If the prospect of another large and complicated deal landing in your inbox fills you with dread, your Contract Management System may be out of control. The rest of the company may be celebrating the revenue boost and the chance to impress more satisfied customers, but if your department has been stumbling from one contract crisis to another, you probably have a few more sleepless nights ahead of you.
You know how critical accurate and efficient contract management is to each deal and to the company as a whole. Contracts are legally binding and carry the risk of large financial penalties for non-performance and non-compliance. You also know that the larger the deal, the larger the number of people involved in creating, reviewing, and approving the contract language before the first shipment ever leaves the warehouse or the first service call is made. Getting all of those people on the same page has traditionally been like herding cats, and the prospect of ever fixing the situation seems highly unlikely.
Shutting down the company temporarily, so that you can wipe the slate clean and start over, clearly isn’t an option, and you can only send so many emails in all caps to convey your frustration at the lack of response to urgent information requests. Carrying a baseball bat might make the folks in HR a little nervous, so what can you do to regain control of your contract management system?
The old computer software adage of GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) still applies today. If you’re unable to control what information is being contributed to the contract creation process and by whom, you simply create the need for more verification emails and run the risk of loss of version control as all the ‘interested parties’ work on their own versions for your edification and amazement. Input should only be made available to assigned personnel based on clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
Those all cap emails usually make their appearance when forward progress starts to decline. Whether it’s as a result of procrastination or over-commitment, colleagues lose their enthusiasm and projects start to get delayed in the face of impending deadlines. Having an exclusive list of key personnel assigned and on the same page both minimizes the potential delays and keeps all players accountable to their peers.
Secure Document Control
Another reason for all cap emails can be requests for supporting documentation. Whether Legal needs to see it before sign-off, or an auditor requests to see it post-implementation, the response time should be the same. If such requests only serve to initiate a chain of emails in search of who had the document last, a prompt response to Legal or the auditor is probably not on the cards. Secure central storage of all documentation relevant to the contract, with clearly assigned access privileges, has to be a standard practice.
Our comprehensive Contract Management Software solution can give you back control of your processes. Utilizing one secure SharePoint portal with two separate sites for contract creation andcontract management, you can manage every element of contract workflow from creation to management and ongoing renewal. Leveraging Microsoft Active Directory, you can assign designated personnel to each contract team, restrict access to all documentation, and oversee all task deliverables using a real-time dashboard. Even the most ardent procrastinators can be brought into line with escalated notifications of pending tasks.
If you’re giving serious consideration to carrying a baseball bat, request a free no obligation demonstration and let us show you how to leverage the full potential of proactive contract management.