Six Tips for Saving Time and Automating Contract Management

Thom Davidson

Do you invest unnecessary energy on administration related to contracts and spend insufficient time on your primary occupation?

Over the years, we've heard a wide range of contract administration issues — one of the most prominent being that it takes too long to execute an agreement. Below are some tips we regularly suggest to our clients:

Automated Contract Management

1. Use a centralized intelligent repository for all contracts

A central repository provides a single point of truth that allows everyone with the appropriate permissions to immediately see and act upon their contracts. If a contract is stored on a shared drive, local drive, or on an isolated device, it is essentially unavailable.

2. Leverage your core contract templates

Writing from scratch or simply copying an existing contract and performing your own edits can be risky at best. Templates can automate the completion of the agreement and eliminate errors by pulling the data directly from the contract repository.

3. Define your contract workflows

Workflows allow you to automate compliance for review, approval, and other processes. When documents are automatically routed through your organization, you are eliminating the back and forth of email. When you have full contract visibility, it also keeps your team accountable for completing tasks and moving the contract forward. Advanced graphical workflows typically deliver important key performance indicators that will provide insight into important questions like

  • "How long does it take for a physician agreement to be approved?"
  • "Why does the IT review step for a simple hardware acquisition take 16 days?"

4. Keep an audit journal

Every contract related actions must be tracked. If there is ever an issue, an audit journal provides the transaction history required for your compliance officers, contract managers, and your staff counsel. A strong audit journal will assure you that every transaction is captured with before and after values, relevant user, and date/time stamp.

5. Automate all email notifications

Automate your email alerts and never miss an important milestone or contract date. Most email alerts are set up by contract type/status with automatic execution whenever you create a new agreement with that contract type.

6. Use electronic signature

Stop scanning and uploading a contract after being signed by hand. Electronic signature should integrate seamlessly with your contract management solution. This is one of the easiest and most immediate time savers in the final execution of an agreement.

What do you think? We would love to hear what features of your contract management system are saving you time and improving your organizations contract management.