes in digitally communicating all-things contract management.