How to Do Contract Management More Efficiently on the Road
Places to go, people to see.
As your enterprise grows, it is inevitable that employees have to travel often and for extended periods of time. If your enterprise sees employee travel as a necessary evil, think again. A poll of over 1,000 frequent business travelers found that 67% of them work twice as much on the road as they do in the office.
But it is just not a matter quantity: contract management performed on the road also needs to be efficient and effective. Here are four tips to do contract management processes more efficiently during travel.
1. Invest in Car Service
Our office spaces are productivity killers: the average office worker spends only 11 minutes on a task before being interrupted. According to the same poll, once the office worker is ready to get back to the task, it takes him or her about 25 minutes to get back where he or she left off.
Business travel offers a great opportunity to have plenty of down time. By investing in car service for the employees to commute from and to the airport, you are increasing those opportunities to get work done. For example, commuting to and from the Los Angeles Airport can take about 90 minutes, depending on location. If an employee can take the time to answer emails during that time instead of sitting behind a wheel doing next to nothing, why wouldn’t you give that employee a chance to take better advantage of billable time?
2. Learn to Work Without Internet
Once the plane lifts off, many of us think “darn it, if only I had some WiFi.” While many airlines already offer WiFi (here is a detailed list), you shouldn’t equate the lack of WiFi to “no work.”
No Internet means that you are not going to waste time with interruptions, such as social media. Unless you’re in charge of running the social media of your enterprise, all that tweeting and pinning it’s eating an average of 3.2 hours of your day.
Welcome the lack of Internet to finally get that report done, draw a list of action items for the next couple of days, plan the agenda of the meetings during your trip, organize your receipts for your expense report, or…
3. Cue Up Your Email
While this task would fall under the “learn to work without Internet” category, cueing up your email deserves its own category. If you have extended periods sitting at a gate or plane, then you can accomplish a lot and you can cue up several emails that will automatically send once you regain Internet access.
If you have a contract management system that allows you to create automated email reminders, then this is a great opportunity to review those email templates and assignments. By taking a second look at those items, you’ll make sure that the right information is sent at the right time.
It goes without saying: don’t cue up emails that may already have an answer or require further input from others before you providing an answer.
4. Plan Ahead
Another great thing about being outside of the office is that now you have the time to review business processes and streamline them.
For example, take a second look at the steps of your contract lifecycle in your contract management system and evaluate whether or not they make sense. If you think that there needs to be additional steps for contract authoring and creation, or collaboration and review; then you can set those steps up or prepare a proposal to the appropriate decision-maker for review.
Also, you could plan ahead for the necessary revisions to a contract with an upcoming renewal date. This is the lowest hanging fruit, yet we still appear to never have the time to adequately prepare for those dates.
Business travel offers the perfect opportunity to take a look at “big picture” items because it takes you away from the day-to-day operations. By being in different environments, you have an opportunity to revisit big ideas and strategies from a fresh perspective.
To be more efficient in your contract management processes during business travel, you need to invest in car service to create pockets of uninterrupted work time, learn to work without Internet, cue up email for when you regain Internet access, and revisit “big picture” ideas.