A Guide to Contract Management Software for Higher Education

Topics: Contract Management Software, Higher Education Contract Management Software

Written by Lindsey Paulk

Contract management software is a modern technology platform equipped with advanced features that supports colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions in managing contract lifecycles. With thousands of accredited institutions in the U.S., there is a wide demand to cut costs wherever possible from internal operations and management processes. To improve productivity and efficiency while reducing expenses, colleges and universities can leverage contract management software to achieve such goals.

Traditional contract management involves manual processes that tend to take more time and resources, resulting in increased costs. With today’s modern contract management software solutions, higher education institutions can automate processes, boost contract transparency, centralize their systems, and increase operational efficiency.

Below, we will dive into 4 ways that contract management software supports contracting processes for higher education institutions.

CMS for Higher Education

4 Ways Contract Management Software Supports The Contract Process For Higher Education

  1. Cut Costs
  2. Maximize Organizational Transparency
  3. Reduce Contract Lifecycle Time
  4. Increase Productivity

Let’s take a look at each of these concepts in a bit more detail.

1. Cut Costs

Modern contract management software allows colleges and universities to reduce costs with an all-in-one contracting platform that works perfectly for any educational model — be it fully remote, in-person, or a hybrid learning model. Higher education is a multi-billion-dollar industry, with colleges and universities spending significantly on operating costs and student costs. With an inefficient approach to managing your institution’s contracts, you run the risk of increasing bottlenecks, wasting time on locating contracts, and completing administrative tasks manually that could easily be automated and taken care of by a contract management system.

All of these factors result in increased operating expenses among higher education institutions. With contract management software, your employees can spend more time working on the higher-priority tasks that would benefit from their manual, hands-on efforts by automating the low-priority tasks. You can make the most of your institution’s budget with a solution that minimizes wasted time and money on inefficient contract management. For example, many institutions still use outdated, manual processes to tackle their contracts, such as physical storage, paper copies of contracts, and manual contract approval procedures. A contract management software solution automates, secures, and digitizes these processes, resulting in saved time and money.

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2. Maximize Organizational Transparency

Maintaining appropriate levels of transparency and visibility into your institution’s contract operations is imperative. Because higher education institutions consist of hundreds upon thousands of faculty members and students, contract volumes tend to be exorbitantly high. This means that your institution likely oversees thousands of agreements spread amongst several vendors. Various educational departments might employ the same vendors, and centralization of contracts can support users while managing their agreements in a standardized manner.

Additionally, a contract management system can support institutions in systematizing their contracting processes that allow for complete transparency and visibility. With this visibility, you can easily determine where areas of improvement exist within your current contracting processes that may span across several campus departments. By gaining comprehensive insights into your contracts, you can assess which areas to optimize with increased investment and which areas to cut costs from.

A dedicated contract dashboard equipped with custom reporting and data analytics allows institutions to identify exactly where and how vendor management can be streamlined. Several other departments involved in contracts such as finance, legal, and procurement can leverage these custom reporting and data analytics tools, as well as integrate with business solutions tools. Custom reporting for example enables contract managers to determine which contracts are nearing expiration in dated intervals so they can plan ahead for renegotiation during contract renewal. For best results, data analytics and reporting are crucial for gaining a clear understanding into vendor and contract performance.

3. Reduce Contract Lifecycle Time

To get the absolute most out of every contract, one of the most important factors to consider is contract lifecycle time. A shorter contract lifecycle means less time spent on the contract itself and more time spend developing and executing other contracts. And what does time equal? Money.

While this may seem like a vast oversimplification, it goes without saying that saving time while maintaining quality is one of the best characteristics of any successful business process. Higher education institutions can do just that by implementing contract management software that cuts down on contract lifecycles overall – allowing for an increased volume of contracts to be completed from beginning to end of the lifecycle in the same time period.

Consider the average number of days of a contract lifecycle in your organization. How long does it take to draft, review, negotiate, and sign your contracts?

Contract management software standardizes several stages of your contracting process with preapproved contract templates and more, leading to an efficient, accurate, and rapid approach to contract management. By increasing efficiency, you can scale your contract operations and get more accomplished within the same amount of time. An advanced contract management system will only support your institution in gaining the competitive advantage that will serve you as time goes on and as your institution’s population grows.

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4. Increase Productivity

After making the switch to a digital contract management solution from an outdated, manual contracting process, you will experience the productivity benefits almost instantly. Contract management software is a worthy investment that allows you to tighten up operating expenses, supporting your institution in several contract-related processes. For example, by centralizing your organization’s contracts in a repository and utilizing compliant, preapproved contract templates, you can easily draft accurate contracts faster and get contract lifecycles rolling. In addition, you assist your procurement department because they won’t need to spend as much time authoring and negotiating agreements, and this in turn reduces the buying cycle – saving your institution time and money.

Do any of these four concepts apply to your institution’s contract management process? Contract management software will provide your college or university some incredibly tangible contracting advantages that will support high volumes of complex agreements.

Reduce operating costs, increase organizational transparency, cut down on contract lifecycle times, and boost productivity today with a solution that makes contract management remarkably simple.

Conclusion

Is your college or university ready to make the switch to a digital contract management system that automates processes, reduces risk, and centralizes your contracts and data? Look no further than the Dock 365 Contract Management System.

Here at Dock, we leverage your current Office 365 and SharePoint subscription so that you can make the absolute most out of your Microsoft subscriptions. As a Microsoft partner, we have extensive experience in supporting enterprise-level organizations and institutions in streamlining their contract management with the assistance of Microsoft tools and integrated business solutions.

For a cost-efficient and proven approach to contract management, we’re here to help you at Dock 365.

Interested in our Dock 365 Contract Management System? Click here.

Want to learn more about Contract Lifecyle Management (CLM) Software? Click here.

Schedule a free demo with us today for an in-depth and interactive overview of our Contract Management System.

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