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Optimizing Your Contract Lifecycle Management in the Current Environment

How do you optimize contract management? How do you manage a contract life cycle?What are the five key stages of the contracting...

Written by Niel Patel · 4 min read >
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Are you looking for a way to improve your contract management practices in the current environment? Many moving parts are involved in the process, and you may be wondering how you can streamline your daily operations. Even though you may start out managing your contracts by hand, this is not the best way to do things in the long run. Important issues will fall through the cracks, and you might have difficulty staying up-to-date on everything. What are some of the best practices you need to follow if you want to optimize contract life cycle management at your company?

Take a look at some best practices below, and do not hesitate to reach out to an expert who can help you.

Why Is Good Contract Management So Important?

First, you might be wondering why good contract management is so important. Some of the biggest reasons why you need to care about this topic include:

  • You will guarantee a steady stream of revenue coming in for your company.
  • You can help technicians in the field avoid strange interactions that could otherwise lead to delays in your daily operations.
  • You will have an easier time meeting the needs of your customers and clients.
  • You can avoid confusion between the company and your customers.
  • You can improve your relationships with your customers and suppliers, making it easier to get everything done on your to-do list.

Clearly, this is a very important topic, but what do you need to do if you want to streamline your contract management approach? There are a few important practices that you should consider implementing with your company.

Best Practices To Improve Your Contract Management Strategy

There are a few best practices that you need to follow if you want to improve your contract management strategy. They include:

What are the five key stages of the contracting life cycle?

1. Standardize the Contract Creation Process

The first tip that you need to follow is that you need to standardize the contract creation process. You may want to use templates that can make the process easier. If you start every contract from scratch, it will take a very long time for you to draw up the document. Your customers and suppliers will get frustrated, and they might end up going elsewhere. You also need to think carefully about the language used in your templates. That way, you make sure the contract is airtight. Even though you may want to review the contract from time to time to ensure it is still appropriate, you don’t want to feel like you need to start from scratch every time.

2. Be Transparent in the Wording

You need to be completely transparent when you word the contract. You don’t want to leave any room for someone to misinterpret the language in the contract. When you write the contract for the first time, you may want to reach out to a legal expert who can take a closer look at it for you. That way, you can identify potential issues before you finalize the language. Even though you may want to standardize the contract creation process, you may want to have a different contract for certain situations. That way, you can simply access the file, pull out the contract, and ensure all the language is transparent.

3. Have a Backup Copy of the Contract Stored for Safekeeping

When you issue a contract to your customers and clients, you need to have a backup copy of the contract stored somewhere else. You may want to start with an unsigned copy, but once the contract has been signed, make sure you make a copy of the signed contract and store it accordingly. You must store your contract for safekeeping just in case there’s any confusion about what was signed. Ideally, you should store a backup copy of the contract on a separate server. That way, if something happens to the original server, you still have a backup copy of the contract stored somewhere else.

4. Make Sure You Can Access the Contract Remotely

Because you have a lot to do daily, you may have situations where you need to access the contract remotely. For example, you may have an employee traveling to a client site. Then, once they get there, they may need to access a contract copy. Make sure that they have a way to do so. All of your technicians should have a mobile device that allows them to access a customer copy of the contract quickly. That way, they can resolve disputes quickly and easily without returning to the company for help.

5. Take Advantage of Automation Tools

Technology has come a long way, and you need to take advantage of automation tools that can make your life easier. Automating essential components of the contract management process can streamline everything from start to finish. Furthermore, you can send out renewal notifications with access to automation tools. That way, your customers know when the contract is about to expire. You may also want to use an automation tool that can handle multiple payment methods. That way, you don’t have to worry about renewing all of your individual contracts by hand.

6. Use a Contract Management Software System

You should also take advantage of tools that make managing all of your contracts easier. You should have a secure, centralized digital repository of all of your information. It is time to modernize the process if you still store all your contracts in a file cabinet. With a comprehensive software program, you don’t have to worry about spending hours on end looking for a single contract. You will have a standardized filing system that makes it easier to pull out contracts when you need them.

7. Consider Your Regulatory Compliance

Depending on the industry in which you work, you may have specific issues regarding regulatory compliance that have to be met. For example, if you work in the financial sector, you may need to keep records related to anti-money laundering protocols. Or, if you work in the healthcare sector, you may need to store your documents in compliance with HIPAA. From time to time, you need to review your contract management lifecycle processes to make sure you are not exposing your company to regulatory fines and sanctions. You might even want to reach out to a professional who can help you with the process.

8. Ensure You Purge Your Old Files in a Timely Manner

Finally, you need to ensure that you purge all of your old files promptly. Speaking of your regulatory compliance issues, when you are no longer required to maintain old documents, you may want to get rid of them. Simply deleting them from the computer is not enough. You need to go in and overwrite the files physically. For example, if you are getting rid of old contracts, you may want to use an overwrite program to help you. If you are getting rid of old hard drives, you may want to degauss them or read them. If you are concerned that you might not have the equipment required to delete your old files completely, you may want to reach out to a company that can help you.

If you keep these best practices in mind, you can improve your ability to manage your contracts appropriately. That way, you will have an easier time meeting the expectations of your customers and clients.

Improve Your Ability To Manage Your Contracts

If you run a business, you have a lot to do regularly. You need to think carefully about how you manage your contracts. A lot of paperwork is involved, and you need to access your contracts quickly and easily when asked to do so. You also need to make sure that you protect the confidential information of your customers and clients. There is a fine line between making your contract easy to access and leaving your company vulnerable. You need to review the way you manage your contracts from time to time. That way, you protect yourself and your company accordingly. Remember that this is not something you need to handle on your own. If you have questions about how to manage your contracts appropriately, you may want to reach out to an expert who can help you.

3 Practices for Optimizing Your Contract Management Process

1. Create Written, Formal Handover Practices
2. Standardize Your Agreements
3. Create Cross-Department Teams

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