Contract management, sometimes also mentioned as contract administration, refers to the processes and procedures that companies may implement in order to manage the negotiation, execution, performance, modification and termination of contracts with various parties including customers, vendors, distributors, contractors and employees.
Contracting is one of the most crucial activities in determining the success of any business arrangement, and shall not be considered as the jobs to be done by the lawyers only. There are multiple stakeholders involved in completing any contract.
This article is mainly targeted for the legal counsels as well as the internal/external legal teams.
Here are the six key factors to evaluate the right contract management software for legal counsels and legal teams:
How are contracts stored and organized?
Contract storage and organization may be the simplest function of contract management software. In terms of storage, you should consider whether you want local, on-premises storage or a cloud-based solution. In terms of organization, you should think about how the software allows you to organize contracts (i.e. by client, date, or contract type) and what organizational style best fits your company’s needs.
Does the software allow flagging and tracking of key contract provisions?
Most contract management software allows you to flag and track dates relevant to the contract. Not all, however, allow you to customize fields to help track provisions across contracts. For example, you may want to track provisions assigning or leasing your company’s intellectual property to make sure that you do not over-assign intellectual property or run into issues with overlapping dates for intellectual property assignments.
Or you may want to track materiality clauses across contracts to determine what standard you typically apply. Before choosing a contract management software, think about what provisions you may want to track across contracts and ask potential software providers about whether you can easily track those provisions.
How easy is it to search through contracts?
In many instances, it’s impossible to plan ahead and flag all of the contract provisions that you want to analyze at a later date. With this in mind, ask your software provider about search tools and filters for searching through multiple contracts. Search tools are an absolute necessity for contract management software solutions. Without an efficient search function, you can waste hours looking into the contracts to find the terms you were looking for.
Does the software allow for the exporting of search results/analysis into a report?
If you need reporting about the state of affairs for a group of contracts, you should strongly consider finding a contract management software solution that provides an exporting or reporting function. Instead of spending time analyzing the data and creating a report using different software, you should be able to rely on your contract management software solution to create a presentable report for you.
How customizable is the software for your company’s needs?
Your company’s needs change over time. As your company enters into a growing number of contracts, you may need to change how the contracts are organized, labeled, or searched based on new business goals. When considering contract software management solutions, ask your potential provider about customizability- both during and after the initial implementation phase.
Get to know each product with free trial
The best way to start your search is by registering for the free trials or demo offered by leading contract lifecycle management software providers including us at DocuCollab. This will enable you to test drive each app’s features free of cost, do a comparison, and understand whether it is the best contract lifecycle management software solution for your business.