Importance of Reporting Features in Contract Management Software
Enterprises that make heavy use of contracts can attain many valuable benefits from using contract management software, including the ability to automate reporting on contract performance.
Automated reporting allows for financial analysis to measure the profitability of every contract and to identify areas for improvement in contract execution. This capability to constantly monitor and analyze contract performance is one of the many compelling ROI justifications for contract management software.
Contract management software should come packaged with standard reporting features that provide reports on contract lists, expiring contracts, and basic analysis of data. Intuitive, user-friendly criteria filtering can make generating reports easy. The software should support exporting of reports to Excel spreadsheets, PDFs, and other formats.
This fundamental level of reporting allows an enterprise to more efficiently manage its contracts and track implementation. Without this level of reporting, an enterprise’s contract management will most likely continue to struggle with problems of inconsistency and lack of direction.
Features that permit users to write their own reports help contract management software reach its full potential. Customizable report writing programs enhance effectiveness by enabling reporting on any data field, providing wizards to guide report creation and formatting, and giving users the ability to save an unlimited number of customized reports.
Customized report writing lets an enterprise generate and analyze reports on its most-crucial areas of contract implementation — and each organization can tailor its reports to their particular industry and business situation. This functionality can drive improved implementation efficiency and more-accurate evaluation of contract performance.
All for-profit enterprises face the ever-present challenge of differentiating themselves from their competitors, but competitive advantages are hard to come by. The reporting capabilities of contract management software can provide just such an advantage by empowering companies to make sounder strategic decisions about how contracts should be created, negotiated, and executed.
Even for enterprises such as nonprofits and government agencies that don’t exist to make a profit, this monitoring is vital to their core strategy of keeping costs down while providing high-quality service to their members and constituents. The federal Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy offers this advice in a report geared toward getting federal agencies to focus on monitoring contract performance : “The use of past performance as a major evaluation factor in the contract award process is instrumental in making ‘best value’ selections. It enables agencies to better predict the quality of, and customer satisfaction with, future work.”
Understanding which contracts and partners proved beneficial and which ones didn’t work well is critical in being able to optimize future strategies. Without this constant monitoring of implementation effectiveness, enterprises will continue to make the same mistakes rather than focusing on the most promising opportunities.
Contract management software can be implemented on in-house servers or via the cloud, and each solution has its advantages, depending on the situation. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) on the cloud lowers upfront investment cost while providing valuable data storage and backup, anywhere/anytime data access, increased scalability, and decreased electrical cost, among many other benefits. However, many enterprises have legitimate reasons for choosing in-house deployment.
An essential element of contract management software’s ROI is its ability to supply automated reports on contract data to guide contract-related strategic decisions and process improvements.