Within the context of the business world, the almighty contract is a pillar of running any successful venture. A contract manager wears many hats in any given organization. From coordinating all of the contract details to establishing deadlines and payment options, the contract manager plays many roles throughout the contract life cycle. Contract managers serve a vital function in any organization. They act as the point of contact between the organization and any third parties with which it plans to do business. This can be a vendor, contract employee, or an associate of the business. With the proliferation of better technology and faster communication, automation is increasingly becoming a boon to organizations worldwide. Automating some of the contract process is almost essential these days to minimize workloads and create more efficient contracting outcomes. Here are a few ways automation can help you in this regard.
The typical contracting workflow is fairly lengthy and complex. When a contract is successfully and efficiently written, it means the expected financial and other benefits are being realized appropriately, without any disputes or problems. Services should be delivered promptly and the supplier should be paid on time/accurately. Everyone should be happy at the end of the correct execution of the contract. To accomplish this, contract managers spend significant time and effort to ensure a contract is up to par. Here are just some of the things a contract manager has to worry about:
- Collaborating on creating the contract
- Proper phrasing of the contract
- Outlining the execution of the contract
- Figuring out the terms of the contract
- Making revisions
- Tracking obligations
- Signing and getting signatures
- Renewing the contract
Optimizing and improving your workflow can be readily accomplished by incorporating a contract automation solution. This allows you to collaborate easier and automatically flag any high-risk contract issues for individual review.
Integration With Other Programs
Depending on the nature of your business and how many contracts you deal with in any given timeframe, you probably already have some programs and software to help out with contract management. When you switch to automation for some of your workflow, you can integrate your contract management software into other programs. For instance if you’re already using a solution for sourcing and procurement (which are not the same thing), it’s easy to seamlessly integrate contract management into other automated solutions. Having all your sourcing agreements, contracts, and catalogs together, for instance, can drastically reduce time and eventually lead to better overall savings. Furthermore, modern solutions integrate with programs like Microsoft Word or Excel to make accessing and analyzing data easier than ever
Sometimes the cycle of a contract can be pretty time consuming. Using optimized contract lifecycle management, you can streamline the process, making it run much faster and smoother. To speed things up even further, your software solution can build a repository of every contract you have. That way, you achieve company wide visibility. From there, you can examine and reassess contracts based on certain criteria, including performance metrics, state of the contract, and contract provisions. You can also track important dates and explore KPIs throughout each contract so you can be prepared for efficiency problems or other contract concerns at the touch of a button.
Occasionally, a contract might need to be updated to better reflect the needs of the business. When this happens, contract managers need to spend a great deal of time amending, rewriting, or even terminating contracts. Doing any of these things causes a significant drain on resources, time, and energy. With your software solution in place, your system can automatically alert you to any important updates and provide the necessary resources to ensure you are able to use your precious time and resources more effectively across the board.
Enhanced Risk Management
Part of putting together a good contract is building risk management into it. It also helps with contracts and supplier management. When you understand the full risk assessment associated with certain suppliers, you can write protections into the contract itself, allowing you to protect your business from any known supplier risk and insulate yourself from potential supplier risk. Understanding risk and mitigating it proactively are essential at any business, but sometimes you have to react quickly. Luckily, with enhanced risk management in your software solution, you can address any risk promptly and efficiently.