The COVID-19 pandemic has left educational institutions in a state of disarray.  In these unprecedented times, your education contract managers – especially when overseeing contract management teams remotely – can’t rely on antiquated education contract management procedures.  Amidst the unforeseen circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, they can learn how to leverage the following key digital contract management processes. Within a scalable and centralised contract lifecycle management system, your education contract managers can maximise contract value and optimise workflow.

Executive summary

Unoptimised education contract management methods can prevent growth and efficiency, taint institutional reputation and damage ROI.  Outdated practices, including manual, disparate processes, can potentially expose educational institutions to unwanted risk variables that can negatively impact their budgets and general reputation.  Procurement specialists, paralegals, legal counsel, executive assistants and other education contract administration professionals can’t rely on obsolete contract management processes.  Thankfully, educational institutions can leverage virtually COVID-proof and user-friendly contract management software to streamline their operations with unparalleled contract oversight.

Contract clauses and templates

Manual contract creation requires searching and pulling essential parts out of disparate documents and writing the rest.  This can often exclude necessary ts and cs, and delay contract reviewing and contract negotiation.  Pre-approved contract templates offered by a future-minded contract management software platform can streamline the contract writing process – replacing a manual drafting process with a speedy contract generation and approval strategy. 

Your education contract managers can confidently delegate new contract creation tasks within your team, knowing team-members can leverage current and approved contract clauses and templates from their pre-approved library.  Contract managers using a contract management system can configure their system to extract desired terms and clauses based on the kind of contract needing to be created, virtually ensuring the incorporation of necessary terms.  This swift yet secure process reduces contract workflow bottlenecks and yields faster contract closeouts.

A secure contract repository system

When dealing with vitally important contracts, education contract management professionals can face issues maintaining an organised contract and storage process.  Educational institutions may find it virtually impossible to:

  • retain version control
  • adhere to key dates
  • maintain contract security
  • improve contract performance
  • stay aware of milestones.

Storing contracts may seem simple.  However, a simple contract repository pales in comparison to an electronic contract lifecycle management suite.  Without a centralised contract management system, your education contract managers can miss opportunities to mitigate risk and risk exposure, improve contract performance and maintain holistic oversight of their contracts. 

Fortunately, educational institutions can use a future-minded and unified contract lifecycle management suite to not only store contracts but also to maximise value for optimal ROI.  Contract storage can safeguard an educational institution’s contracts and improve accountability, centralise document control and increase overall contract management productivity.  A web-enabled contract management system allows your education contract managers to store and organise contracts, implement document version control, track approval statuses, collaborate with third parties, integrate with their email system, utilise electronic signatures and more.

Automated contract workflow

Education contract managers can be frustrated by manual workflow processes – especially when a team member delays the contract workflow by forgetting a renewal date, payment or any other pertinent task.  Teams using disparate communication methods – such as phone calls and emails – can:

  • increase contract lifecycle bottlenecks
  • overlook key dates
  • miss necessary steps
  • waste time
  • delay contract negotiations
  • and incur financial losses.

Fortunately, educational institutions can implement a process-oriented contract management workflow system that can securely streamline the contract management procedure and virtually eliminate inefficiencies.

Education contract managers who leverage automated workflow within contract management software can expedite their team’s process by assigning the proper team member to their tasks with unlimited notifications, automated alerts and task reminders.  Intelligent contract management workflow automation can help teams handle their workflow process with audit trails, advanced contract analytics, searching, reporting, user-defined fields and more.  Contract management artificial intelligence with machine learning can automate data entry, assess and map risk factors, analyse statistical data and offer immediate recommendations based on real-time data etc. 

Contract management software can help educational institutions streamline negotiation and signing processes with integrated track changes and electronic signatures.  Automated alerts help education contract management teams to complete signature and approval tasks in a timely manner.  Additionally, audit trail history tracked by proven contract lifecycle management software can virtually ensure all involved personnel work with the most current contract versions for optimal contract visibility.  Intelligent contract workflow with secure and proven contract management automation functionalities can significantly streamline the education contract management process.

Contract Insight from Four

Now, more than ever, contract management professionals at colleges, universities and school systems need a digital and centralised contract lifecycle management software system to help their organisations thrive in the face of challenges posed by the pandemic of COVID-19.

Contract Insight provides proven and user-friendly education contract management software that features eSignatures, contract request tracking, analytics and reporting, FOIA request portal and more.  It’s a flexible, low-friction, highly configurable and user-friendly software solution that helps many users in educational institutions in the private and public sectors.

Cloud-hosted (SaaS) or deployed (on-premise), it’s also trusted by thousands of professionals for their contract management, legal document management, procurement and sourcing needs.  Used by many Fortune 500 companies, Contract Insight gives you real time visibility into your contracts. It doesn’t just shore up your security; it will help you meet contract compliance regulations, centralise your contract management and improve your overall contract administration process.

For more information, contact John O’Brien, CEO at Four Business Solutions, global business consultants and software integrators providing business processes improvements in FinanceSupply Chain and Operations, across a broad range of industries.