Introduction and Approach of Comparison
Every business professional agrees that a contract is an incredibly important document. This is an evolving document (Feel free to share by clicking on the share links to the left and check back later , we are continously adding more content to this page. ) that contains crucial details concerning how an organization relates with its partners, customers, suppliers and employees. This most importantly applies to big organizations because they have numerous contracts and sometimes it might be difficult to track their own performance.In connection to this, it is important to have an understanding of the best contract management software features available in the market. This not only allows business persons the ability to track lifecycles of contracts from the time of inception to expiration, but also they can be in a position to focus their attention on growing their business rather than being tied down by conditions and signatures. Here are a few contract management software available in the market today:
The most frustrating and time consuming aspects of manually managing contracts is that there is no simple way of retrieving the contracts and it's various versions quickly and easily and knowing about contract expirations in a timely manner, knowing about contract status whether they are in draft,negotiated , approved , ready for renewal a expired. A robust Contract life cycle management (CLM) software will help to eliminate or negate these frustrating business cases, and will help in mitigate the risk.
What we are going to do is evaluate the contract management software solution and offerings from few vendors (say vendor 1, vendor 2 and so on ) and then finally compare and contrast the pros and cons of each contract management solution.By following this approach , as a buyer you can be aware of what to look for while purchasing best contract management system.
Vendor 1 : Key Offering : Provisioning and configuration of Contract Management Software at Enterprise level, Configurable dashboards , Ease of useThis software is specifically tailored to provide every single part of a company with monitoring and contracts tools that are designed for each department. Individuals are normally provided with full and configurable dashboards that have the ability to provide easy to use overview of events, contracts, documents, tasks and contacts.
This is mainly the case for business professionals that work with huge volumes of contractors or individuals with large teams. They will appreciate Vendor’s ability in management of executives and the designation of security groups with easy to filter views. This means that a business person doesn’t need to worry about any liability concern.
Vendor 2 : Key Offering : Contract Authoring Software, electronic Signature,workflows, Microsoft Word , CRM Integration, Contract Management MobileThis is a contract management system that is full featured and offers a variety of tools that are able to make a contract process proceed smoothly from creation, signature and execution. It has pre-configured contracts combined with workflows and easy Microsoft Word with CRM integration. This means that an individual will not waste a lot of time trying to combine materials together in a bid to close deals.
Another plus for this contract management system from vendor 2 is the fact that it is compatible with approximately all mobile platforms. In addition, it features single tap approvals on contracts and e-signature integration. This allows one to complete their documents easily on the go.
Vendor 3 : Key Offering : Contract software for about all types of business ranging from multi-national corporations Small and Medium business SMBs. document alerts, contract storage, basic reporting and searchable contract document databases.Vendor 3 software has the ability to integrate and generate custom reports with documents. For large businesses, this means that the businesses can add to documents, detailed notes; generate reports that are tied to permission levels from users and recurring alerts set up.
This contract management offering has it's focus on document storage and target all size of business , which means the features and functions of this contract management software may appear generic rather than specific.
Core Principles behind best contract management system and how it solves the Contract Lifecycle Management problem?
Central Contract RepositoryThe best of the breed contract management software enables you to swiftly store and retrieve all the important business contracts easily and securely into a centralized contract repository. This contract repository usually stores both contract meta data and contractual documentation such as Microsoft Word Contracts and Adobe PDF contracts. This central contract repository serves as the backbone of the contract management process supporting all the departments and personnel quick access of the stored contracts. It would become really difficult and in some cases impossible to perform important business functions such as reporting and analytics without such a central contract repository or contract database.
Once the important business contractual data and documents are stored in the central contract repository , next step is to establish an approved clause library template which contains standard language and clauses that can be fetched any time into a contract that is being drafted. This ensures the contract compliance that a business needs to follow in order to make the relationship with the contracting party successful and to minimize the litigation or legal risks.
Quick and Easy Access using Contract SearchThe central contract repository also ensures that all the significant contract data and documents can be quickly searched and retrieved by any of the authorized users in any departments for performing necessary business functions. The authorization of contract repository consists of contract administration by setting up various roles and permissions for the contract management system ensuring secure and accurate access to all the employees or contractors who need to access the repository. CLM software enables access to contracts and attached documents to all team members any time and from any where they can access the contract repository.
Robust Contract Management Software offers detailed permissions and roles such as "read only" and customized access and thus ensures only right people have access to the right contract meta data , documents and agreements.
