7 Advantages of Using Contract Management Software for a Remote Workforce
Managing Contracts from Somewhere Over the Rainbow
By Karen Howe
We’re Not in Kansas Anymore
It was a Friday night, but the new “stay-at-home” rules meant no gathering with friends, no eating out at a restaurant, no weekend plans at all… so I ended up watching The Wizard of Oz on Turner Classic Movies. Again. This is a movie I’ve seen dozens of times. Poor Dorothy has just one goal – to get back home to Kansas. Like Dorothy, our personal and professional lives have been swept up and plunked down in a strange and unfamiliar land, but in our case, it’s just the opposite. We’re stuck at home and anxious to find ways to make remote work, well, work.
Anyone trying to do contract management working remotely knows it can be a challenge. For businesses forced to operate this way, CLM software solutions like Contract Logix can provide a way (a yellow brick road?) for remote workers from areas such as Legal, Procurement, Finance, and Sales to get the contract information they need and to coordinate, communicate and collaborate like the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion.
Here then are 7 Advantages of Using Contract Management Software for a Remote Workforce.
When the people of Oz are looking for answers, they turn to the Great and Powerful Wizard. When you have contract management software, you don’t need a resident wizard (and you don’t need to be in the office) to get immediate access to, say, all active contracts your company holds with a particular third party or all documents that contain a specific term. Fast, powerful and easy-to-use search features are at your fingertips. Not so if you’re keeping track of contracts via spreadsheets or in folders on devices spread across the organization – because they’re scattered – some over here, some over there – like the Scarecrow after the Flying Monkeys get finished with him.
2. Automated Alerts for Key Dates and Deliverables
One of the challenges of working remotely is the potential for increased financial risk due to missed obligations and milestones. Imagine if a contract with an evergreen clause that you intended to cancel auto renews. Missing that critical contract date is not only merely bad, it’s really most sincerely bad! But staying on top of key dates like these is difficult when that data is kept in spreadsheets instead of centrally maintained. If a remote worker doesn’t have access to the spreadsheet, or fails to check it on a regular basis, those important deadlines might be missed. With Contract Logix, once you’ve captured all the key dates and deliverables associated with your contracts, automated alerts can notify the appropriate party or parties via email, in-system notifications or both. Much better than a message delivered by a witch on a broomstick.
3. Better Data for Reporting
If you’re attempting contract management working remotely without a centralized contract repository, it’s unlikely that you have access to live contract data and are probably relying on static reporting methods like spreadsheets for the information you need to make good business decisions. That’s risky because you could be basing your decisions on misleading or out-of-date data. With contract management software, reporting is a horse of a different color. You’ll have direct access to all current data related to your contracts and can with a few clicks sort, filter, and group results any way you want, then share the report with other system users or export it in Excel or PDF format.
4. Stage and Status Tracking
At one point in the film, Dorothy asks the Scarecrow: “How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?” * and later “Well, what would you do with a brain if you had one?” Thinking about contracts, maybe the questions could be reworded as “How can you effectively manage your contracts if you don’t know where they are in the process?” and “Well, what would you do with this information if you had it?”
*The retort is a classic: “I don’t know… But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t they?”
With Contract Logix, team members can log in from anywhere and see which Stage an agreement is at (Draft, Review, Approval, Signature, Executed, etc.) and the overall contract Status (Active, Pending, Expired, etc.). They can use this information to make informed decisions and because it’s readily available in the system, it can cut down on a lot of back-and-forth emails, messages and/or phone calls to find out where the contract is.
5. Manage Tasks Electronically
Without contract management software, assigning and managing tasks like contract approvals might be done via paper routing slips (or in person, as in “…bring me the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West”). Definitely not feasible in a remote setting. With a system like Contract Logix, assigning and tracking approvals or other tasks is done electronically. Each user has access to his or her own personal Task List from anywhere in the system. Managers or other personnel performing contract management working remotely get visibility into task assignments and completions across their organization via a comprehensive list that can be sorted and filtered in various ways.
6. Tighter Security and Access
With contract management software on a SaaS platform, you get the advantage of strict data privacy and security standards to protect your sensitive contract information from unauthorized access by lions and tigers and bears (or other unwanted intruders). In addition, system administrators get easy-to-configure role-based permissions that give them full control over what types of information can be accessed and by whom within your own organization, whether employees are physically located in the office or are working remotely from Munchkinland.
7: Access Contracts from Anywhere, Anytime!
It isn’t until the end of the movie that Dorothy learns she could have gone home anytime just by clicking her ruby slippers together. Likewise, probably the most important way that contract management software makes contract management working remotely painless, is the ability to securely and reliably access your contracts at any time, on any device from anywhere, no matter how far over the rainbow. There’s no need to send documents back and forth via email, require a VPN connection, or install any plug-ins that IT has to deal with on everyone’s computers. You simply log-in via your browser and have instant access to all your contracts, data, and insights.
Working remotely holds many challenges, and we don’t have a crystal ball like Professor Marvel’s to tell us when we can once again go back to the office. For those businesses that have not yet invested in contract management software, I hope I have provided some food for thought. Meanwhile I suggest you repeat after me: “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.”
Want to learn more? Schedule a call to discuss your needs.