We hear a lot about the importance of software in businesses, from CRM systems to accounting software and so much more. But how often do we consider the vital role contract tracking plays in growing and managing successful organizations?
Contract tracking helps businesses take control of critical transactions that drive their core operations. By ensuring accuracy, compliance, and efficiency savings across departments such as legal, sales, or HR — monitoring contracts makes all the difference.
What is contract tracking?
Contract tracking refers to the process of monitoring and managing various aspects of a contract, including key dates, milestones, and deliverables. It involves staying up-to-date on changes to the agreement, ensuring that all parties are fulfilling their contractual obligations, and keeping a record of any correspondence related to the agreement. When it comes to managing contracts, tracking them is just as important as creating them.
There are a variety of tools and methods available for tracking contracts, from specialized software to manual spreadsheets. Whether you are a business owner, a project manager, or a legal professional, knowing how to monitor agreements effectively can help you stay organized and in control of your workload.
Traditional contract tracking methods
In today’s fast-paced business world, keeping track of contracts and agreements is more important than ever. While many companies have embraced technology to streamline their contracting process, others still rely on traditional, manual methods.
Common traditional contract tracking methods include:
- Spreadsheets: Cataloging agreement details in programs like Excel.
- Paper Copies: Filing and sorting physical documents systematically.
- Calendar Alerts: Setting reminders on calendars for contract deadlines.
- Email Management: Using email folders to store contract communications.
- Document Software: Utilizing tools like Google Docs for digital storage.
These methods entail time-consuming administrative tasks and often a lot of paperwork. Despite this, some organizations still continue to use them.
While these traditional techniques may work, they can be inefficient and prone to errors, potentially leading to significant legal or financial issues down the line.
The limitations of traditional tracking methods
Traditional methods have long been the backbone of many industries, but they come with their own set of limitations.
They can be quite time-consuming, requiring more hours to complete a task than modern alternatives. This can be labor-intensive and involve multiple people to complete a single project. What’s more, the contract risks associated with traditional methods are also high. Mistakes can be costly and difficult to rectify, and there is always a chance of damaging valuable resources.
In short, some of the manual contract tracking limitations include:
- Time-consuming and labor-intensive.
- Higher risk of human error and data inconsistencies.
- Limited visibility into contract performance and compliance.
- Difficulty in searching for and retrieving information.
- Difficulty in updating and modifying agreement details.
- Lack of real-time notification systems for contract milestones and deadlines.
- Inability to easily cross-reference or integrate contract data with other business processes and tools.
As we move further into the future, it’s crucial to acknowledge these limitations and explore better ways to accomplish our tasks. As such, it’s worth considering alternative options that can help streamline the process and save valuable time and resources.
The modern method of tracking contracts: CLM software
Nowadays, businesses require efficient and reliable means of managing their contractual agreements. Thanks to Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software, keeping track of agreements has never been easier.
This modern solution automates the entire contract lifecycle, from the initial drafting phase to the final renewal stage. From streamlining workflows to providing actionable insights, CLM software provides businesses with a centralized platform to manage their agreements effectively.
CLM tools have transformed the way businesses approach contract management, ensuring that companies remain compliant, minimize risk, and improve revenue. With the benefits of this technology, it’s no wonder why more and more businesses are adopting it as their primary method for tracking contracts.
The Benefits of Contract Tracking Software
Contract tracking software is a valuable asset for any business, providing countless benefits that cannot be matched by manual methods. These benefits include:
- Automated Tracking: Contract management software automatically tracks all stages of the contract lifecycle, freeing you from manual monitoring.
- Centralized Contract Repository: With all contracts stored in a single location, the tool provides a comprehensive overview and easy access to all contract data.
- Advanced Search and Filtering: The software’s powerful search capabilities allow for quick and precise retrieval of agreements based on various parameters like contract type, status, or any other relevant criteria.
- Real-Time Alerts and Reminders: CLM software provides automated notifications for key milestones, renewal dates, and deadlines, helping prevent oversights and missed opportunities.
- Audit Trails: By keeping track of all contract changes and interactions, the software creates a comprehensive audit trail for enhanced accountability and transparency.
- Integration with Other Systems: Contract tracking software can be integrated with CRM, ERP, and other business systems, allowing for efficient data sharing and enhanced contract monitoring.
- Contract Analytics: With in-built analytics and reporting capabilities, CLM tools provide insights into contract performance, helping you make informed business decisions.
- Secure Access Control: Contract tracking software offers robust security features, ensuring that agreements are only accessed and edited by authorized personnel, thus protecting sensitive data.
Using CLM tools, businesses can streamline their contract management processes, reducing the time and effort it takes to maintain and track agreements. By storing all documents in a central location, this software also minimizes the risk of misplaced or lost documents. CLM tools also help companies to stay compliant and minimize risks.
With these benefits and more, it’s easy to see how contract tracking software can transform the way businesses manage their agreements, increasing efficiency and saving time and resources.
How to select software for tracking contracts?
Contract management can be a tricky process, and selecting the right tool to track your agreements may seem overwhelming at first. There are many factors to consider, such as the size of your organization, the number of contracts you have, and the level of complexity involved in each agreement.
The key is to identify your specific needs and goals for monitoring agreements, and then look for a tool that aligns with those requirements. It’s also important to evaluate the tools available on the market carefully, taking into account features like automated alerts, document storage options, and reporting capabilities.
Tips for Selecting Contract Tracking Software:
- Identify your specific business needs and requirements.
- Evaluate the available systems, including their features, ease of use, scalability, onboarding, and support.
- Consider data security measures and compliance with relevant regulations.
- Read customer reviews on portals such as Capterra or G2.
Utilizing a tool that meets all of your needs can help you streamline your contract management processes, saving you time and resources in the long run. By taking the time to carefully assess your options, you can find the right tool to support your contract tracking needs and equip yourself with the tools you need to succeed.
Implementing a successful contract tracking system
After choosing the right CLM tool for your business, you need to properly implement it to reap its benefits. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can follow to make the process easier:
- Develop a clear implementation plan, including training and support for users.
- Establish a central repository for contracts that can be easily accessed, updated, and tracked toward completion.
- Establish clear guidelines for contract creation, approval, and storage.
- Assign ownership to specific users along with defined roles and responsibilities.
- Regularly evaluate and update your system to ensure to keep it up-to-date and ensure ongoing adoption.
By following these tips, you can create a monitoring system that will help you stay organized and on top of your contracts.
Contract tracking is a critical process for almost any company. It can be time-consuming and complex, but it doesn’t have to be.
Traditional methods of contract tracking had several limitations, but the advent of CLM software has revolutionized the way that organizations manage their agreements. Now, companies will have access to a whole suite of tools that make it easy to track and monitor contracts with greater accuracy and efficiency.