Every business professional knows that managing one's contracts effectively is paramount to smooth business running. The practice can, however, be tough as one is expected to stay top of expiration dates and approval processes, especially in a situation where one finds himself spending half of his time trying to find contracts that have been lost in the scuffle.
A Contract Management Software comes in handy here. Knowing the right software to use is a challenge as there are hundreds of options to choose from. One needs to know the best practices that will lead him to get the right software for his business.1. Identify The Specific Problems Whose Answers You Are Looking For. This is the first step in selecting suitable programs as many programs are designed to cater for different phases of the cycle of a contract. There are programs whose focus is in post-execution and has features such as compliance, notification, storage, reporting while others focus on pre-execution and have featured designs for negotiation, signatures authoring, etc. Others focus on the entire cycle of the contract. These are however few and relatively expensive, more complicated to implement and less straightforward to use. If you do not take time to isolate the particular needs of your company, you will spend a lot of time vetting software that do not solve your problems or those that are very expensive than your needs necessitate together with those that are very complicated for your ability.
2. Know How Much You Are Planning To Spend On the Software
The different software comes at various prices with some costing between $4,000 to $5,000 to subscribe to and implement while others cost as much as $40,000 a year. When you determine how much you are willing to spend on the software, it becomes very easy to focus on the providers that offer the range that is within your budget. This saves a lot of time and resources. More complicated software cost more money than the less complex ones; hence, you can determine if what you are paying for is worth. Note that CMx Contract Experience software starts at a very low price providing high value and quick return on investment (ROI).
3. Ease of Use
It is important to consider how easy to use software is before you commit to buying it. Know first if it will require that all users are trained in the use of it or its interface can be used without much training. If training is required, know how extensive it will be and how long it is going to take. Your choice should be guided on how much time you can commit to training.
4. Upgrade Path
You should further seek to know what possibilities are available to you if you intend to upgrade the software to a larger version in future. This should be advised by the understanding that you can start small with a hope of upgrading once you can invest more in it in terms of money, time and knowledge. It is better to invest in contract management software with a definite upgrade plan as it will be cheaper eventually regarding money and time.
5. Technical Support
Technical support is critical in the technology world. Before you sign on the dotted lines, it is important to make sure that your supplier is going to offer you personal responses to technical support. By checking references, you will be able to know if the software is relatively trouble free and how the supplier handles customers who need technical support. You do not want to get stuck with software that gives your problems with no one to offer a helping hand. Know how much you will expect to pay for this support and some of the costs might be too high.
6. Return on Investment (ROI) of Contract Management and Automation Software
It is defiantly challenging to pinpoint exactly what the contract management software can be said to have paid for itself. It is important to bear in mind that these benefits occur soon after it has been implemented. The benefits will start getting realized the day when an alert warns and prevents you from over paying a contract or when it makes it easier for you to get contract documents without bothering people to go through heaps of files to retrieve it. Software that seems to offer a return on investment in the shortest period should be considered.
7. Features & Flexibility
Good software should be simple to work on and meets your basic criteria. Consider software that stores information in the format you like and make it easy to retrieve it. It should not have unrequired levels of complexity that you are not interested in. It should further be flexible enough and not too narrow defined. It should allow you to introduce your specific requirements and modify data to suit your needs.
8. Implementation Time
Different contract management software requires different amounts of time to implement. This time is to a large extent determined by how complicated it is. The Very complex software will need more time to implement. You should determine how much time your company is willing to invest in the implementation of the software. You might find a perfect solution that you can newer implement fully because of it time demands. You will then know that it is not a good option for you.
Getting software is a major step in your business, but getting the right software is even better. Not all software out in the market is suitable for your company needs. Careful consideration has to be made before a decision is made. By making the considerations discussed above on the contract management software, you will end up with software that works best for you and adds value to your business. Check CMx- Contract Experience Contract Management Software features and request for a Contract Management Software free trial and see for yourself.
Your Contract Management Process should not be by managing excel sheets, smartsheets , google sheets, manual, semi-automated or clunky. Sign up for CMx today and rest assured you are on your path to make your life easier.Get Started