Falling into a routine where you are spending too much time on contract-related administration and not enough time on your actual job can be an all too common occurrence. Similarly, it is common for the contracting process to be problematic, with original timescales going out the window. If you can relate to some of these frustrations, have a read through some of the best recommendations to help reduce the pain associated with your contract management.
Tips To Save Time With Contract Management
Keep your contracts central. You should strongly consider keeping all your contracts in a central location, rather than somewhere like a desktop or hard drive. Significant amounts of time are wasted if a contract is stored in an unknown location and cannot be retrieved.
Know contract workflows. Being aware of others involved in the contracting process, as well as the movement of contracts through different departments is critical to understand how long it takes for the contract to move through each life stage, and therefore the amount of work each department needs to put in. Thankfully, tools are available to automate this.
Make the approval process automatic. If you’re fed up of sending back and forward emails to your colleagues containing updated versions of contracts, there are other options. Specifically, contracts can be tied into your CRM so that your sales team aren’t wasting time using multiple tools. Instead, see which teams are responsible for completing specific tasks and learn how to move the contract forward more quickly.
Track everything. Sometimes, the other party might raise concerns after the negotiations have taken place. If this happens, be sure to consult your audit trail to help you during this process.
Be aware of contract status. Knowing how many contracts are going out per month, and how many are being approved, is important for forecasting of budget and expected ROI. This can be taken one step further by using dashboards to display specific data.
Keep an eye on renewals. Having to check contracts to ensure they have been renewed on time is incredibly time-wasting and can also cause significant stress as a result of human error. Consider using an automated system with built-in reminders and auto-generating features for new contracts.
Use eSignature. If you’re sick of having to re-scan a document after it has been signed, there is a solution in the form of eSignature. It works with existing contract management software and helps save time.
Stay duplicate free. Duplicated information not only wastes time but can also create a mess within contract management. There are a number of ways to prevent this. Firstly, keep communication strong within your team and hold regular catchup meetings to determine task status. There is software capable of doing this which is better than e-mail which can be overlooked.
Have a system for changes with renegotiated terms. It is common for changes to happen when a contract is being negotiated or executed. If you are able to incorporate these changes, it means both time and money are saved. Contract Management Software is available which automates changes over several documents. This also reduces the risk of human error when updating lots of documents.
Consider standardised contracts and templates. Although this can be time-consuming, it can make your life much easier in the future. Start off by choosing terms and clauses that are most effective and leave in a format that allows them to be re-used and adopted. Again, software is available to make this easier.