Looking for quick reference guides or tips to improve your contract management system? Take a look at the articles and tips below.
Contract Management Software – Best Practices
Improving Current Contract Management Processes
When it comes to Contract Management, there are several different methods offered today. Just as selecting the route affects the journey, finding the best method determines the efficiency of your contract management system. You can think of travel time as the amount of time it takes a contract to pass through the approval process. You want to find a route that expedites this process as much as possible, right? … READ MORE
Writing, approving and implementing contracts may not ever be on anyone’s top 10 list of most exciting job responsibilities, but each step of the contract process is essential, no matter the size of the organization. External contracts with partners, suppliers and clients ensure everyone is working from the same page, and offers all parties assurance that everyone will carry out their part as agreed upon in the contract. A contract management system helps streamline this whole process, helping companies not only save time but increase revenue… READ MORE
The importance of efficient Contract Lifecycle Management continues to increase, as we move to a service-based world where the rules of our offerings are outlined in the contracts we negotiate with one another. Contracts legally bind us to our obligations, while detailing what those obligations are. When discussing contracts, we often mention negotiating power, reducing contract bottlenecks and creating legal team efficiency, but we don’t often stop to think about the players involved within the contract lifecycle itself…READ MORE
From contract requests and creation through execution and renewal management, contract managers have the critical role of ensuring contracts make it through every step of the process, contractual obligations are met, clients and vendors are kept happy and contracts remain profitable for the company… READ MORE
The contract manager’s job description, status and responsibilities vary from company to company, but the position is a necessary and critical part of any organization. They’re often required to have a legal background so they can draft, negotiate and execute contracts, as well as have enough business acumen to: make deals that benefit the organization and comply with company policies and ethics; serve as a point of contact for customers and vendors; and ensure contractual obligations are met on both sides, coordinating with finance/accounting and other departments as necessary.
On top of these responsibilities, contract managers are also tasked with managing the entire contract process, from creation and approval to contractual obligation management, renewals and contract performance evaluation.
It’s a tough balancing act among legal, business development and administrative… READ MORE
The performance of legal teams is directly affected by their ability to work cohesively — just like any team, disturbances in cohesion can hinder team collaboration and ultimately hurt performance. What hurts cohesion and collaboration? Lack of organization, processes and structure. It’s thus essential to organize the legal team on a stable and robust system, such as a Contract Management Software, that can serve as the foundation of your legal team’s efforts…READ MORE
How do you realistically and effectively manage your contract lifecycle? Ask this question to any paralegal, attorney or member of an in-house legal team, and you will be surprised at the variety of responses. What’s most interesting is that most answers focus on what the organization is currently doing and why it is not working. Even more interesting, very few people can explain why or how the organization has chosen its current process or what goals they are trying to achieve…READ MOR
Is your team managing all incoming contract requests in a streamlined manner? Are people within your organization asking your legal team to work on contracts even before a budget has been approved for it? Are you having a tough time tracking and prioritizing all of the incoming requests? It’s time to take control of contract requests. An Excel spreadsheet is okay, but a well-structured electronic form with a contract management system will take you to the next level, by ensuring all of the right people are brought in at the right time…READ MORE
What is an enterprise, and what does it seek to accomplish? There is some irony there, as the enterprise is in the business of generating efficient, value-creating processes, and yet it is inherently inefficient. Groups of people — hundreds, if not thousands — come together to work towards a common goal of value creation. To put the sheer scale enterprises in perspective, a leading mogul in the communications industry has roughly 85,000 employees, which is enough people to fill every seat in the Dallas Cowboy’s stadium and still have 5,000 people on the stadium floor…READ MORE
Increases in technology, reporting analytics and business intelligence have revolutionized the way business leaders approach every business process including Contract Management. However, many business leaders are still left in the dark about how contract lifecycle management intelligence can take their businesses to the next level, putting their organizations at a disadvantage. Analytics can help businesses use intelligence about their own environments to provide valuable actionable insight… READ MORE
Often, the buy-side of contract management sits at the opposite end of the spectrum — and the opposite end of the office — from the sell-side of contract management. Some companies have a greater need for buy-side versus sell-side, or vice versa, and often, companies choose to focus on one over the other, meaning the goals for each side are very different… READ MORE
How much is the contract worth? How much value does your business gain from that contract? Most importantly, are those two numbers the same or similar?
