For organizations with a wide supplier base and a large number of contracts to manage, effective contract management functions are essential. The contract management system underpins the activities of any busy procurement department.
The pain points of inadequate contract lifecycle management include: Missing, damaged or lost contracts and inconsistencies in contract versions. Lack of awareness of obligations from either side can lead to missing contract deadlines or milestones. Operational costs involved in managing, processing and storing paper contracts can very quickly mount up. There is also the potential for disaster in terms of widescale damage or loss caused by fire or water damage for example, and the potential for legal disputes that could cost your organization big in terms of time, money and reputation.
So what should you be looking for in contract management functions?
The ultimate contract management system will solve all of the pain points listed above and more. The perfect list of features of a contract management solution is going to be sector or company specific, but there are some key features that all solutions should provide to be considered an essential tool for your business.
Using cloud-based contract management solutions means that you and all other stakeholders have the capability to access contracts from anywhere on the globe. At a meeting, in the field, on a wifi-enabled airplane – at the touch of a screen you should be able to access and amend contracts.
Compatible with all devices
This point segues nicely into the next fundamental feature – device compatibility. It’s all very well having your data stored on the cloud but if you can’t access it from every device then your contract management system is not truly portable.
Data security is an issue of broad and current interest. It is essential that your contracts data is held in a secure repository, safe from hackers. Your contract management functions should be able to demonstrate the highest level of security, and shouldn’t shy away from answering your most probing questions about how they will endeavor to protect your organization’s data.
Capable of automation
Automation isn’t just the future, it is the present. Streamlining processes and driving efficiency is one of the key rationales behind digital transformation. Your contract management process should be capable of automatically performing tasks with minimal to no input.
Whether its ensuring supplier compliance with contract terms, legal or ethical compliance issues or adhering to your own internal policies, a contract management system should have the capability to alert you to any risks so you can make changes or decisions at the earliest opportunity. This could not only save face but save your company’s reputation and protect against litigation, fines, and suppliers who aren’t making good on their obligations.
Ongoing technical support
Rather a feature of the ultimate software provider than the ultimate software package, a 5-star technical support package is essential to ensure you can continue to get the most out of your contract management system as your business needs evolve over time.
To be truly optimal, your contract management system should provide you with ease-of-use benefits that ensure your contract drafting process is streamlined and standardized. The use of templates is helpful, but a fully customizable contract wizard feature is even better.
Perhaps the most important feature of all. As we said, the perfect contract management system will look different for every industry and individual organization. To ensure your business gets the most value out of your solution, there should be an array of customizable alerts and features so you can tinker with it until it performs exactly as you need it.
To find out how ProcurePort’s contract management system could solve your contract management pain points, and how close it comes to being your ultimate solution, why not schedule a demo with our sourcing experts.