Your business should have contract management software that’s easy-to-use, reasonably priced and offers features aligned to your needs.  Without these criteria, you risk encountering issues such as contract lifecycle bottlenecks, wasted time, increased costs and lost revenue.  If you’re considering making the switch to a leading contract lifecycle management software platform there are three key things to consider.

1. Easy to use contract management software

The best possible contract management software will have a user-friendly interface and a user experience that streamlines your processes, saves you time and increases adoption rates.  These essential benefits can be realized with an easy-to-use solution combined with excellent customer service and support resources.  Leading source-to-contract software offers these essential benefits, excellent customer service, support resources, fast implementation and comprehensive training.

With the help of highly skilled implementation specialists, once you’ve purchased the contract management software suite, you’ll soon be able to enter your organisation’s contracts, vendor, customer and employee records. Organisations with more complex, specific business rules can leverage professional services for implementation and system configuration.  Contract management software providers can help setup of user-defined fields, workflow, and automated alerts based on your specific needs.

Once your system is implemented and configured, you can start to increase your contract management ROI with contract management software training.  Training can benefit new users in need of guidance, seasoned users who require enrichment and refresher sessions, and advanced users looking to handle some of the more complex areas of contract management.

In addition to training, leading contract management software providers should offer you options for system maintenance, and support tools that will help you take advantage of the features and benefits on offer.  So you can respond and adapt to any business changes and keep driving value through your contracts.

2. Diverse software hosting and permissions options

The level of cost-effectiveness of a contract management software solution depends on how much you’re benefiting from your software investment.  Reliable solutions can help maximise your contract management software ROI by providing you with hosting options and secure document storage.

Software suites that give you virtually unlimited document creation and storage are critical to the formation of a secure and unified contract repository.  Ideally you also want the capability to perform bulk imports of legacy contract data created before the purchase of contract management software.  File conversion and data extraction services can transition paper-based documents and contract records into a digital format to be stored in a consolidated, secure, and easily searchable location.  This ultimately means that you’ll be able to avoid costly lifecycle bottlenecks, misplacement of crucial documents, and missed key dates and milestones.

Cutting-edge contract management solutions provide options for hosting as well.  They offer both web-based (SaaS) and deployed (on-premise) hosting, depending on an organization’s needs.  Systems can be hosted in the cloud, at the software provider’s data centres or installed on-premise on the client’s servers.  SaaS hosting doesn’t eed on-premise software installation and it can support easy and comprehensive management, backup and fast access to essential data.  

Flexible user permissions help you manage user licenses and assign them by user roles, access levels and user groups so that you can arrange permissions per the needs of your user base.  Additionally, many leading solutions can provide named, concurrent, levels, traditional, volume-based,and other licensing options.

3. Robust and aligned contract management software features 

Leading source-to-contract management software can equip you with scalable functionality and features. Contract automation can unify contracts, committals, agreements, obligation records, risk documents and so on.  Flexible software means that you can integrate with mission-critical applications seamlessly, intelligently write documents with your pre-approved clause library, and track contracts in the office or on the go.

The right software will prompt your employees, external software users and counterparties to submit requests with supporting documents.  Contract managers and teams can:

  • configure the required data fields
  • attach crucial contract documents
  • route approvals via intelligent workflow automation
  • track approvals
  • receive email reminders
  • approve contract requests
  • convert documents to records without needing to manually key in data.

Contract analytics and comprehensive reporting can help users create reports based on key dates, data fields, and contract financials.  You can configure automated notifications to remind team members of contract key dates, high-risk vendors and contractors, compliance, etc, to reduce risk and the likelihood of missed key dates and lost opportunities.

Collaboration with suppliers, customers, and business partners can be simplified when your business securely negotiates, shares documents, gets electronic signatures and sends out bulk signature invitations.  User-friendly contract performance and status dashboards can help you track contract management KPIs against established organisational expectations. And comprehensive risk management tools can enable proactive mitigation and analysis.

Other benefits

Artificial intelligence

Leading-edge contract management solutions use artificial intelligence, so that you can leverage advanced AI tools to create contracts easily, automate data entry, enhance data identification and protection, increase accountability and mitigate risk.

Easy contract creation and signing

MS Outlook integration allows businesses like yours to perform a myriad of essential contract management tasks straight from your desktop email application.  Proven electronic signature software means that you can confidently sign, send documents out for signatures, and collaborate in the office or on the go.

Make the switch to contract Insight from Four

Contract Insight is a cloud-hosted (SaaS) or deployed (on-premise) contract management solution.  The acclaimed platform is trusted by thousands of professionals for their contract management, legal document managementprocurement 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.