What is Contract Management and Contract Management Software ?
Contract Management is the field of practice where multiple users from one or multiple companies work towards creation and maintenance of relationship between parties and contractual documents (usually in Microsoft word or pdf), which contains agreed upon legal terms by all parties responsible in the contract.
In simple words, a contract represents the document and terms in the document which serves as the basis of relationship between two parties and contract management refers to all activities that follows the contract agreement to maintain the relationship to the best level possible.
Contract Management Software is the online or on-premise software tool used by contract professionals to effectively maintain the relationship between one or more contracting parties and thus store and maintain the audit trail of the relationship such as the contract documents and contractual metadata for future review.
This software can store both the contract meta data for quick retrieval using search from a repository and thus serving as a contract tracking software or it can also act as a full fledged tool to search and retrieve both contract metadata and contractual documents. Many contract professionals and contract management functional users think contract management software as a tool with administrative function of managing contracts with a central repository. This is true but in fact Contract Management Software should truly be capable of handing enterprise scenarios in following section.
Ten tips for purchasing best contract management software
(1) Relationship ManagementContract Software should be capable of managing the relationship between Contracting Parties, which can be one or more business organizations. Contract Management software should facilitate the business relationships and should act as the corner stone for maintaining such relationships between one or more entities.
(2) Easy to Use and Easy to TrainMost of the users who deal with contracts are business users and not hardcore technical people. Keeping this point in mind, the contract management software should be easy to use and easy to train so that entire company can adapt quickly towards a streamlined and efficient contracting process.
(3) Flexibility of Software to adapt to changes by Business UsersIn most companies, the ever-growing demand and change request makes Contract Management as an agile process rather than a constant non-changing environment. Once contract management software is implemented, it must be flexible and should be capable of handling future change requests seamlessly without much help from Information Technology (IT) team. If the software needs a lot of support from IT team, probably it is time to re-think about the contract software. In short , contract management software must be designed to facilitate business users and support their ability to make best possible and effective decisions and should help in manage contract performance seamlessly.
(4) Flexibility of software for adding or Changing Custom FieldsFlexibility for adding custom fields refers to the ability of the contract management software to adapt to or capture new custom fields. For example, if a business scenario needs an Invoice Id to be captured in the contract management system, contract managers should NOT go behind the IT people who implemented the system, rather the Contract Management Software should be capable of handling this scenario by itself by business users adding the field or fields to the system.
(5) Ability to Scale and grow big with millions of contracts and contract metadataWhen the contract management software is implemented, there could be a finite set of data (contract documents) and metadata (data related to contracts such as title , renewal date, expiry date etc which can be easily searched). But as the company grows (think last 5-10 years of contractual data from customers, suppliers , vendors , employees, contractors …) the contract management system should able to capable of grow with the flow and the changes that is happening in the company.
(6) MaintainabilityMost companies are really good and specialized in the business sector or industry that they work with on a daily basis. So do you want to focus on your core business or rather worry about maintaining contract management software that grows exponentially over the years? A good contract software auto magically grows with the business and should be maintained by the experts in the field like the contract management specialized and focused companies.
(7) Data Security and Dynamic Provisioning of Roles and PermissionsGood contract management software takes data security of it’s customer as top priority and implements various level of data protection mechanisms in place. Especially of the software is based online (cloud based online contract management system), there must be serious security practices in place which includes two factor authentication and top tier encryption policies.
(8) Core Focus of contract management software is on the Inter operability and relationship between one or more companiesThe focus of a pure play enterprise contract management software is not to overcome the in-efficiencies of ERP software but rather facilitate the inter operability and inter-communications between the companies or rather the contracting parties with whom the company has a business relationship with.
(9) Contract Performance MetricsAbility to measure contract performance related metrics and ability to manage inter-dependent contracts and the performance measured by the inter-dependent contracts are key in managing the relationship between two contracting parties. The performance metrics gives meaningful insights to key executives and related contract managers to know well about how the relationship is going with one party or a set of parties and take meaningful powerful decisions based on facts and metrics rather than assumptions.
(10) Not ExpensiveEvery business has a core function to do. This is to create value to customers and make substantial profits over time. Most contract management software and services related to contract management are expensive in long term. You should find a great contract management software that at least satisfies or exceeds above ten commandments for contract management and then team up with the company who has strong values in the contract management field to make sure your contracting process becomes powerful , effective and fail proof.
And now the biggest tip and streamline your contracting process today : Compare above ten commandments yourself with our next generation CMx Contract Experience software and feel for yourself. Click on Live Support/Send a Message! on right most bottom to leave a message or to schedule a demo or send an email to email@example.com to experience the best in contract management field for years to come. You can also sign up now by clicking on the Sign Up link and start using the software in minutes without worrying about any of the customization or implementation costs.