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Finding the Right Contract Management Software: Know Your Unique Needs

DVBlog12 resized 600Let’s just say that contract management isn’t your organization’s strong suit.

  • You’re printing out copies upon copies of contracts. 
  • As you pass them around for review, some documents get lost in the shuffle. Some return to you with coffee-cup stains (and the apology note is appreciated, but there’s no magic eraser for this mark). And, where are the supporting documents?
  • You’re not sure where some copies are – Abandoned on someone’s desk? Wasting away under a pile of paper? Floating around aimlessly from department to department?
  • Above all, you’re worried approvals aren’t going to meet deadlines.

Yup, you fit the bill all right: You’re the perfect candidate for powerful contract management software. That’s right: There is a document management system out there that organizes and controls your records for you. No more paper pushing; no more coffee stains; no more approval ambiguities and deadline debacles.

How do you find the right contract management software for you?
First, know what you need:

  • Do you need a flexible solution that allows you to adapt the software to your specific, yet changing needs?
  • Do you need software that creates documents for you, or do you have strict templates that everyone should be working from?
  • Is your Contracts office gridlocked with rows of locked filing cabinets – cabinets that house all the contracts you need access to, but can’t without someone else’s “magic key”?
  • Have you missed renewing a contract because someone forgot to check on it?

How you answer those questions is important, so take a few seconds to think about them. Your answers determine the type of contract document management system that best serves your unique contract needs.

What kind of contracts are you dealing with?

1. Lots of contracts with lots of variables.
If you create a large number of contracts that vary dramatically, but need specific clauses included in each one, then you’re better off selecting a pure contract management solution.

These systems are designed specifically to create and manage contracts – nothing more, nothing less.

2. Standard contracts with consistent templates.
If your contracts are more standardized, you should look into more robust solutions with tools for document management, workflow automation and process improvement.

These solutions are more robust, incredibly flexible and typically cost less than dedicated contract management software.

What should you look for in a contract management system?
Regardless of which scenario best represents your system – lots of variation or more standardized templates – your solution should have a few essentials:

  • Allow you to change the index data that you collect about a contract
  • Allows you to configure the review process to meet your organization’s needs
  • Allow for easy searching by index data and content
  • Allow you to see where a contract is in the review process
  • Allow you to automatically set reminders (alerts) on contracts based on rules you set and customize 
  • Allow you to attach multiple documents for efficient and organized information aggregation i.e. see all supporting documents that are related to that contract.
  • Allow all conversations related to the contract docs to move with the contract docs.

The right contract management software keeps all your contracts at your fingertips, automatically alerts you to upcoming renewal opportunities and streamlines your approval process. Selecting the right contract management system may take a little brainstorming on your part, but when you’ve landed that perfect solution that meets your unique needs, you’ll be glad you took the time to find it.

For more advice on choosing the best contract management software for you, and then maximizing the solution once you’ve found it, register for DocuVantage’s Contract Management Process Automation Webinar.

 

Webinar: Beyond Compliance: Proven Nonprofit Contract Management Best Practices

 

 

 

Topics: Contracts Management

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