Contract Management Resolutions for 2013
Back in January 2012, Edgar Blanco, Research Director at the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics and contributor to Forbes on sustainable supply chains, compiled an interesting list of resolutions for logistics and supply chain managers. While January 2013 already passed, it is never late to implement important changes that could benefit your business and improve your operational efficiency. Blanco’s list of resolutions is very applicable to the field of contract management and here is our own list of resolutions for 2013.
1. Decrease your carbon footprint.
There are two specific ways your company can decrease its carbon footprint throughout its contract management processes. The first one is to adopt e-signature technologies. This allows you to skip having to print several document copies of large multi-page, use packaging material, and spend money in delivery methods. Remember that every time that you send a physical package there will be fuel consumption involved from ships, planes, trucks or cars. Using e-signature capabilities allows you to minimize all of those unnecessary expenses.
The second one is to adopt cloud-based implementations of cloud software. This is a two-pronged approach. On one hand you will reduce your utility expenses because you will need to spend less electricity on maintaining IT servers running and you might be able to downsize to smaller servers. On the other hand you will be able to reduce your electricity consumption in the necessary high-level AC that is necessary to keep your servers cool.
2. Go mobile.
Your laptop is not just for checking e-mail, processing spreadsheets, and writing Word docs. Its a powerful device and should be used like one. There is no reason why we need to render these mobile computer devices into desktop ones by confining contract templates and clauses inside offices. Time is money and we need to liberate them by embracing contract management software that leverages cloud computing and VPN technologies to make your contract templates and clauses available to your traveling sales people.
By logging through a secured website, your sales staff can start working on contracts right away. Not only does this increase their productivity but also ties into the first resolution. Imagine how many hours of transportation will you save by making it possible for your employees to avoid having to drive back to the office to start working on contracts. In major cities, this can amount to several traffic hours during the week.
Since privacy and security are major concerns for any organization, it is important for your CTO or head of IT department to evaluate what’s the more appropriate deployment model for your organization. The three deployment options are pure Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), on-premise, or hybrid model between the first 2.
3. Fill those “holes” in your contract management process.
All contract management cycles have blind information spots. Your contract management process is only as good as the quality of its data. That is, if you have data to work with in the first place. There are several companies that are still relying on paper-based systems and post-it notes to manage it all. Even if you are using Word and Excel to keep track of everything, there might still be several weak points in your system.
While Excel easily accomplishes tasks such as calculating, presenting, and displaying numerical data at no additional cost, the program is not capable of consistently recognizing events that trigger crucial actions. For example, Excel is not capable of sending the appropriate sales rep an email reminder about an approaching contract renewal date.
Free tools can take you only that far. If your company is no longer just a startup, you need to graduate to appropriate enterprise level contract management solutions.
Let’s act today. These contract management resolutions are actionable and will set you on the right course to improve your contract management processes.