Much like the businesses they support, contracts and contract management continue to evolve and become more sophisticated. (For example, we have—for the most part—stopped signing contracts in blood.)
The maturation of your contract management process is critical if you want to maintain compliance and manage risk. So, if you’re wondering whether your contract management process is keeping pace, read on to see where your process fits in the evolution of contract management.
When you’re first starting out, you might manage your contracts in spreadsheets or create contracts from Microsoft Word templates. (This is not because Microsoft offers the most up-to-date documents, but simply because the templates are already available.)
Though oversights and errors come with this manual approach to contract management, there are a few benefits of managing things manually in the beginning:
Despite the benefits of familiar processes, there are a number of risks involved when a manual system is in place:
As you grow, manual processes no longer cut it. At this point, you might decide to add in a document management tool like Microsoft SharePoint and hack together your own system.
Even though your fragmented system still breaks down at times, you enjoy the upgrade benefits because:
As this homegrown system is stretched to keep pace with company growth, its limitations are exposed, revealing:
Ultimately, the name of the contract management game is scalability. If a system is incapable of keeping up with company growth then it isn’t a viable solution. This is where the power of enterprise CLM is unbeatable.
Companies using advanced contract management systems make the investment because they know the importance of scalability. Additionally, they identify the following features as major benefits:
Enterprise CLM is an investment and as with any big investment there are risks. To minimize the risk, thoroughly vet:
Want to know how to take your contract management to the next level? Check out our guide, “The Evolution of Contract Management,” for a more detailed look at the capabilities your contract management system should enable as you grow.