Legal21 June, 2016

Contract management tips

The majority of business transactions are supported by legally binding contracts and agreements. Most organizations end up storing them in a filing cabinet during the agreement period until a problem arises or the contract has expired. That’s when deadlines are not met or extra work needs to be done. Web-based contract management software enables legal departments and contract managers to take a proactive approach so they have an improved understanding of their risks associated with each contract. Contract management is often described as the next “big” development in legal technology. How come? It can simply help organizations to earn more and become more cost-effective. Based on the constant pressure to improve business efficiency, organizations are in need of tools instead of manual processes that will allow them to “scrape by.” Look for the following features in a contract management tool, and you’ll be in good shape:

Use e-signatures:

Stop waiting for days or weeks for a contract signature. E-signature tools can reduce the time to a matter of hours or minutes. Any reputable e-signature provider will comply with legislation concerning electronic signing and provide an audit log of every action that occurred.

Receive alerts for due dates:

One of the worst feelings is finding out that you’ve missed a contract renewal date because it sat forgotten in the filing cabinet. Plan ahead and stay informed by receiving email alerts. You’ll never have to worry about costs associated with unwanted contract renewal.

Web-based:

If you’re using a paper-based system, how long do you think it would take you to locate all your contracts expiring within 3 months? A few hours, days…or even weeks? Storing your contracts in a web-based system not only reduces the dependence on paper, but also ensures that you can search quickly for the necessary information when the CEO has an urgent inquiry. You can access documents quickly and easily anywhere, any time.

Centralized:

Drafting a contract by email generates more copies than are really necessary. Sending an email to five colleagues creates five copies of the contract. If each of the five recipients has amendments to make, multiple documents will be circulating. If a recipient forwards a version to another colleague, that person has access as well. In a centralized system only authorized users can view the contract. They can add discussions relating to the contracts and schedule tasks.

Templates:

Contracts can be created consistently using standard template that have standard terms and conditions. This helps other business units and non-lawyers to be self-sufficient. By reducing the number of inquiries made to the legal department, they can focus on strategic priorities. According to report by OpenText, streamlining the contract process can reduce time spent creating contracts up to 75 percent.

Takeaway:

Contracts comprise the road map of the company’s vision for years to come. That’s why it’s important for them to have a tool that offers valuable insights – this translates into compliance and savings. Contract management tools help in-house counsel streamline and control every aspect of the process. Legisway offers a web-based contract management platform to help busy corporate legal departments track and manage their contracts from creation to expiration. In a streamlined contract management environment, they can devote more time to strategic priorities and less to administration.

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