7 simple strategies to overcome poor contract management


There are a number of risks that can arise from improper monitoring and management of contracts once they have been signed, including:

● Critical milestones missing

● Regulatory / compliance issues

● Breaches of confidentiality

● Breach of contract

● And more

Fortunately, there are several simple strategies you can take to improve your process quickly to help mitigate legal and financial risks. Below, check out some of the best ways to stay on top of your contracts.

1. Centralize your contracts

Perhaps one of the simplest but most effective things you can do to improve your contract management is to centralize your contracts in a single, secure online location. This will prevent you from having to search for lost contracts and protect your contracts from hacking.

Keeping your contracts organized in a searchable database is a hallmark of strong contract management – according to an Aberdeen Group report, ‘best-in-class’ organizations have over 75% of their contracts in a’ searchable repository. , Compared to others who have about a third of their data stored in such a location.

Keeping your contracts in a digital location also allows team members to access from anywhere, which is essential in today’s age of remote working.

2. Set step reminders

Creating reminders for contract milestones, such as expiration or automatic renewal dates, will ensure you have enough time to reassess a contract. By giving yourself enough notice, you will have time to terminate the contract before it automatically renews itself, or you may decide to take this opportunity to renegotiate the agreement. The Aberdeen Group notes that the top performing organizations renegotiate 49% of their contracts each year, while all others only renegotiate 20% of their contracts each year.

To avoid missing contract milestones, consider adding important contract dates to your calendar or setting up phone reminders for them. Contract management software can also follow key steps, eliminating the hassle of having to add these dates to your calendar yourself.

3. Scan paper contracts

Digitizing paper contracts, including older contracts, will dramatically improve your ability to preserve your documents. You will also be able to find information in your contracts much more easily, as you will be able to search for key clauses and terms.

4. Keep the models up to date

It is extremely important to keep frequently used contract templates, such as non-disclosure agreements, in your centralized contract repository, so that team members can easily access them. Allowing colleagues outside the legal department to create routine contracts will also save in-house lawyers time and allow them to focus on more complex issues.

“I often see lawyers and paralegals who are overloaded with routine contract reviews. Most of these people prefer to spend their time in a more strategic position focused on complex and challenging work, ”said Rebecca Thorkildsen, EY’s Global Legal Contract Co-Head, in a recent report. “We’ve seen people make a wide variety of career changes to avoid this kind of work. The bottom line is that if organizations are to keep their best people, they have to find a way to keep them engaged.

5. Control who can access contracts

Limiting access to your contracts is an important strategy to protect sensitive information. Contract management software lets you control who can access each contract, ensuring confidential information is not frowned upon.

6. Monitor contracts during the signing process

During the contract signing process, it is useful to know who has the contract and if they signed it. This can be done with a spreadsheet or by using contract management software.

If you are using software, consider opting for a system with electronic signature capabilities. According to Cottrill Research, electronic signatures can speed up contract signing, which is important considering that companies lose an average of $ 215,000 every day of the contracting process. Electronic signatures are also conducive to remote working, which continues to be a mainstay for today’s workforce.

“With remote working here to stay, digital solutions such as electronic signatures are essential to moving businesses forward,” noted a recent report from Forrester. The report also found that 60% of its business and technology executives surveyed said “electronic signatures are a critical requirement to support business continuity and agility.”

7. Summarize your contractual achievements

Finally, consider summarizing your major contractual accomplishments in an easily digestible report. Summaries of Contract Achievements are a hands-on way to show company leaders how you are helping move business forward and can provide valuable insight into your contracting process.

Summarizing your contractual activity can be done manually or through contract management software, which is capable of reporting on a wide range of issues.

To learn more about the risks associated with poor contract management – and how you can avoid them – download A General Counsel’s Guide to Contract Execution, Storage, and Renewal.


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