Contract management software is a specialized set of programs that are used to manage, hold and ease the process of controlling a contract. Contracts are very important for businesses because they take a certain set of rules and freeze them in time. For example, a contract says that one of your suppliers has to perform under certain terms. However, the problem with a contract is that the wrong wording can cause the supplier to perform in a way that is contrary to your needs. Contract management software solves this and many other issues with contracts. Read on to see why contract management software is essential.
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One of the most basic things that contract management software does is that it designates a spot for all of your contracts. This seems like it should be easy, and you should have no trouble just storing the contracts on your hard drive. However, this becomes much harder as your business increases in size. Many businesses find it hard to operate due to the large number of contracts that they have to hold.
Contract management software makes it very easy for you to find contracts, and it organizes them based on terms, the involved parties and other advanced metrics that your hard drive won’t be able to do on its own.
This also makes it easier to assign responsibility for them. Contracts go through many different stages. There is authoring the contract, negotiating, auditing and accepting the contract. If you just have a contract as a text file, then you may not know what stage the contract is on or who has to deal with it. Contract management software makes it much easier in this regard because you can easily see what has been done with the contract as it is being held in the system.
If your business is growing or having a hard time with contracts, then you need contract management software just to ensure that you can hold and easily manage these contracts without faltering on any of them.
Managing Contract Changes
Your standard contract goes through many changes, even if you are dealing with a laid back person. The language needs to be changed so that it fits the reality of the situation, one party may not agree on the terms, someone might try to make smaller changes so that everyone is happy and so on. Even a short contract can be difficult to manage if you aren’t aware of all of the changes.
Aside from showing you what stage each contract is on, contract management software will also alert you to these changes. Some people try to make some subtle changes that can make a big impact. Contract management software will show you all of the changes that have been made in highlighted colors so that you can easily see what the other party is doing and what they are requesting.
Not only that, but it improves management. While they might believe otherwise, most executives and workers are far too busy to manage and watch every contract. There might be flagrant mismanagement or even a lack of management because no one can monitor what the other party is doing.
Contract management software will make it much easier to manage the other parties because you can quickly find their terms and agreements, and the program will highlight any issues such as an omission or confusing language that might make the other party perform in a way that is contrary to the overall agreed terms.
Not only that, but contract management software makes it much easier to discover the flaws and issues with a contract. If you have ever had a hard time managing a contract for one reason or another, then you will appreciate what this software can do. It will ensure that everyone does what they agree to do, and it will monitor the contracts so that any changes can be quickly seen and dealt with.
Authoring Tools and Language
Authoring a contract is hard work even for the most experienced and advanced writers. This is because every contract is unique. Even if you are dealing with a “standard” contract, there will still be many changes in the terms, party names and so on. Not only that, but many problems start when you are authoring a contract.
The appropriate language has to be used throughout the contract. Most contracts use similar language and clauses, but the author needs to use them consistently to ensure that the contract is right. Most contract management software systems have authoring tools that will make it much easier for you to make a good contract.
For example, there is usually a library of terms of clauses that you can easily drag-and-drop from a menu to the document. This not only makes it much easier and faster to create a contract, it also ensures that the right clauses and terms are used. You can also customize the clauses so that they fit your needs perfectly.
This semi-automated contract authoring does more than just ensure that clauses and language is correct. This can also save you a lot of money because one worker can create more contracts in less time. It usually takes about 30-40% less time to create these contracts than if the same worker did it manually.
Creating a contract is incredibly difficult, but the most contract management software has various tools that ensure that only the best and most effective contracts are created. Not only that, but it’s easier to review these documents because only the unique portions are highlighted as they are the most important to the contract.
Every business has contracts. They can be to ensure that suppliers and partners work correctly, or it can be for people paying you to perform a service. Regardless of why you need contracts, you need contract management software to help manage them. This software makes it much easier to write, hold and manage your contracts throughout their life. If you are tired of consistent problems with your contracts, then this software will help.
Benefits of Contract Management Software
One of the major benefits of contract management software is that it dramatically lowers costs. There are many costs associated with creating and managing a contract, and even more costs if the contract goes awry.
When it comes to making the contract, you need to pay someone to author it, others to review it and then even more people to negotiate the terms and finally get the contract accepted. Contract management software can help with all of these. Authoring a contract takes much less time because authors can drag-and-drop standard terms. It’s also much easier to negotiate and review the contract because the software will highlight any portions that have changed so that reviewers only spend time looking at these portions.
It also reduces the costs of contracts going wrong. Contract management software is meant to highlight changes that occur whenever someone tries to modify the terms. Some people make subtle, or “stealth,” changes that can affect the whole nature of the contract. You can easily find these changes and shoot them down. Not only that, but contract management software will usually alert you when someone is not performing according to the contract.
This means that you can easily send someone to check on the other party, or you can perform any actions needed so that the other party performs as needed. Many companies lose millions of dollars due to a lack of management, but contract management software will avoid this issue.
It’s no secret that contracts have a relatively short life when it comes to approval. If you can’t get a contract signed as quickly as possible, then the other party might leave or they may want to keep changing the terms until the agreement doesn’t make sense anymore. You need to get the contract quickly approved so that it’s in your favor, especially if the contract is for someone to use your services.
