1. Notifications that Remind You When Contracts Are Due. By utilizing a Contract Lifecycle Solution that captures metadata (data about data) associated with your contacts, you can use data to remind yourself when contracts are coming up for renewal. This ensures that dates are tracked and appropriate action is taken well before an auto renewal or contract expiration date. A contract management system should capture data such as renewal dates simply, and renewal notifications should be custom, e.g. whether you need a 30, 60, 90 etc. day notice for your most important contracts.
2. Review Contract Workload and Assign Task Appropriately. Contract dashboards and reports can show businesses in real time where all contracts in draft and approval are at in the system. This allows the allocation of your human resources in the most efficient ways possible, ensuring corporate cohesion and efficiency. Look for a contract management system that allows task reassignments, at a glance dashboards, and reports to always see what contracts are where. This ensures nothing ever gets “lost” in the system and all employees are on the same page.
3. Identify Gaps and Inefficiencies. We often use gap analysis to identify inefficiencies within our business processes and find ways to improve organizational compliance. Look for a contract management solution that allows you to run reports on missing documentation, pending signatures, and inefficiencies in the system. This will ensure that you take a proactive stance towards contract creation and identify practices in the organization that may not be up to organizational standards. If you are unaware of problems, they are very difficult to fix. Instead look for a solution that allows you to capture the data you need while also running internal gap analyses and reports on that data.
4. Identify Bottlenecks and Take Action. Many times our bottlenecks are completely unaware to us until we quantify our data to see where inefficiencies lie. Sometimes we just need the information to be able to have those conversations with our teams as to why tasks are not being completed on time and where our bottlenecks lay. Businesses are consistently evolving and so should the data about your organizational efforts. At any given time a contract management solution should be able to identify all contracts in draft and approval while letting you know how long each part of the process is taking. Identifying and taking action bottlenecks is the best course of action for reducing the overall contract lifecycle.
5. The Power of Aging Reports. Wouldn’t a contract schedule be fantastic? Something that gives you a list of what contracts will be coming up for renewal when? One that is personalized to the specific user or department? This is completely achievable and often the best tool legal teams can arm themselves with. A proactive stance to contract lifecycle management is key to compliance and organizational efficiency – don’t be caught scrambling to create a contract two or three days before it is due. Not very often do we consider the negotiating power that is lost when we scramble at the last minute to put contract terms together.
Next step: Read our White Paper: Achieving Efficient Contract Lifecycle Management for a more in-depth discussion.