Contracts are the lifeblood of any growing business. Contracts with customers bring in business, and contracts with vendors ensure that your company is able to deliver on the promises made to those customers. Delays or errors in those contracts can quickly undo any goodwill that has been created, and so urgency becomes the order of the day. Everyone attached to a contract wants to check and double check every detail, and that’s just the request for the contract to be created!
The Priority Game
In a broken contract system, the emphasis on urgency creates a battle for attention, and the best way to get attention for your contract request is to flag it as a priority. If everyone in your company has come to accept that the system is too dysfunctional to escalate or fast track a request, when an important deal arrives with a short deadline, something has to be done to indicate how important it is that this request not get lost in the bureaucracy of contract management. That sounds like a workable approach, but if your colleagues all take the same cue, what do you do when every request is a priority? Worse still, what do you do when your colleagues start submitting requests that are missing critical information just to claim a spot on your list as quickly as possible? Do you penalize them for the missing information and send them to the back of the line, or do you acquiesce to the sincere pleas for a personal favor “just this once” with earnest promises to get you that missing information soon? If your solution has been to build an Excel spreadsheet and move the rows up and down according to who is yelling the loudest, there is a better way.
Comprehensive Contract Management
As with any information flow in an organization, sclerosis can quickly develop with multiple inquiries for the same information from multiple personnel. Requests for supporting documentation, status updates, and anticipated renewal dates can prompt requests to additional personnel for information to answer those original requests and so the emails quickly pile up. Before you know it, valuable time is lost in waiting for confirmation of information that should never have been unavailable to contract management in the first place.
The ConvergePoint SharePoint Contract Management Software organizes the entire contract process on one scalable, access controlled, SharePoint platform to ensure that every detail about every contract is kept secure in one location. The centralized request mechanism ensures that
– all contract requests have all of the required information in it
– all contract requests have all of the necessary department and financial budget sign-offs required
– all requests have all the data filled in so that the legal team does not re-enter data
By developing two full-featured sites on the same platform, the information-heavy contract creationprocess is kept separate from the ongoing management of existing contracts. This ensures that no contract goes to legal until all pertinent information is included, and with controlled access to designated personnel only, all input on revisions is closely tracked in real time so that there is only ever one approved version in process.
Once signed and put into effect, the contract comes under the oversight of the contract managementsite so that obligations and future amendments can be managed and renewals prepared for well in advance. If an audit question is raised on a specific contract, all relevant information from creation to execution and subsequent renewal is available at your fingertips.
If you’re ready to step away from the priority game and manage your contracts in a streamlined process, schedule your no obligation contract management software demo now or download the guide to establish a contract management implementation.
CONTRACT MANAGEMENT – BEST PRACTICES
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