Contract management software makes it much easier for everyone to agree on the contract for several reasons. One of the basic reasons is that reliable contract management software will have a desktop and mobile platform. This ensures that people can read the contract regardless of where they are.
The review time is also commonly slashed by 80% or more because these software ensures that only the important parts are displayed. There’s no need to review an entire contract if only two sentences have been changed. This means that it might take minutes instead of hours to review the contract and get it back to the other party.
Lastly, contract management software makes it much easier to create consistent language. Sometimes contracts are stalled because the languages of both parties are different. This means that the author has to make substantial changes just so that everyone understands the terms. Instead of going through all this work, the software can help authors quickly make consistent and appropriate language throughout the contract, while your terms and standards are maintained.
Getting a contract finished as quickly as possible ensures an easy approval process, usually gives you the best terms and it will secure the most business if you are selling products or services to someone else. It also costs much less because your workers can review and check many more contracts at once, which ensure that you make the most money without having to spend it on frivolous needs.
Responsibility and Tracking
The third major benefit of contract management software is that it helps you to assign responsibility to the contract, and you can easily track and audit it as needed. Aside from having troubles holding and storing all of the contracts, another major problem that businesses face is that they don’t know who has responsibility over the contract.
For example, you have three different people that maintain the contract. One makes it, the other negotiates it and the other audits the terms. The responsibility of maintaining the contract falls on one of these people depending on what stage the contract is in.
If you have a few contracts, then it’s easy to assign responsibility. If you have hundreds, then there might be a few that slip by. This means that a contract might go sour, and you won’t know who to blame. Not only that, but the workers may not even know who is supposed to be working on the new contract. Contract management software solves this issue by showing you what stage the contract is on, and you can assign workers to have access to it.
It’s also much easier to track and audit the other party to ensure that they are performing as required. Most contracts specify that someone should audit the terms on a certain date, or you should have people checking for compliance issues. This takes a lot of time, but it’s much easier with contract management software.
This is because the software will alert you to these issues so that everything runs smoothly. Instead of having to check through your contracts over and over again to make sure that everything is being done correctly, the software will give you alerts so that you can spend your time making more money.
Contracts are difficult to maintain, store and work with because most companies have thousands of active contracts. If you are tired of dealing with consistent compliance issues, want to reduce the chances of a party going against the terms and you want to save money, then contract management software is essential.
ContractWorks provides secure and easy-to-use contract management software that helps you gain control of your contracts.
- Electronic Signature
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Icertis solves the hardest contract management problems on the easiest to use platform. Easy, Intelligent, and Enterprise-Wide.
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SpringCM rated Contract and Document Management company. Our cloud based product integrates with CRM systems like Salesforce or can be used standalone.
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Gatekeeper is a next-generation supplier and contract management solution for companies of all sizes. Benefit from easy collaboration and a centralized record of all your contracts.
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Coupa is the cloud platform for business spend; delivering measurable value through real-time spend visibility, control, compliance, and agility.
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Contract Management Software by CobbleStone provides advanced & user-friendly contract management & eSourcing solutions. Manage requests, approvals, authoring, compliance, reporting & more.
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Apttus provides category-defining Quote-to-Cash software delivering CPQ, Contract Management, E-Commerce & Revenue Management.
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Create, send, track, and eSign beautiful proposals, contracts, and quotes. Empower your sales team with marketing-approved templates and easily track proposal status.
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ConvergePoint extends Microsoft’s SharePoint Document Management platform with SharePoint Compliance Software – Policy Management Software, Contract Management Software, Conflict of Interest Software.
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Solve your company’s document anarchy with templates that are on-brand, compliant and personalized for each employee.
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Symfact specializes in enterprise management solutions. Our software helps you deal with compliance, reduce risk and increase efficiency and productivity.
Easy To Use Contract Templates:
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- Microsoft Word Extension
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Connecting & Reporting:
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Contract Management Software by ContraxAware increase productivity, create better contracts. Free Trial! Easily store, access, create and manage contracts.
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Lextree from Berkman Solutions provides solutions to manage legal entities, contracts, and compliance. Get the benefit of deep experience in legal entities, contracts, and compliance at your fingertips.
Ariba Network and SAP Ariba procurement software to collaborate more effectively on contract management, financial supply chain management & much more.
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ASC offers contract management software and document management, form and pricing & quoting lifecycle solutions tailored to optimize your business processes.
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- and More.
CMx ContractExperience provides simple contract management software system with in-built electronic signature and contract management technology solutions to all size companies streamlining contracting efficiency and optimizing contract lifecycle process.
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Experience the ‘Power of Procurement’ through our suite of source-to-pay procurement solutions. Recognized as a Leader for the 3rd time in a row in Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for Strategic Sourcing Application Suites.
- User-defined access controls
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- Alerts and reminders to track contract expiry, contract utilization and off-contract spending.
- Template libraries and wizard-driven contract authoring
- Audit trail, version management and side-by-side version comparisons during negotiation
- Clause libraries with preapproved clauses for standardizing contract language
- Flexible approval workflow
Stanislav Krotov is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology. ( Moscow State University of M.V. Lomonosov )