As a contract manager in a company of any size, in any industry, in any part of the world, you have a multitude of responsibilities: keeping track of versions, key dates (expirations, renewals, etc.), setting up review and approval workflows, and getting detailed reports to senior management. The last thing you have time for is investing weeks (and in some cases, months) learning how to use a complex software system. When it comes to contract management, there’s no universal way to do it. Each of our clients has their own way of doing things, but the problems are always similar.
The Typical Conversation
Whenever I speak with a potential client for the first time, I always start with the question, “What type of system do you currently use for contract management?”
The Standard Answers
- “We don’t have one.”
- “We have a Franken-system made up of shared drives, Outlook folders, and Excel spreadsheets to keep up with contract information and key dates.”
- “I typically have to search through thousands of emails to fish out contract requests, and deadlines are beginning to slip through the cracks.”
I can almost sense a hint of embarrassment when a potential client explains their manual processes, but – trust me — you’re not alone. I have multiple conversations with potential clients every day that express the same sentiment. How many times has this situation happened to you? Someone calls or emails you asking you to send them a copy of a fully-executed contract and you search through a number of folders and local databases without finding it. Eventually you find it attached to an email that was saved in an Outlook folder you forgot even existed. Or what about keeping up with key dates such as expiration or renewal dates? With so many projects going on daily, it can become difficult to remember when a key contract date is on the horizon. There is no need to be embarrassed if this sounds all too familiar, but inevitably having a hodge-podge of systems will become overwhelming.
You’ll know when it’s time to implement contract management software. If GettingContractsDone (GCD) is your solution of choice, here’s what is in it for you:
Peace of Mind
GCD provides you with a central repository where you can keep every version of a particular contract organized. While contract searches will no longer be a wild goose chase, you can also provide login access to internal business users so they can go find what they need without funneling all requests through you. To ensure you don’t miss key contract dates, you can set up as many reminders that you need on any contract. Instead of manually keeping up with key dates, GCD will now tell you via email.
Potentially the biggest benefit from an automated contract management system is time savings. Traditionally, drafting a contract requires going line by line inputting information. Not only does this eat up a substantial amount of time, but it can become monotonous. With GCD, drafting a contract can be completed in a matter of clicks by using GCD’s contract templates, allowing you to improve the turn-around time to the person who submitted the request. By having a central repository that is open to key business users, the ability to generate contracts is granted to users with sufficient permission rights granted by the administrator. Having a cloud-based system that is accessible through any web browser makes the contract process more collaborative. That takes a lot of the workload off of your shoulders, and gives you the time to focus on other projects.
Involvement in Product Enhancements
GCD is a continuously improving solution with a system update every single month containing new features and capabilities. Almost all of the newly added features come from current clients’ feedback. We highly encourage all of our clients to send in enhancement requests any time they have an idea for how the system could work better. As you are going about your business within GCD, if you have an idea regarding how the system can better serve your needs we would love for you to submit it. The contract management process is always evolving, and we are prepared and excited to evolve along with it.
As a person responsible for the management of potentially the most important documents for your company, you’re going to want a system you can trust and use effectively. With GCD, you’ll have that along with the ability to lighten your workload and the peace of mind that your contracts are where they need to be. That’s what’s in it for you.