Manual contract management processes like Microsoft Excel Google Sheets are not suitable for effectively handling contract agreements. Advancement in technology has brought about numerous options to choose from.
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While not all contract management systems are the same, the most critical decision you can make before making a purchase is to exercise patience, manage your expectations, and conduct your due diligence to ensure you get the best selection.
Contract management software refers to a series of tools helpful in managing legal documentation with stakeholders, including vendors, partners, clients, and employees. The software streamlines administrative duties and provides an all-inclusive overview of contract processes.
The software reduces overheads by minimizing litigation expenses and seals loopholes that may lead to overspending. Also, it speeds up the contract lifecycle while documenting insightful data throughout the entire process.
Furthermore, contract management software automates and streamlines complex contract processes while improving efficiency and minimizing risk.
So how do you choose the most effective option?
Below are key pointers to help you select an appropriate contract management software.
Evaluate consumer needs
Before you start researching, you need to identify the needs of the end-users by carrying out some basic research. Also, determining the contract management software with the most appropriate features to meet your business needs is aa good place to start your search. For instance, you may look for software with multiple functionalities that best address your primary concern, such as a system that can audit and store the document history of meetings.
Offers end-to-end solutions
An appropriate contract management solution should have all-inclusive features that equip you with what you need to improve efficiency and increase productivity. Ideally, it should manage every facet of the contract lifecycle and eliminate the need for alternatives. The contract management solution should possess excellent integration abilities and implementation features. The appropriate software should focus on a holistic output of the entire contract management lifecycle. It would be helpful to engage a team that has reviewed many agreements in different industries and can offer solutions based on experience.
Participation of key parties
After drafting a list of features, you desire, select a team of critical decision-makers from each department, making sure to include every sector. Collectively involve every concerned party to avoid mistrust, exclusion, and breakdown of communication.
Getting input from each department will make it easier to come to an agreeable decision that will speed up the approval process from the finance department.
Communication is a critical and sensitive consideration that determines how to pass information within an organization. Choose a contract management system that best reflects company mannerisms. Generally, departments look for contract management software accessible to all teams while setting different levels of accessibility.
Another good aspect to look out for is a system that provides sales teams with access to contract data can send out negotiation discussions, and integrates settings that allow for renewal alerts. Take time to get precise insights about the distribution needs of the personnel handling the contract. Get feedback from them to help you in the selection process.
Select a contract management system that the IT department is conversant with. It would be disastrous to select a system only to discover it is not fully compatible with existing company systems. Establish an insightful technical evaluation of the contract management software to purchase and elect someone knowledgeable to handle its operation
Integrates artificial intelligence
Contract management software with machine learning and artificial intelligence abilities can detect and extract terms and clauses in contract agreements, thereby boosting competence and productivity.
Artificial intelligence integration is beneficial as it ensures consistency throughout the entire contract process. It also improves search, allowing legal teams to detect risky areas and identify opportunities for contract re-negotiations. Machine learning, on the other hand, has capabilities to extract and detect critical terms and clauses.
Support and training
Ensure that the option you settle on has an excellent support system that offers training and is willing to address any arising concerns. Remember, most companies make many promises before you sign a contract. It is, therefore, your duty to find out the authenticity of those promises. Include clauses in your agreement establishing support terms and training acceptable to your organization.
Please make a point of getting references from potential service providers, and check for reviews and customers’ sentiments about them. Reading reviews from past clients gives some inkling of the quality and kind of service a particular company provides. Take note of how they address customer concerns, as that will help you gauge if they have a functioning support system.
When it comes to selecting a contract management system, you have various options to choose from. However, the fundamental idea is finding an alternative with end-to-end capabilities that optimizes every stage of the contract process, reduces risk, boosts productivity, and improves efficiency. Finally, a contract management solution you hand-pick should effectively create, negotiate, sign, manage and examine contracts, giving teams space to concentrate on core business activities.