We all know that the procurement business can be tough, and one of the toughest parts of it is recognizing the biggest security risks in contract management. Vendor contracts are a top priority for anyone in procurement. The trick is to avoid contract management security risks while providing the necessary level of transparency. Here’s what you need to know about contract management, which security risks to focus on, and how to stay protected.
Fostering Successful Vendor Contracts
First of all, you have to come to the table knowing almost exactly what you need. That last word is particularly important, it’s not what you want, but what you need that matters when negotiating a vendor contract. You might want all those bells and whistles, but if you don’t need them, don’t buy them, stick to the necessities.
One of the most important aspects of cultivating successful vendor contracts is ensuring that there are transparency and visibility on both ends. Providing that kind of visibility is typically only achievable by using e-procurement software.
The Importance of Using E-Procurement Software for Contract Management
The way that contract management is conducted is changing. More businesses are turning to powerful software solutions and adopting e-procurement rather than do everything manually. For the most part, this shift represents a great step forward as the procurement industry becomes more progressive.
E-procurement software solves the transparency problem and makes it easy for you to collaborate with vendors.
One of the most common concerns that are raised by managers who are unsure about e-procurement solutions, is security, especially in terms of contract management. The information contained in vendor contracts could be worth millions of dollars in some cases, therefore, protecting that information with effective contract management security is a top priority for most businesses.
Contract Management Security, What to Watch Out For
There are several contract management security risks to watch out for:
- Vendor transgressions
- Corporate espionage
- Data theft
- Harmful non-compliance
The first one on the list is something that is often missed in businesses that still manage their procurement and contract management manually. Without the use of e-procurement and contract management software, it’s all too easy to miss a key contract milestone or vendor transgression. The software doesn’t make mistakes and will pick up on them immediately. By letting the software be the one on guard, you can afford to be more relaxed, and contracts will go smoother.
Corporate espionage is always going to be a major concern, particularly with contract management security. Vendor contracts are one of the most valuable targets in corporate espionage, but when you have powerful and secure contract management software from ProcurePort, you won’t have to worry about it.
Data theft is another major contract management security risk. Your competitors aren’t the only ones after the information in your contracts. Any hacker worth their salt knows how to identify high-value contracts and target them. This makes it imperative to use contract management software that is not only productive but also secure.
Non-compliance is another contract management security risk to watch out for. When a vendor is non-compliant, it can be harmful when it violates the terms of the contract.
Ways to Mitigate Contract Risks
Risk management is an increasingly important topic for every professional involved in contracts; whether you are the head of procurement, general counsel, paralegal, or director of sales operations. The central purpose of any risk management process is to mitigate as many risks as possible. That’s why category management plays a crucial role in every part of the legal agreement. To mitigate contract risks, observe the following tips in your contract management process:
- Eliminating missed obligations with automated notifications and alerts. Missing out on automatic contract renewal that is activated by reaching certain milestones represents risks that result in significant financial consequences.
- Regulate who can access contracts with roles-based security. Setting up roles-based permission allows users to write and read certain contract types and certain documents but denies them access to other documents that would be inappropriate and unnecessary for them to view.
- Protect contract data with encryption. Another way to protect contracts from unauthorized access, especially from outside the organization, is to encrypt all your document data.
- Increase compliance with template libraries and clauses. One of the biggest contract risks is non-compliance and one of the biggest problems with non-compliance is using the wrong language in a contract.
- Maintain contract version control. Maintaining contract version control is a critical risk factor when different parties are reviewing or referencing the same contract document.
- Enforce business processes using automated workflows. Each step of your contract lifecycle must have documented contract workflows based on business rules that everyone must follow.
- Secure approvals with e-signatures. Electronic signatures get documents signed and approved faster than paper signatures. Indeed, electronic signatures have been legally binding for over the last decade, thanks to the ESIGN Act of 2002. The advantage of E-signatures in contract risk mitigation is that they carry a digital record of who, when and where a document was signed to help with audit trail and authentication.
Get the Right Software for the Job
You can manage all of these security risks with ease by using a robust variety of e-procurement and contract management software. Knowing which company has the most powerful, productive, and secure software makes a huge difference and can help keep your contracts secure.
If contract management security is one of your top priorities, ProcurePort is the right choice for you. ProcurePort has the most powerful security features and the most expertise, making us the best choice for businesses of any size.
Get on the right side of the future with ProcurePort, your contracts will always be safe and productivity will never be higher! You will also enjoy substantial cost savings as companies who handle contract management manually lose money unnecessarily. That money never would have been lost if you had been using ProcurePort’s software.
Get Peace of Mind, with ProcurePort
When you work with ProcurePort you get more than secure contract management, you get peace of mind. ProcurePort has been in the procurement business longer than most and has what it takes to provide superior contract management security as well as other vital procurement functions such as reverse auction software.