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If you want to streamline your contract management workflow and ensure that your team doesn't miss anything critical when working on any task. Here are some ways to do that
Contract management ideally means managing the tasks of a particular business partner, customer, employee, or vendor. A contract outlines the activities and terms two parties agree to fulfill and abide by. So, when you enter into a contract with another business, there are specific mandates and responsibilities on your part that you're supposed to fulfill.
As a contract manager, it's essential to realize that managing or handling the contract will determine your business success and the revenue you'll make as a company. You have to be excessively careful to ensure that your expenses don’t exceed your profits. Otherwise, you might lose a significant amount of money due to poor management.
In this regard, you also need to know that managing the contract effectively will help enhance your business relationship with your partners. Thus, you'll end up having more business deals with them. In the long run, you'll make more profit and gain financial security as a company.
Therefore, it's important to streamline your contract management workflow and ensure that your team doesn't miss anything critical when working on any task. Here are some ways to do that:
1. Encourage the use of electronic signatures
With technological advancements, the globe has become a smaller place. You can now work on tasks for business partners from different parts of the world, as long as you have Internet access. Therefore, you don't have to travel to your vendor or business partner's location to have the contract execution papers signed.You can now sign documents online through modern tools such as jSign.
Even if the client whose contract you're handling is situated in the same place as your business, you don't have to meet physically to sign the documents. Another scenario is if the contract requires many legal processes and signatures at the end. You can do that online to be able to save more time. An e-signature has made things a lot easier nowadays. Ensure that you consider it to make your contract management process more streamlined.
2. Outsource workers to handle other tasks
The idea that you can do everything alone is overwhelming and can lead to lower productivity levels. Moreover, the contract might involve tedious work, which you won’t be able to manage independently. So, suppose the contract requires understanding and analyzing some legal issues and, maybe, data entry and analysis. In this case, you can consider outsourcing experts in these fields to do the work for you.
As much as you can get one of your employees to help you with such tasks, they may be handling other duties related to their job description. Thus, giving them such tasks may waste a lot of time and even fail to meet the deadlines. This could hurt the organization since it'll interrupt proper workflow. It’s, therefore, a good idea to outsource workers.
Another example of a manual task that you can delegate to a third-party company is data collection. The contract may require using different data collection techniques besides Internet sources. In such a scenario, you only need to give proper guidelines on the kind of information you require and give the job to a company specializing in data collection. That'll help you save time and be assured of quality since you're working with experts.
However, always remember that apart from you, your team members are the only ones who know your company's needs. Therefore, it’d be best to shun getting used to outsourcing all tasks to third parties. Ensure that your company still does most of the work. Only hire third-party firms when you genuinely need professionals from other fields.
3. Create contracts using templates
The idea when streamlining your contract management workflow is to save time. As many clients have various needs, certain things are common among them.
You can, therefore, spend ample time figuring out common things among firms, like clauses, to help you create standby contract templates. This will help you save time in the long run and maintain consistency as you work on your current projects.
Using Microsoft Word to draft a contract is now outdated since it's time-consuming and tedious. Also, the chances of making a mistake are very high. Therefore, go for the automated option to help streamline your contract management workflow.
4. Ensure that the contract documents are in a central place
Disorganization can disorient your workflow big time. Having scattered notes, files, documents, and templates related to a particular project are uncouth. You must avoid saving documents associated with the same contract in different folders. Even if some contract documents are physical, scattering them in separate cabinets, where finding them is a real hassle, will delay your management workflow.
You'll waste a lot of time trying to find where you placed them, which is a situation you'd want to avoid. It could even be worse if many people are working on the contract since they bring more disorganization and confusion as they figure out where certain documents have been placed.
To avoid getting yourself and your team in such situations, ensure that you keep all the files and documents related to a particular project in one place, whether in a folder or a cabinet. This will help enhance accessibility and streamline the contract management workflow.
5. Use an integrated system
Another way to streamline your contract management workflow is by having an integrated system. This will play a key role in ensuring that there are no obstacles when you're transitioning from one task to the other.
An example of an unintegrated system is after you've used a template to create a new contract and want to delegate tasks. The first thing you're supposed to do is to make use of your customer relations management (CRM) software to find all the relevant client information. These details are essential in helping you to fill out the contact form. After this process, the next is to send it to a legal professional to go through it and confirm if there are any issues.
Once this is done, the next thing is to access your email account, attach the document, and send it to your employees. This process can be a real hassle. On the flip side, you can use an integrated system that has a CRM feature. Once you've finished creating a new contract, doing a client search won’t be difficult. The system can automatically generate and fill in the client information on the form. This system can also allow you to delegate tasks to the relevant employees while still on the dashboard.
6. Have a checklist
You may meet with a client and discuss how they want their work done. Since forgetting is part of human nature, leaving the meeting without jotting down the essential points will cause you to forget. Thus, you may do the work but fail to fulfill all the requirements since you don't have a checklist.
Another scenario where having a checklist is fundamental is working with many team members with different duties. You'd want to confirm that each has met the required standards and specifications. Otherwise, they'll end up doing shoddy jobs.
Therefore, it's important to spare time and write a detailed checklist, including the client's needs and specifications. Not only will it streamline your contract management workflow, but you'll also be able to identify and correct errors immediately. Moreover, assessing the quality of your employees' work will be quite a simplified task.
7. Empower your team members
Sometimes, as a contract manager, you may have many tasks or contracts to manage to a point where you may overlook or fail to see some mistakes. Having well-trained employees or team members working on a particular job will help you avoid submitting work with mistakes, like redundancy.
It's, therefore, vital to deal with the know-it-all attitude as a contract manager and allow your employees to chip in on some matters. You can even ask them to give you their opinions on how some tasks can be done. If they challenge how you're conducting a particular process and you truly find that they're making sense, don't hesitate to listen to them. Ensure that you've created a conducive environment to encourage your team to work harmoniously to enhance productivity. That way, you'll be able to streamline your contract management workflow.
8. Make sure that you meet deadlines
The last thing you’d want to do is submit the client’s requirements late. After signing the contract, you must ensure that you meet the agreed deadline. So, when delegating tasks to your team members, ensure they understand how important meeting deadlines is.
Other ways to ensure that you successfully meet deadlines include:
- Encouraging employees to set up digital calendar reminder alerts
- Moving the deadlines up
- Setting milestones to achieve before the due date
You'll have an enjoyable and seamless contract management experience if you incorporate all the above strategies. In addition, your team members will be pleased to work with you, and in the end, your organization will reap immense benefits.
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