Key Considerations for Purchasing a Contract Management Solution
So you’ve decided to get a Contract Management Solution, but are not sure which product to go with. It’s a common theme: Once you’ve gotten past all the reasons you need one, like ensuring you know how many contracts you have, and what their worth is, and when they expire, and staying on top of renewals, etc., etc… You might just need a break before diving into the many different ads out there claiming their product is the best because it looks great and is easy to use. So here are a few key considerations to help you with your product search:
1. Does it Access Your Active Directory?
Making sure your program utilizes as many features as possible is a great start. The Active Directory can help you avoid the hassle of creating groups, entering users, and organizing them by department. If you select a Contract Management Solution like ConvergePoint’s, any changes you make to your Active Directory will be automatically received in the software. If you select a program with Distribution as a functionality, you’ll appreciate that you won’t have to move users around between groups, and that the right people will have the right information at the right times.
2. Does it Allow You to Pull Reports?
How many contracts were signed in the last month? Are the sales in Mike’s department doing as well as the sales in Steve’s department? Without a solution that allows you to report on the things that are important to you, you’re not reaching the full potential of what Contract Management is all about. Sure, you want to streamline your process and abide by compliance laws— But that’s surface level. Why not go for a solution that can handle all of that, plus give you information to improve your business.
3. Does it Send Notifications?
So you have a program that will organize all the data, but with busy schedules, implementing a new project might mean that some of your users forget to log in from time to time, and don’t realize they have tasks waiting for them. Avoid all of that with a Contract Management program that will notify the appropriate users when they are assigned with a new task, or that a document is waiting on their approval.
4. Can it Utilize Your Current Platform’s Features?
If you are using SharePoint, like many businesses these days, you will want to strongly consider choosing a program that further expands on its advanced capabilities. ConvergePoint’s Contract Management software utilizes SharePoint’s workflow and webparts for ensuring a seamless, streamlined solution for requests, reviews, approvals, revisions, renewals and amendments. It also helps provide a clean, organized dashboard custom to each user.
5. Does it Allow Custom Permissions and Searching?
“Why should I have to sort through everyone else’s contracts to find mine?” Let this be a question of the past. A question that is left behind in the endless folders and mess that can become a shared drive. By making sure the right users have the right access and permissions, eliminate the risks of disappearing files and time consuming, anxiety boosting searches. Accessing your documents on the same Contract Management software program. It’s as easy as keeping everything where you assume you would find it.
6. Does it Maintain Audit Trails, Version History, and Discussion Boards?
When issues arise, you don’t want to be caught searching for extended periods of time for a particular document, and when you do find that document, the last thing you’ll want to do is search with a fine-tooth comb over the legal details, and search through your emails to find anything to give you a clue about why it is significant. Instead of hopelessly wishing you had kept those notes about what was needed or a concern to the third party, or what clauses were added because of some technicalities, you could easily find a Contract Management program with built in audit trails, discussion boards and version history, to identify the unique aspects that took place during each step of the process.
7. Does it Organize Renewals and Amendments?
Renewing a contract, or adding amendments to one should be easy, and organized. Solutions that offer the ability to create amendments on top of existing documents, or renewals, while retiring the old contract, should be a priority for anyone who values their current contract bound friends. A Contract Management software program should be cohesive of every step of contract management.
8. Does it Operate on a Single Platform?
Operating on a single platform on your own server allows you to keep all your data to yourself and in one place. Contracts and other legal information are not something to risk compromising. Putting your data on the cloud can be potentially hazardous in areas such as copyrights, security, reliability, privacy (for example: data mining), and performance.
9. Will you Receive Installation, Training and Support?
Not only can implementing a new program be time consuming, but questions can arise that may make you feel unprepared for taking on a new solution. Ensuring that the company you choose will allow training, installation and support services also ensures a successful deployment and transition.
Where ConvergePoint Comes In:
Understanding these pain points are what built the ConvergePoint Contract Management Software system. Operating on SharePoint 2010 and 2013 platforms, ConvergePoint’s Contract Management systems take pride in providing all of the features above.
Beginning with a request for a contract, the request flows through an approval process sharing the top level information of the contract before it is created. Then the Contract moves through its own review and approval process. It uses the active directory and permissions to ensure that the right people are involved for each contract type. Sending notifications for new tasks or item deadlines helps users stay focused on task and on time. Audit trails, version histories, and discussion boards keep all correspondence regarding the same contract together, while classifications can aid in the organization of distribution, ensuring the appropriate groups only have access to the contracts they need to be concerned with. Using the active directory means you do not have to create new users every step of the way, and installation on your server allows privacy and security over your data.
ConvergePoint is a leading software solutions and IT services company specializing in Microsoft SharePoint and InfoPath. Our goal is to help organizations achieve their financial and business objectives by using these technologies more efficiently. For now – download our free resource by clicking below -