Contract negotiations may be a common occurrence in day-to-day business operations, but the overall process is rarely easy. There’s all the back-and-forth between the parties, complicated approval hierarchies, and excruciatingly long wait times for final approval.
Contract management software alleviates many of the pain points involved in the contract lifecycle. But just exactly what is contract management software and what business benefits does it really provide?
Here are answers to three of the most common questions about contract management software and why you should consider implementing it for your organization.
1. What is contract management software?
Contract management software is a solution that automates the entire contract process, from draft to review to signed, sealed, and delivered. It is a specific type of document management software that eliminates the need for bulky paper contracts and long approval wait-times by processing everything electronically.
From client agreements and non-disclosures to simple employee offer-letters, automated contract lifecycle management (CLM) solutions help businesses track every stage of negotiation while keeping all stakeholders up-to-date with secure notification and reporting tools.
This type of software is usually a cloud-based SaaS contract management solution that includes functionality for legal documents, billing and invoice process management, and other types of administration contracts.
2. What are some of the features of contract management software?
Contract automation software is designed to speed up and improve the overall process of creating legal documents and getting them signed. While contract lifecycle management companies differ in their offerings, the best contract management software systems feature the following functionality:
- Easy-to-use, customizable contract templates
- Automated workflow management and approval processes
- E-signature capabilities
- Real-time notification messaging and alerts
- Custom reporting tools and dashboards
- Centralized document management system with easy search capabilities
- Secure document storage and document lifecycle management
In addition, many solutions provide industry-specific features, including medical, federal, state and local government, entertainment, and real estate and contractor software.
3. How can contract management software benefit my business?
Business doesn’t move forward until contracts move forward. In the past, the standard paper contract approval process has been long and drawn out, with very little insight into where the bottlenecks are actually happening.
Contract management solutions eliminate these inefficiencies and give organizations a 360-degree view into every agreement and where it stands in the approval process.
Some of the business benefits that contract management software provides include:
- Speed: Electronic contract processing speeds up the approval process and is much more efficient than the back-and-forth of typical paper contract negotiations.
- Cost-savings: Businesses will spend less money on expensive paper, toner, printers, copy machines and courier services, not to mention a reduction in staff needed to manage contracts.
- Productivity: Contract automation frees up employees from repetitive and menial administrative tasks, giving them additional time to focus on more important business priorities.
- Security: Electronic documents have a higher level of security and can be strategically shared only with those that actually need to see them. This is especially important for highly-sensitive legal document management and healthcare records.
- Revenue: Automating contracts and corresponding invoices helps businesses get paid in a more timely fashion than invoices sent through the mail.
- Better for the environment: Going green is important to businesses as well as their customer base. Many consumers will not do business with a company that doesn’t have environmental responsibility as part of their overall mission statement.
Contract lifecycle management software can also help standardize and simplify contracts across the entire organization. This is especially important for large companies with several different locations scattered across the globe.
Contract management software helps businesses gain control of the contract process management lifecycle while also gaining visibility into the status of approvals. There are many features and benefits that can help a company save time and money while reducing employee workload and improving productivity.
If you’re curious about how to manage contracts better, consider implementing contract tracking software and document management solutions that are tailored for your specific industry and organization.
You can read more about our top contract management software here. And, if you have questions about contract lifecycle management services, feel free to contact us!