The number of active or pending contracts a business has to manage can quickly swell, especially in environments involving more than one contract with individual parties. Poor systemization of processes and human error can drastically increase the risk of making mistakes as time goes on.
Mistakes could be slowing down your contract management system and potentially costing your business big money. Here are five steps you can take to cut down on the number of mistakes you’re making.
Don’t rely on paper-based systems
Paper contracts are massively vulnerable to different kinds of risk. Paper can be damaged and destroyed. It can be tampered with and used to commit fraud. What’s more, it can simply be difficult to track different paper contracts and ensure they have no discrepancies. A digital Cloud-based system keeps your documents much safer and updated across the board with every change, so the relevant parties always have access to the same document.
Control who has access
Neglecting who has access to a contract in the works is dangerous. For one, contracts can have sensitive data that you may not be legally allowed to share with certain parties. Furthermore, allowing all stakeholders to make changes at once can clutter and slow the process of negotiation. Contract management software allows you to control who has access, and whether they are allowed to view-only or if they can make edits.
Include more automation
Relying on your memory or written to-do lists alone in the complex world of contracts, schedules, service agreements and more is a huge mistake. Effective contract management systems allow you to automate more so you are less prone to human error. For instance, in the negotiation and agreement stages, you can set alerts as to whether all stakeholders have had the chance to review and approve before signing. There is a range of automation options that can speed up the process of contract completion, ensure you are taking essential steps towards regulatory compliance and can reduce the number of administrative errors.
Track contracts post completion
Contracts are not to be ignored once they’re signed. For one, contract management systems allow you to implement key performance indicators and track service-level agreements so that you can see every party is complying. What’s more, you can set alerts as to when contracts are approaching their conclusion. This way, you can see what contracts are ending, as well as those that are set to auto-renew. It’s a good idea to review auto-renew contracts. Updates to regulations and changes in your own priorities and goals could mean that the old contract is no longer the one that you need. Contract management systems can automate those alerts so that you don’t have to worry about keeping track of them all individually.
The steps above won’t make contract management fool proof, but it can reduce some of the most common mistakes many business owners make. Implementing digital contract management software and making the correct use of the features provided can make it a lot easier to get a little more control over the process.