Before an organization adopts a contract management software solution, they commonly enter into their search for the right system with a couple of misguided preconceived notions and presumptions. Contract lifecycle management software has the power to meet several needs throughout contract lifecycles, but there are few myths that stand in the way of organizations experiencing the capabilities that these software solutions have to offer first-hand.
Believing these three main myths surrounding contract management software will only pull you away from leveraging a solution capable of improving business processes and contract results. And unfortunately, it’s highly likely that these main contract management software myths have discouraged several organizations from taking the leap and adopting a software solution. It’s certain that these misleading myths have resulted in many businesses missing out on the chance to optimize their contract management methods and gain more value from every agreement.
We’re here to debunk the top three myths surrounding contract management software so that you can empower your business with the best solution for contract management.
Myth #1: Contract management software is only useful for larger businesses and organizations.
If your organization works with low contract volumes or less complex contracts all together, a contract management software solution can still heavily support your business. While it may appear that spreadsheets and other manual contract management methods are both sufficient and inexpensive, they end up costing your company a significant amount in the long term. Considering shared drives, Word documents, emails, and other disjointed ways of keeping tabs on your contracts, you’ll likely lose a contract or two and run into issues when trying to locate them at the times you need them most.
Manual contract management isn’t a good option for any business – no matter the size of the organization. Overseeing legal agreements with spreadsheets can lead to some serious issues in the realm of accountability, visibility, compliance, and most importantly – security. The entirety of the contract lifecycle is far too complex to be managed on a simple Excel spreadsheet.
It’s commonplace for a manual contract management system to fail, and for a few key reasons. For one, a manual system cannot fully support every stage of a contract lifecycle. Secondly, these systems are not conducive to scaling your business because they lack automation and consistency in processes. And lastly, manual contract management is inherently risky because it lacks security features and methods to ensure visibility over all of your contract management activities. These systems are subpar because they lack the ability for users to configure settings, they do not possess unlimited document storage, and they are not equipped with user permissions and role-based access features.
It’s clear that manual contract management systems aren’t up to par, so we suggest leveraging a dedicated contract management software solution so that you can give your organization the upper hand. Contract management software is particularly advantageous for small businesses, and we cover this topic specifically in this blog and on this webpage.
With a contract management system, you can increase the return on your investment by saving time, managing risk, cutting unnecessary costs, and improving overall efficiency and productivity levels throughout your organization. Investing in a proven and productive contract management software solution allows you to utilize incredible facilities including the following:
- Risk management tools
- Preapproved contract template libraries
- Preapproved contract clause libraries
- A cloud secure contract repository
- User permissions settings
- Electronic signature integrations
- Automated contract workflows
- Portals for simplified communication and collaboration during reviews, negotiations, and approvals
- Contract dashboards to track renewals, expirations, and milestones
With these features in mind, you can automate and optimize contract-related tasks while mitigating risk and increase contract value. Boost your ROI by streamlining your contract lifecycle tasks, saving time, reducing risk, and maximizing the value of your contracts.
Myth #2: Contract management software is not a secure solution and will leave my confidential data at risk.
Contract management software keeps your contracts far more secure than a manual contract management system ever could. Contract security is one of the top priorities within a business, and contract management software leverages several security features to ensure that your contracts are protected at all times. We recommend leveraging a cloud-based contract management system that backs-up your documents into your cloud. Contract management software stands out in its ability to provide top-of-the-line contract security by protecting against unauthorized users with configurable user permissions, audit trails, and timestamped histories of all internal activities. With a contract management software solution, you’ll never have to worry if your confidential information is in fact kept confidential.
A cloud-secure contract lifecycle management system can be configured to automatically send contract administrators alerts when there are security breaches. In addition, your contract management software provider will likely offer ongoing support after implementation in the case that a security issue arises. A contract management software solution will give you peace of mind that your data is protected at all times, offering the most up-to-date contract data and analytics that are accessible on demand.
Myth #3: Contract management software is complicated; it will only make it more difficult to control my organization’s contracts.
The idea of automating your contract lifecycles can seem extremely daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the concept. You may find yourself thinking, “Software taking complete control of my contracts? Software controlling agreements that could seriously impact counterparties and the finances/payments involved? No way – too risky!”
However, contract management software truly puts you in the driver’s seat and allows you to configure settings exactly according to your company’s specifications, objectives, and everchanging needs. And it’s understandable that moving from manual contract management strategies to digitally based contract management that automates processes can seem like quite the transition. But in actuality, the advanced tools provided by contract management software help you gain increased visibility and control over all of your organization’s contracts in a simple and organized manner. Workflow automation, intuitive dashboards, custom reporting tools, and contract tracking and monitoring features give business owners and contract administrators more oversight and control over their contracts.
Let’s take a look at two highlighted contract management software features that support you in gaining contract control: automated contract workflows and contract tracking capabilities.
Automated Contract Workflows
Automated contract workflows systematize the contract lifecycle by routing your contracts on a configured, predetermined sequence of steps for every contract to follow. This helps to increase contract accuracy and compliance by having a reliable pathway for every contract to work through, as these workflows notify the appropriate stakeholders and contributors to take specific actions at scheduled times. Task reminders and notifications increase the efficiency of these workflows, giving contract managers increased visibility and accountability regarding which actions to prioritize. User-defined fields, reporting tools, audit trails, and several other capabilities are built into the workflows to make contract management more productive overall.
Contract lifecycles are standardized with automated contract workflows, where contract approvals, negotiations, reviews, signing, authoring, and all other contract activities are documented and accounted for. In addition, a contract management software solution supports employees with automated reminders of key dates and obligations. So with this constant awareness of key dates and tasks, you can ensure that nothing slips through the cracks and that your contracts are properly executed.
Contract automation offers one major advantage: the ability to reduce contract lifecycle times. Close contracts faster by employing an intuitive contract management software solution to support your contract lifecycles from start to finish.
Contract Tracking Capabilities
The best contract management software solutions available today are equipped with powerful contract tracking features to simplify contract monitoring, allowing users to track contract progress, status, and performance on demand. Take a look at the following contract tracking features that will support your contract management team:
- Version tracking tools
- Document tracking (invoices, purchase orders, contracts, supporting documentation, etc.)
- Vendor compliance tracking
- Audit trail documentation
- Pre- and post-award contract tracking
It’s evident that features like contract workflow automation and the various tracking capabilities provided by modern contract management software solutions can increase your control over all of your contract activities, tasks, obligations, and more.
We hope you learned some valuable insights from our mythbusting and encourage you to leverage the incredible features that contract management software has to offer your business. Contract management software is the solution to disjointed, unproductive, and risk-prone contracting. If you’re ready to optimize your contract management, look no further than Dock 365. For a cost-efficient and proven approach to contract management, we’re here to help you.
Schedule a free demo with us today for an in-depth and interactive overview of our Contract Management System.
Written by Lindsey Paulk
Lindsey Paulk is a Content Writer in Jacksonville, Florida that specializes in digitally communicating all-things contract management.