A contract doesn’t just outline the negotiated details between you and a vendor; the contract details and fulfillment of the agreement determine the success and survival of your business relationship with a vendor… READ MORE
Analyzing the Benefits of Having a Contract Management System
How do your paralegals and legal administrators spend the majority of their day? Do they go on wild goose chases looking for contract information? Are they worried about missing emailed contract approvals or contracts that have mysteriously fallen off the priority list?
When it comes to contract management, here are the top five most frustrating and time-consuming activities that paralegals and legal administrators deal with (but shouldn’t have to)… READ MORE
Transparency — it’s a word that’s tossed around quite a bit in conversations, often with the words, “accountability” and “governance,” but what does it really mean? What does it look like? Why is it important? How does it apply to policies and contracts? … READ MORE
At the heart of every business, without exception, is a process for the management of contracts. Whether this process is refined or thrown together can make a vast difference in the costs of time and resources spent addressing each of these five issues in manual contract management…. READ MORE
Remember, the name of the role is contract manager, not micro-manager — so what tasks in the contract process can you delegate, and how can an automated contract management system help you hand over those tasks without feeling like you’ve lost total control? … READ MORE
Increases in regulation and compliance concerns have led to the next evolutionary step in document processing and management. Companies are starting to realize the metadata associated to their documents is just as important as the documents themselves. We have seen and been a part of the huge shift to central document repositories and streamlined requests processes that provide access to metadata, version histories and a place for document discussions… READ MORE
If you are the contract manager or administrator in a large organization, you know that your workplace functions just like a family in some ways. People are constantly bringing requests to you to handle various aspects of the contract process. Can you start a new file for this project? Is there an update on this? Did the update get sent to everyone? Are there changes to the contract? Who is in charge of this? … READ MORE
Whether you’re looking to overhaul or refine current contract processes, start at the beginning — with contract requests. Often, legal departments’ inefficiency stems from juggling and prioritizing the volume of requests, which come to them via email, phone calls, handwritten notes and comments made in passing… READ MORE
A couple of weeks ago, we provided guidelines and questions to ask your legal team to help you evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the contract creation (contract requests, creation, review, approval and execution) side of your current processes. What happens once the contract has been executed, and how can you ensure the contract management side is equally efficient? …READ MORE
Take a look at how your company’s contracts are organized and how your team communicates when working on those contracts.
- Are your documents labeled with extensions such as, “/FILENAME-DATE-v14-r02.doc”?
- Have you ever had an email discussion with your team about updating a document, made revisions directly to it and then accidentally saved over the previous version?
- Have you ever had to dig through files trying to determine which version of a contract to make updates because you can’t figure out the difference among the most recent iteration, the last final and approved contract, and draft copies? … READ MORE
Using electronic signatures saves time and paper. But when seeking approval on a document, what constitutes an enforceable act? An email reply simply stating, “Okay,” “I approve,” “I agree” or “I accept”? An electronic or digital signature? Simply typing in your name, or scanning in your handwritten signature? A timestamp acknowledgement?
In the U.S., two acts establish the legality of electronic signatures – the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA, 1999) and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN, 2000)… READ MORE
You’ve probably seen firsthand how mismanagement, errors and delays in the contract renewal process can affect your bottom line. Instead of thinking about contract renewals as a time of missed opportunities and lost revenue, they should be thought of more positively — as a time to reevaluate, refine, improve or move on from existing contracts… READ MORE
Whenever professionals agree to signing a contract, an important and often forgotten aspect of the contract is its renewal status. Every contract is slightly different, including whether or not contract renewals are automatic, which becomes problematic when organizations have hundreds of legally binding agreements to keep up with. Remembering all of the dates and terms can be challenging…READ MORE
A main selling point of contract management systems is that they send contract managers automated reminders when a contract is due to renew, expire or needs renegotiating. You recognize that letting uneconomical contracts auto-renew is costly, and know that they need review, but what’s the next step? … READ MORE
Supporting a Wide Range of Industries
The construction industry is built on business partnerships — nurturing your customers and vendors, as well as defining how your relationship will work in the form of contracts. Contracts with vendors, subcontracts, architecture firms and other partners are key documents that all contractors must deal with on a daily basis. Developing a contract is similar to constructing a building… READ MORE
Today, financial institutions are continually pressured to decrease costs while increasing profitability. On top of these tasks, they must juggle demanding customers looking for faster, more personalized service, safeguarding against cybersecurity attacks and adhering to regulatory compliance standards.
