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Every business enters contracts – some of them do it daily. And if you’re still trying to manage your contracts manually, you’re missing out. A digital contract management solution will save your contract manager (or whoever’s in charge of negotiating and enforcing contracts) a lot of time, and you’ll be sure to maintain compliance from all parties. That means no more forgetting about upcoming renewal dates, discounts, or payment dates. Here’s what digital contract management can do for your company.
Create Contracts from Templates
Any decent contract lifecycle management tool will allow users to create contracts from a selection of templates and a library of contract clauses. Access to pre-approved contract templates can make it easy for any staff member to generate a contract in minutes. If the types of contracts you deal with tend to be a little samey, templates will make it easier to generate and manage them. You’ll be able to have any team member do it. Pre-approved alternate clauses can be plucked from the library of clauses to customize any contract template.
Collaborate Better in Real Time
Contract lifecycle management tools provide a framework for real-time collaboration that can make it easier for entire teams to work on the same contract at once, while still tracking changes. Smooth real-time collaboration can significantly shorten the contract review process.
Save Emails and Attachments
Negotiating a contract generates a lot of emails, and a fair number of attachments may be exchanged as well, as parties review contracts and request changes. With the right contract lifecycle management solution, you’ll be able to save not just the contract but all of the emails and attachments that pertain to it. You never know when you might need that information later, so choose a solution that integrates with your email to allow importation of important communication.
Exercise Tighter Version Control
Contracts go through so many versions, and it’s not always easy to keep track of what the original version said, much less later versions. With digital contract lifecycle management, you can easily store versions and compare them. It’ll also be easier to make sure that staff are working in the right version of the contract.
Automate the Approval Process
Whether you just need to get the final contract approved by the legal department or you need to follow a more complex approval process, automating approval can save a lot of time and hassle in getting contracts out for signatures. You can hugely reduce your compliance risk without sacrificing efficiency.
Keep Everything in One Place
No more searching through filing cabinets for your company’s singular hard copy of a contract. A central repository will keep all of your contracts in one place, where they can be easily pulled up whenever needed. Access permissions ensure that only those with the need to know can access the contract database. And it won’t just be the various versions of your contracts stored here, but all the emails and attachments relevant to each specific contract. A global view of your contracts and associated documentation will highlight the exact information you need at a glance.
Get E-Signatures Easily
It’s so much easier to get e-signatures than it is to get real pen-and-ink signatures – you can just email someone a document and they’ll e-sign it and send it right back, as opposed to waiting days or weeks for it to travel back and forth through the mail. A good contract lifecycle management tool should incorporate an e-signature tool, like Docusign, so you can easily get signatures, make sure that contracts do get signed, and keep signed contracts in a central place.
Manage Contracts Post-Signature
Managing a contract doesn’t end when it’s signed. You have to ensure compliance with the agreement – that means keeping tabs to make sure payments are made on time, deadlines are adhered to, and hard-won discounts are honored. When you have a lot of agreements with different vendors, suppliers, and employees, it gets harder and harder to manage those contracts as they move through their lifecycles. Post-signature contract management lets you set up notifications and reminders, so you’ll always know when a payment date or deadline is coming – or when a contract is soon to be up for renewal.
Do you need a digital contract lifecycle management solution? Don’t spend another day dealing with your contracts manually. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much easier it is to manage contracts when you have the right digital tools to help, from negotiation to signature and beyond.
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