How a Centralized Contract Management System Brings Your Business Together

Contract management has traditionally been a haphazard process that resists efforts at internal coordination. Paper documents containing important contract information are often stored in multiple locations, despite the best intentions for centralization. Even electronic contract-related information (e.g., Excel spreadsheets, Word docs) is often dispersed throughout an organization, saved in places where it’s not accessible to all key people.

On the flip side of this accessibility issue, contract data and documents that aren’t properly maintained in a centralized location can often be accessed and edited by unauthorized personnel.

Having a secure, centralized contract management system eliminates these problems by bringing all contract management data together in one location, where it can be readily accessed by the right people and protected from the wrong people. (Using a third-party hosted software provide-—which often makes the most financial and strategic sense-will completely remove the sensitive contract information from vulnerable in-house servers.)

Contract Management Requires a Team Effort

Contract management is just like any other business operation—it takes teamwork to make it work. For this teamwork to truly occur, it’s essential that everyone is working with identical, completely up-to-date information—thereby preventing costly miscommunications and duplicated effort. With contract management software, all employees involved with a contract know as soon as any changes occur—so that everyone is always on the same page.

Searching for Contract Documents and Data Is Unproductive

As a recent article on eweek.com by P.J. Connolly definitively states, “a well-organized filing cabinet may meet the definition of an analog content management system, but in the 21st century, that reliable standby of office furniture is no longer cutting the mustard.” Whether it’s tracking down paper copies or working through a maze of computer folders, time spent trying to find contract documents and data is wasted time. Contract management software centralizes all necessary information and makes it easy to access, understand, and put to use.

Keeping Up With Contracts Pays Off

Centralization and organization of contract information isn’t important only during the conception, negotiation, and completion of contracts. Effective contract management absolutely has to include periodic checks to ensure that the contract terms are being fulfilled.

Looking at a hospital contract management system as an example, numerous contracts will include performance metrics, such as frequency and reliability of delivery for critical hospital supplies. Without the support and structure of complete and organized data within the healthcare contract management software, these lapses may go unappreciated-or even unnoticed altogether-by the people who need to take action. However, with the proper aggregation of information, automated alerts can be sent so that the supply problem is highlighted and appropriate steps can be taken (e.g., requesting refunds, seeking another provider).

Collecting Feedback

The right software also can request and compile employee feedback, which is often the information that’s most crucial in detecting unsatisfactory contract performance. In the above case, employee reporting about the supply problem might reveal insights into the situation not available from the numbers alone (e.g., the supplier is sluggish in its response time, even in medical emergencies). Without contract management software, key decision makers would have to gather this information piece by piece, one employee at a time. Often, this valuable information simply wouldn’t reach the right ears.

Takeaway

Locating all contract management information in one software system will result in greater contract efficiency-and therefore higher profits.