Filtering Out the Noise in Contract Management
The digital revolution brings with it easy access to a mind-boggling amount of information. The New York Times reports that we now consume three times as much information as we did 50 years ago.
There is of course great value to a contract manager of having this instant access to a wealth of data, because good information drives our industry. But there’s also a downside. All this information can be overwhelming, and the truly important information can easily be lost in all the incoming “noise.”
The Challenge of Too Much Information
The same article cites new research which found that “computer users at work change windows or check e-mail or other programs nearly 37 times an hour.” Most of that constantly shifting attention is due the rushing stream of information that’s coming through at an increasingly rapid pace.
Faced with this deluge, it’s extremely difficult to stay focused on what really matters to your contracts. The challenge for contract managers is to learn how to manage, process, and analyze this information – to find the relevant data for our clients and businesses amid all the clutter from emails, letters, phone calls and meetings.
If you are running your contract management processes with a paper-based system or with an Excel spreadsheet, how can you ensure that everything is in place?
Contract Management Software: A Feasible Solution
You want as much information coming in as possible, to have a “big net.” But the net can’t be too fine. You need to be able to filter out the no-value catch from the big fish. In your job as a contract manager, you focus on gathering as much information as possible and then breaking it down into useful “bite-size” pieces so your contract management make use of it, without choking on it.
Contract management software empowers you to achieve this objective for several reasons.
- You can create contract life cycles for each of your clients so that all team members have a clear overview of the entire process and can understand how one process affects another.
- Having access to the most up to date library contract templates and clauses takes the guesswork out of what documents to use.
- By centralizing the management of the library of contract files, you’re increasing the compliance of your employees to company guidelines.
- You can allocate different levels of authoring rights to each team member so that only the right people can edit templates.
- Particularly in large organizations, contract management software is a useful tool to mark up situations in which employees deviate from pre-approved contract language.
- Automatic email alerts let team members know when it is time to initiate an activity and what is the status on other activities.
These are just some of the ways in which an enterprise contract management system filters out the noise in contract management and allows you to process more contract data more effectively. If your enterprise can get more information than your competitors, and the processes you have in place to filter that information do their job, you know you’ll win more business.
Contract managers – no matter how established and set in their ways they are – can’t afford not to react to the explosion in information. Sticking your head in the sand will be a disaster business-wise. You will lose out to contract managers who are skilled at working amid all the noise – who understand how a contract management system can gather and filter data to better serve their clients. It’s a new and constantly evolving world with regards to information access, and it takes a new mindset to adapt.