In this age of digital transformation, innovation is all around us. As a contract management professional or administrator you can reap the benefits of the latest technologies by integrating artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, and contract lifecycle management (CLM) into your contract management processes.
Benefits of contract management software
Leading contract management software:
- makes contracts easily accessible
- provides accurate reporting for contract analysis
- improves productivity, making drafting and negotiating contracts fast and straightforward
- increases compliance
- reduces risk
- stops revenue leakage.
It also supports “cradle-to-grave” contract management, helping organisations maximise the value from all their contracts.
The case for investment
It can be a challenge to convince management to approve significant investment in CM software without a solid recommendation. Take the time to fully determine your “why” for recommending this investment. The simplest way to do this is to review the contract lifecycle, which will help you define the challenges your organisation faces.
- Requests: Do you have a standardised, permissions-based process for clients, customers and suppliers to request new contracts?
- Authoring: Do you have standard templates for fast contract drafting? Is it easy to make changes through editing, drag and drop, and other time-saving capabilities?
- Negotiations: Do employees, clients, and vendors have real-time access to contracts? Are you able to compare different versions and easily review changes during negotiations
- Approvals: Are you able to manage your approval process with proper reviews and the correct information while meeting requirements and deadlines?
- Execution: How long does it take to sign a contract? Are you wasting time searching for documents and versions, leading to longer drafting, reviewing, and approval times?
- Obligations: Once contracts are executed, are you effectively managing obligations and tasks? Do you have systems in place to assess risk, to control spending, and to meet compliance standards?
- Compliance: Do you have visibility of contractual relationships and full audit trails? How are you reporting to ensure regulatory, legal, and compliance standards are maintained?
- Renewals: Are you effectively managing renewals to ensure you have the opportunity to negotiate, update, or cancel?
Demos and trials
There’s a lot of competition in the market for CM software and unsurprisingly there is a real variation in quality. To get the most value out of your software investment and your contracts, you should expect your potential supplier to assume the role of a strategic partner and give you tailored, strategic advice to support your specific processes and business needs, in addition to demos and free trials before you commit to this investment. Free group demos allow potential new users to become familiar with the software they are considering. A trial is your opportunity to see the software in action and test applying it to your specific process.
What matters most to your decision-makers?
When building the case for contract management software, take the time to do some in-depth research into your contracts so you can highlight the software features and benefits that will matter most to decision-makers.
Common issues around manual contract management or managing contracts with disparate systems are lost contracts, long contract cycles, increased risk, compliance issues, ineffective negotiations and approvals, and missed renewals. The cost of these issues can be exorbitant when considering the wasted time, money, and opportunity.
Advanced contract management software features support an efficient contract management process including fast contract drafting with template libraries, a secure repository, version control, easy collaboration, approvals, and signing.
Powerful data insight
To translate the opportunity contract management software provides to tangible value pull together relevant data, which shows:
- The quantity of all contracts managed in a year
- The value of all contracts managed in a year
- The average value of a contract
- The average contract failure rate and financial impact
- The average lifecycle length
- The various types of contracts managed (buy-side/sell-side).
This should help you build a case for your decision-makers that clearly demonstrates shows how contract management software will have a positive impact on the entire organisation, not just your role and your department. Support your pitch by showing the combined impact of contracts spanning different people, departments and processes.
Your business case for contract management software should include:
- a summary of current contracts
- a resource estimate for software implementation, training, and management
- the financial benefits translated to cost savings and increased revenue
- a summary of the current contract management system’s level of efficiency, costs, and risks.
Working together – a strategic approach
Your goal should be to make it easy for decision-makers to see the financial benefits, timesavings, process efficiency, and positive impact on risk. Contract professionals leading the software recommendation and implementation can work proactively with a proven, experienced software supplier to identify and prevent challenges before they start. Showing value from the initial purchase decision throughout all phases of implementation is key to fully leveraging all the benefits contract management software can offer. Involving all the stakeholders beginning with the software vendor selection will keep them aligned and focused on the aspects that are important to them.
Contract Insight – Contract management software from Four Business Solutions
Contract Insight provides an enterprise-class, web-based solution that is highly robust and scalable, using advanced web and database technologies. It offers unprecedented contract management software flexibility and functionality to business users of all levels. You can manage purchases and contracts from your desk, and on the go.
Contract Insight is currently used in a wide variety of organisations, from departmental deployments, managing hundreds of contracts and vendors, through to enterprise deployments managing hundreds of thousands of contracts and vendors. Four Business Solutions offers a free demonstration of Contract Insight which will show you how Four can help companies of any size or complexity transform the way they work.
Get in touch
Thank you for your interest in Four Business Solutions. We truly believe that business process improvement gives our clients a world-class, professional advantage. If you’d like a free trial to understand how Contract Insight can boost your business, please call John O’Brien, on 0800 6250 025.