Managing contracts is one of the most daunting tasks. To ensure a smooth running of contractual agreements, using contract management software is imperative.
Contract management software (CMS) makes the authoring process much easier and allows the parties involved to manage obligations significantly. However, to leverage these benefits, you need the ideal contract management software.
In this article, we look at the must-have features of contract management software.
Let us delve into specifics.
An easy-to-use dashboard
For a successful contract management lifecycle, there is a need for a user-friendly dashboard. Contract management software such as ContractSafe Online has dashboards that present you with a variety of tools that allow for ease of navigation.
What you need is a CMS that provides an overview of the basic tasks in the contract management lifecycle. Before purchasing a contract management system, make sure a user can perform tasks such as submitting requests and checking the status of the contract with a few clicks of a button. The software should allow you to add reports and make amendments without much difficulty. In addition, a user should have access to the active and inactive contracts alike, for an easier management process.
An organized repository
Effective organization is one of the most important aspects of contract management. A good CMS should provide a central repository for all your contracts. Instead of saving some contracts on the cloud, in hard drives, and other external storage, your data will be in a central location.
Such features are particularly advantageous to companies that handle multiple contracts at the same time. Having an organized central repository makes it easy for company employees to retrieve contracts. The employees then use the time saved to attend to other critical business processes.
Advanced search capabilities
Most companies deal with more than a dozen contracts at a go. Larger and more established companies will work with hundreds of contracts. In both these situations, finding a specific contract may be challenging if proper steps are not taken.
Having an organized central data repository is useless if you have difficulties retrieving contracts. When shopping for an ideal CMS, be keen on its search capabilities. Go for one with advanced search capabilities for a seamless retrieval process.
Full-text search is one of the most powerful search capabilities to look out for. If it is enhanced by automatic OCR scanning, the faster and more accurate the search results. Indexing and quick search capabilities are other advanced search features that allow you to locate your files and data faster.
Contract management is only a small part of running a business. Companies have a host of mission-critical processes that ensure the success of a company.
Take an example of a contract manager.
A contract manager is the one in charge of handling the contract management lifecycle. Apart from drafting and evaluating the contract, they push for negotiations between the parties as well as manage contractual agreements through CMS. Without proper management, these duties might overlap, causing unprecedented hiccups in the implementation of the contracts.
To ensure the most important things remain top of mind, your contract management software must have alert features. By setting alerts, you can stay up to date with developments in the contract management lifecycle. For instance, executives receive emails to notify them that they need to approve certain tasks. All you need to do is to set dates and times to act as reminders. By doing so, you minimize the risks of not fulfilling obligations. Also, the likelihood of facing compliance issues greatly decreases.
Signatures are a vital aspect of contractual agreements. During the initial process of initiating contracts, the parties involved assign signing authorities to executives. Transitioning from one process to the other may require signatures from one or several managers. The same applies when milestones are met.
Conventional ways of signing contracts meant sending the agreements by mail or physically delivering them to the executives with signing authority. Since these executives are often busy, it is not uncommon for them to be physically unavailable to sign the contracts; especially if they traveled out of the country. This causes delays in the execution of the agreement and is where e-signatures come in handy.
Popularly known as electronic signatures, e-signatures offer a faster and more convenient way to sign contracts. Wherever an executive may be, they can gain access to the agreement and sign electronically.
Advanced artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is everywhere. Scientists are incorporating it into all industries and contract management software companies are not left behind. AI in CMS helps in data entry, handling repetitive tasks. Also, users can say goodbye to humdrum tasks.
Still in the line of technological advancements, go for CMS that incorporates machine learning. With the help of machine learning, CMS can detect high-risk contracts that allow the parties involved to devise better contract management strategies.
Template capabilities are other features to consider when choosing the right CMS. Considering that many companies handle several contractual agreements at the same time, sometimes there is not enough time to create contracts from scratch. For this reason, you should purchase a CMS that comes with easy-to-use templates.
Templates allow contract managers to input important information quickly and get going. You can say goodbye to spend a considerable time building a contract from scratch.
User manuals and tutorials
As much as developers are taking their time to create user-friendly CMS, first-time users will need all the help they can get using the available tools.
A CMS that comes with user manuals and tutorials makes it easy for executives, contract managers, and the overall team to use the system effectively. People authorized to use the CMS can understand the intricacies of the system, allowing them to maximize its capabilities.
These are some of the features to consider when purchasing contract management software. Look out for them to ensure an efficient and smooth running of the contract management lifecycle.