Why Every Business Needs a Centralized & Digital Contract Repository
By David Parks
Imagine this scenario: You need a copy of the most recent version of an agreement and finding it quickly is vital to your business or department. But your contracts are scattered. Some are paper, some are in .PDF and stored in shared folders, others are on different people’s hard drives. And, on top of it all, you and your colleagues are all working remotely making things even more complicated. The clock is ticking, you are facing a deadline, and yet you have no idea where to begin looking for the contract. It’s a problem we at Contract Logix hear ALL the time when talking to prospects. It’s one of the most common reasons people come to us to talk about contract management software.
A modern contract management system solves this problem and many others by centralizing all of your contracts, associated documents, and contract data in a secure, dynamic and digital contract repository. This ensures that you and other appropriate members of your business can access your contracts from anywhere via any device. The right version of a contract is always at your fingertips.
In fact, centralizing your contracts in a dynamic and completely searchable digital contract repository is the most important and foundational aspect to streamlining and automating your contract lifecycle management into a modern-day marvel. Without a digital contract repository, it’s virtually impossible for your contract management processes to progress beyond manual, non-integrated tools such as shared folders and spreadsheets.
Centralizing your contracts in a digital contract repository is the most important aspect to streamlining and automating your management.
Key Benefits of a Digital Contract Repository
A contract management solution with a centralized digital contract repository provides a number of business benefits and is a huge enabler to achieving your broader digital transformation (DX) objectives. That’s because not only are you digitizing your contracts and processes, but you are making the wealth of data in your contracts instantly accessible and actionable for business intelligence purposes. None of that is possible with distributed or non-centralized contract management strategies. And given the increased focus on DX, this is a big driver and reason for adopting contract management software.
Here are five business benefits to a digital contract repository.
1. Visibility: A digital contract repository gives you visibility into the full scope, stage, and status of all your contracts, allowing you to report on items like expirations and clauses and always know where contracts are in your process. Change and update transparency is another significant benefit when it comes to visibility because it provides a real-time and accurate audit trail for compliance purposes.
2. Searchability: Many digital contract repository solutions like Contract Logix’s offer full-text searching capabilities of your stored documents, taking them beyond typical static files. And since all your language is digitized and indexed, you can search the digital contract repository for any piece of information you need.
3. Version Control: Another benefit of a digital contract repository is it can provide an easy and effective way to maintain version control, preventing you from working on an outdated copy of an estimate or proposal. You’ll always know you have the latest version of an agreement just like if it was in a contract binder. You can also easily manage amendments and addendums.
4. Automated Alerts: When you centralize your contracts and documents in a digital contract repository you can take advantage of proactive, date-based alerts and notifications that ensure you never miss another deadline, obligation, autorenewal or important date. You’ll eliminate the need to manually enter reminders in Outlook or Gmail and can even set automated alert rules to further minimize the risk of missing milestones.
5. Security: Increasing your level and control of contract security is another big benefit. For example, role-based and feature-based security allow you set different permission levels around who has access to what information, contract types, etc. You can grant or revoke access on a person-by-person basis, ensuring that employees can only access contract-related information that is appropriate for them to see. In addition, using a digital contract repository that is hosted by a highly reputable, reliable and secure cloud provider such as Microsoft Azure is far more secure than a shared folder or spreadsheet-based approach to storing and managing contracts. And some systems like Contract Logix’s support Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) which further secures access to sensitive contractual information.
Centralizing your contracts, related documents, and contract data in a secure, modern, dynamic and digital contract repository is the first and most important step any business can take to streamlining and automating its contract lifecycle management. It’s a huge enabler of any broader digital transformation strategy, it helps mitigate risk, increase compliance, do business faster, and uncover opportunities. If you’d like to learn about how powerful yet easy it is to do, then schedule a complimentary call with one of our CLM Specialists.