“Hi. It’s been a long day. I’d love a beer.”
“How about a vodka on the rocks?”
“Glass of red wine?”
Manage your contracts instead of letting them manage you
Ah, contract management. The right solution manages them for you, instead of the other way around. Because let’s be honest – you’re busy. We’re all busy. Who has time to look through stacks of invoices to figure out what’s due when, with who, and for how much?
No one has that time. That’s why I wrote this blog post. Because I want to help you reach your full potential. And the best way to do that is by taking control of your contract management process.
For example, late last week, a major airline had to deal with a customer issue because either it – or one of its vendors – didn’t effectively manage a contract renewal. So the airline’s airport clubs could not serve drinks.
If you value certain types of customers enough to offer them free drinks, you can bet those customers have grown accustomed to the service. Especially if they’re paying a $500 annual fee for the privilege. It’s in your best interest to make sure you don’t have to tell them “no.” Especially when your competitors are saying “yes.”
An optimized back office generates ROI
Investing on the front-end to gain market share is great. But just as important, you need to proactively manage the back-end processes that keep things moving. Otherwise, you won’t generate any return on investment.
If you’re using a limited contract management solution, you can still miss contract deadlines. It happens. Making matters even murkier, your organization might still be relying on paper.
How many times, in how many different situations, have you heard someone say, “The paperwork wasn’t completed?"
And how many times have you thought, “We’re approaching the third decade of the 21st century and you’re still managing important contracts with paper?”
A contract management system in action
A great example of how to use contract software to effectively manage contracts, renewals and vendor relationships is the University of Northern Colorado (UNC).
The college streamlined its entire contract lifecycle, from request to contract execution and beyond. The solution – which leverages the case management, process automation and enterprise content management capabilities of a true enterprise information platform – provides the university with the transparency and control it previously lacked.
Now, UNC proactively manages critical contract expirations. Automatic notifications and calendar views of key contract dates prompt staff to take action and make timely decisions on contractual relationships.
“I can now finish a contract from start to finish in as little as 10 minutes – and we’ve been able to eliminate the vast majority of paper from our contracting process,” said Cristal Swain, assistant legal counsel and chief procurement officer at UNC.
You can be proactive and empower your organization and do things like negotiate new terms or early-payment discounts while decreasing risks and saving money on storage and shipping. Or you can continue to rely on outdated solutions.
The choice is yours. But be forewarned: One might cause you to drink. But only if you renewed the contract.