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Using Contract Management Software to go Paperless

07/12/2018

You know it makes sense. Reducing the amount of paper that's used in your business helps the environment as well as speeding up processes and making them more robust. All these benefits can help your bottom line – so why not start today? Switch off the printer, lock the filing cabinets and start clicking that mouse. Some organisations still print out their supplier and customer contracts and either file them away or simply let them pile up. There’s a sense of comfort from printing important contractual materials out rather than leaving them to get lost in your email inbox, but there is a better way. Using a contract management solution to store, manage and retire contracts automates your contract management process and promotes the “go paperless” target, and here are the top 5 ways a contract management solution does this.

1. Central Electronic Document Store

It sounds a simple idea, but by having an online, electronic, centralised solution that can store documentation is the foundation for any paperless office. Each time a document is received it can be quickly added to the centralised store. Documents can arrive in a number of ways – email, paper copies in the mail…and even fax (yes, some offices still do have fax machines!) – but in each case they can be uploaded. Once the document is stored securely then all subsequent interactions with that document are electronic - that's it, Paperless has been achieved! You can share it with colleagues, mark it up, edit or simply have it available for review.

2. Electronic Signatures

Contract management solutions provide a great platform for taking the pain out of obtaining a signed document. There are two market leaders that Provide electronic signatures: Adobe Sign and Docusign. A good contract management system will allow integration with these products to allow you to send out a document for signature and then automatically upload the executed document back into the contract management system. Electronic signatures take away the requirement to pass pieces of paper from person to person in order to collect their “wet” signature. Execute documents in a fraction of the time, in a more convenient way and with the contract management system in the background, capture the results against the record.

3. Adding Notes

It's not uncommon to see a physical contract file held in a filing cabinet with lots of sticky notes, hand written reminders and disorganised scraps of documents all lumped together. All that paper building up and the information they contain can ultimately be lost to the “filing cabinet monster”. Using a contract management solution allows you to add notes electronically to your documents – other people can be notified when a new note is added to a contract that’s important to them. Electronic notes mean no paper and when you go to review a contract, there’s no need to have to wade through the messy historical notes – they’re all there in date order with the name of the person who made the note in case you want to ask them a follow up question.

4. Internal Approvals

Some contracts in an organisation need to be approved before they can be signed with either the customer or the vendor. Getting the approval forms signed can be an arduous process – first your form must be prepared – then who should sign based on the value of the contract. When you have the form, you then need to pass the form around along with the contract (so it can be reviewed) to have everyone who needs to authorise. By the time the approval is complete, the vendor has already started the work, or the goods have already been received! There is a better way. Contract management software should have workflow approvals built into of your central document repository. You can easily initiate a new approval for a contract, taking into account your organisation's rules about who needs to approve what and the value up to which they are authorised. The whole process is electronic, which means people get notified on their mobile devices and are able to review and approve right wherever they may be – on their way to work, while getting a coffee or between meetings. Approval becomes convenient not a chore, and when it’s all done, an audit trail of approval stays with the contract, so it can be reviewed at later date if required.

5. Archiving

So, your contract period has ended. You can spend time each month (or more likely each year) fishing out the expired contract paperwork from your filing cabinet and then pay for the old paperwork to be shipped out to an (expensive) location for storage. Or you can automate the whole archiving process! When a contract within your contract management solution comes to an end you can quickly archive that contract. Archiving electronic records means they are removed from your day to day list of work but can be quickly and easily retrieve if the need arises. No more waiting for the correct archive box to be pulled from the archive facility.

You might even consider saving money by emptying out your current archive file storage. You are able to scan and upload your existing documentation to your contract management tool. Save money and increase the visibility of your old archived materials.

Start Your intelligentcontract.com Account Today!

intelligentcontract is a premium contract management solution that will organise your contracts into a single, easy to access central database. Go paperless with our contract management solution – with a single place to store your documents electronically, integration with Adobe sign to support electronic signatures, add electronic notes and support for approval workflows. Reduce your spend, speed up your processes and increase visibility of the knowledge in your organisation.

To explore features and pricing, start a free trial, book a webinar or simply to ask us a question visit www.intelligentcontract.com.

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