To meet these demands, banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations have focused on creating and improving processes through automation… READ MORE
Banking and financial institutions, perhaps more than any other type of business, must be constantly on alert for cybersecurity breaches. Their customers entrust them with a large amount of data, and financial firms’ business depends on the ability to protect and secure their customers’ information.
As a result, the financial services industry is heavily regulated and under constant scrutiny — by both officials and the public. Financial organizations must adhere to strict compliance laws to promote operational transparency and accountability… READ MORE
Recently, audits of local and state government agencies — in California, Massachusetts, Texas and elsewhere — have revealed costly oversights in their contract management processes. These issues in the contract management system are not just found in government agencies, but also plague private and public companies as well… READ MORE
In the face of ever-changing healthcare regulations, hospitals and other healthcare provider organizations face tightening budgets yet growing operating — particularly compliance-related — costs. Did you know that supply chain costs are the second largest expense for healthcare provider organizations (after labor)? With these costs growing faster than other operating expenses, organizations are looking for innovative ways to cut or better manage their spending… READ MORE
Supply chain management, healthcare organizations’ second most expensive cost after labor, will become a central discussion as executive leadership looks for ways to better manage and curtail spending.
Supply chain management’s responsibilities require a tough balancing act: source quality materials, while reducing costs; carefully manage vendor relationships, while maintaining customer satisfaction; and ensure regulatory compliance, while continually increasing efficiency and streamlining workflows… READ MORE
An efficient contract management system will not help your healthcare organization realize cost savings if the managed care contracts put into it are not well-negotiated so that they benefit both you and the vendor… READ MORE
Going through that stack of papers — other than ensuring they sat on a somewhat neat, yet ever-growing pile — was definitely the last thing on your mind as you skipped out of your office on Friday.
However, a well-thought-out document management system not only eliminates clutter and keeps your office tidy, but it also helps make your job easier (and eliminates time-consuming, menial tasks!) — and for HR professionals and office managers, means the office as a whole runs smoother…. READ MORE
Evaluating Vendors and Software
Your company has decided it’s ready to take your policy or contract management system to the next level and look into compliance management software vendors. You’ve been tasked with researching and evaluating vendors and products.
Beyond comparing the actual features of the products and price, what else should you look for and ask about when choosing the right partner? … READ MORE
So it’s time for your organization to use a contract management system, but you’re sure how to research and evaluate products and vendors. It’s a common theme: Once you’ve gotten past all the reasons you need one, such as finding a system to ensure you know how many contracts you have, what their worth is and when they expire, as well as how to stay on top of renewals, you feel like you need a break before diving into software options. Here are a few key considerations to help you with your product search…READ MORE
Get 8 benefits of having a contract management system. #1: Improve Audit Preparation: Systems that offer one centralized portal with features such as full audit trails provide access to the entire contract history in one location. #2: Ensure Contract Compliance: Streamlined business processes provides contract accountability. From request to approval, every contract is held to compliance standards… READ MORE
The ConvergePoint SharePoint Contract Management Software is a workflow-driven Microsoft SharePoint template that enables an organization to create, collaborate, review and approve contracts made with customers, vendors, partners and employees. Every contract goes through a defined, streamlined business process, from request to approval, on a single platform to ensure accountability. Storing all files on one centralized platform allows for high visibility, strict regulation, extensive reporting and analytics capabilities, and speedy response… WATCH THE VIDEO
As an IT project manager or SharePoint administrator with your own job tasks and processes, it can be a challenge to evaluate software vendors based on the needs and from the standpoint of another department, especially without knowledge of their processes and goals. When you’re asked for input on choosing a contract management system, what should you look for? … READ MORE
They’re sometimes some of the first questions potential customers ask us: What’s the difference between ConvergePoint’s compliance management software and out-of-the-box Microsoft SharePoint? Your software is built on SharePoint, so what does your software do and offer that the out-of-the-box functionality does not? Why isn’t what I have now (out-of-the-box SharePoint instance) good enough? … READ MORE
Whether you’re a policy manager, contract manager, SharePoint administrator or another key player in the project team, you know that deploying software and migrating documents to SharePoint will take coordination, planning and training… READ MORE
CONTRACT MANAGEMENT – BEST PRACTICES
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