Contract AutomationMost of the contract automation can be performed using the right contract management software and it is important to select the feature rich software that has got the best support. This point is very important because contract automation can be performed in both pre-contract signing and post-contract signing phase. Failure to do contract automation for the pre-signing can result in contract authoring and compliance challenges where as post execution can result in unintentional auto renewals ,inability to track external changes such as insurance policy cancellations and worst case failure to audit an important audit item that could cause millions of dollars resulting from legal battles.
Typical Contract Automation in best of the breed CLM Software includes customized task list for both team and individuals ,detailed audit trail,automated notifications and alerts, configurable items such as mile stone and expiration reminders ahead of the expiration or renewals.
Visibility and ControlGreat Contract Management Software often offers actionable business insights to the key team members and executives. This is done by various features such as custom dashboards that portraits the business compliance health , the drill down audit trail , upcoming tasks , deadlines and expirations and reporting functions. At an organization level the key executives will see an overall increase in productivity due to streamlined contract lifecycle process and better organization and automation which will propel employee , vendor ,supplier and customer delight and strengthen the relationships. Contract Administrator can configure Sales Department , Finance and account department , Legal department and Purchasing department their own visibility and access controls for accessing the central contract repository.
The bottom line is the right selection of best contract management software results in streamlining the contract process across the organization boosting and optimizing every stage of contract lifecycle from authoring to post execution management.
How to compare and choose the best contract management software
Usually, it’s challenging to select the best contract management system that can perfectly fit a given business together with its team dynamics. Before choosing the best software, it is important to compare the program’s systems. One should consider comparing the efficiency gains and the expected monetary together with the needs one has and expects solutions from the said software.It is always important to remember that one might be required to submit budget information for consideration in advance. This is mainly if an individual is looking forward for an approval process to go through.
Here is a brief summary of what one needs to put into consideration when it comes to the process of shopping for contract management software.
1. The expected monetary gain or Return on Investment ROI on contract softwareResearch reveals that one can expect approximately 35% efficiency gain from a new system use. For better conservative estimates, it is recommended that businesses start with about 15% increase in expected efficiency. This will enable them judge whether that particular system is the best financial investment. If it proves to provide an excess of the estimated conservative, then it’s a win.
2. Consider mapping out particular needsOne cannot know what exactly particular contract management software can do. There is a buying guide online known as Daptiv’s buying guide This guide acts as a resource that has a list of long and printable features that should be considered before committing to certain software.
3. List of expectationsAn individual should define how they expect the software of their choice assist them. For instance, their focus might be better management of versions and documents or to increase their financial insight. Once they’ve defined their goals, they should consider asking how particular software can satisfy their specific outcomes and desired goals when they speak to product specialists. Mostly, the product specialists are able to create customized demos that show the available features. This helps one find out if the feature they are looking for is offered.
4. Scheduling product demoAfter one has done their preliminary research and have narrowed their list down to four or five solutions, they are prepared for demos. Mostly, demos will last just an hour and the companies tend to set up demos that specifically focus on the client’s business type. Often these demos could be routine. However, one has the opportunity to ask for specific processes or features. It is important to take screenshots and notes to aid in comparing the systems.
5. Quote request and Quote ComparisonFor one to obtain accurate information on pricing, they need to be aware of the number and types of licenses they may need. For instance, an individual may require one executive, project manager and a 15 member team licenses. If they have adequate budget, then they should consider going for quotes that have two or three years advance paying. Such quotes may come with discounts that are worthwhile. In addition, it is important to inquire about training and online storage costs if any.
6. Customer supportSince an individual will work with that particular software for a long time, it is wise to choose the software they are really satisfied working with. One should consider evaluating the experience they had with the demo, their quote as well as the communications with their account representatives. This will go a long way in helping them decide on the best company that provides the service and experience they are looking for.
7. Contract signingOnce one has selected the company they really want to enter into an agreement with, they should consider signing a contract, submit their payment and plan for training and implementation.
ConclusionIt is important to conduct a thorough market research before choosing the best contract management software. Patience, research and planning are important virtues one should exercise because rushing into software without enough preparation can prove to be a serious mistake. It is important to note that good contract management software must have features such as task management and contract management tools. In addition, it is important to inquire on specific tools one might be looking for.
Consider the case of above three vendor offerings , they are widely different and so your needs , also check CMx features by clicking on the Get Started , compare and contrast with your needs. One important factor or plus point of CMx Contract Experience Contract Management software is we are improving on daily basis , that means you cna expect terrific customer support, features and best technology.
This guide is always a work in progress , that means more details are getting added very often , feel free to check back later.
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