Wednesday, June 23

What to Look for When Evaluating Contract Management Software?

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In recent years, the company has paid more attention to internal contract management and its impact on growth and revenue. To reduce contract delivery times most businesses are moving away from manual processes, sharing readers and spreadsheets, and becoming more automated contract management solutions that can speed up contracts while managing risk.

However, if you spend your time looking at contract management software, there are various solutions out there, many of which can be time-consuming to implement and have many features that you don’t need.

Good contract management software helps companies simplify the creation, negotiation, execution, and storage of contracts while automating the manual and time-consuming tasks associated with the process. However, each industry is unique in terms of contract management, and there are so many solutions out there that finding the right one can take time.

Features to consider when evaluating whether your solution is right for your organization:

Platform Type

There are many types of contract management platforms in the market with different sets of features. Before looking for new contract management software, consider which aspects of your business process need the most improvement. A pre-signed platform helps companies facilitate the creation and negotiation phase of the contract lifecycle. These platforms can be ideal for businesses that are already using third-party solutions for document storage. The platform offers further steps of contract storage, retrieval, reporting, etc.

Easy to use

To what extent contract software can improve the lifecycle of a business largely depends on its ease of use. Poor user experience, such as complex interfaces and inefficient search capabilities, can lead to employee dissatisfaction, unsuccessful hiring, and longer contract turnaround times. The high cost of long-term onboarding means the faster employees learn and use the platform, and their long-term business will be better. As a general rule, the more people you plan to visit, the easier it will be to use the system. Test your user experience and the platform’s functionality before choosing a solution. Software vendors should provide demos or a free software trial to assess the effectiveness of search and filtering capabilities and organizational tools within the platform.

Price

There are different solutions on the market today, generally offered at different prices. According to a recent Capterra contract software pricing analysis, costs range from $ 3 per month to over $ 45,000 per year. Large companies can pay millions of dollars for complex systems.

It’s important to remember that many inexpensive options come with many downsides in terms of ease of use and functionality. This can reduce employee recruitment and lead to consolidation failures. On the other hand, paying more for the solution can outweigh the financial benefits of improving the contract lifecycle. Ultimately, the key to realizing value is choosing a feature set that enhances cross-departmental efficiency without going over budget.

Many software vendors also offer free or “free” platforms, but it should be noted that most of these products, especially those with complex lifecycles, cannot meet business needs. Businesses large and small that choose to offer their products for free will soon find that their products lack many vital features or have limited usability. After a test, many will find it easier to switch to a paid version than to resume searching for a new platform.

Alarm

Alerts and reminders are essential for organizing your team. Alerts help the buying team stay ahead of auto-renewal and expiration. Finance teams can use them to track payment dates, and project managers can also use them to track deliverables and ensure projects are going as planned. Look for customizable alerts that can be easily assigned to specific platform users. Alerts must be on the platform and be email-based. This allows everyone (including employees who don’t actively use the platform every day) to join the loop. The Calendar view also helps readers and contract managers gain a complete understanding of upcoming dates.

Customer support

One of the most important things to consider when choosing an outsourcing platform is the level of customer support provided by your software vendor. Implementing contract software takes a lot of time and resources, and vendors should be happy to help with the tough jobs. A good software vendor will take steps to ensure the success of your business.

Security

If your contracting platform is cloud-based or hosted on a third-party server, be sure to check your company’s data storage and security practices. Consider using a well-known hosting environment platform, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), request a recent SOC2 audit that includes documentation on your company’s security practices, and make sure that you follow them. Contract management software should take steps to protect contracts from external data breaches.

User Role and privilege Settings

While protecting your contract from hackers is essential, you should also protect it from internal surveillance and unauthorized access. User permissions and role settings allow readers to control who can access, read, or view specific documents. By assigning user rights, your business can ensure that only your target audience can view your documents. In addition to setting permissions, the audit trail can also provide detailed information about the employee who viewed or edited the document and the timestamp associated with each action. If there is a problem or error, the audit trail can quickly reveal what went wrong.

Report

Visibility and transparency are critical factors in improving operational efficiency. Customizable reports provide various contractors with important information on contract management, sales, and the purchasing process. The ability to generate real-time views of vendor usage, contract amounts, expiration dates, and other metrics helps you organize your business. This is especially important for large companies with multiple segments.

In conclusion, when looking for contract management software, make sure your product provides customizable reports and dashboards so that all insiders have quick access to the metrics they need. The exact features your team needs will ultimately depend on size and industry, but these seven projects should be at the heart of a useful contracting platform.

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