The Three Primary Considerations when Choosing Contract Management Software

Contract management is critical to the success of a business. Despite its importance in the routine and future operations of a business, the responsibility is often left to a single employee in most companies. This carries with it significant risks such as missing important information on crucial deadlines, commitment to terms that tend to conflict with the already existing contracts and accidental breach of contract . The concerned employee may at times have trouble locating contracts lost in the shuffle, which may eat into their work time. This will significantly impact their efficiency.

While numerous contract management solutions exist, choosing the right one is key to solving such challenges. The right contract management software ensures you’re updated on all your contracts at all times through automatic alerts to imminent renewal opportunities as well as streamlining of your approval process during the contract management lifecycle. However, the presence of numerous contract management solutions may make it hard to settle on the appropriate software. So do you go about choosing the right one? Here are the primary considerations when looking to use contract management software.


Ease of Use

The reason you’ve opted for contract management software is to overcome the difficulty associated with the manual handling of contracts. There is no way you’ll want to deal with a complicated system that is difficult to use when shopping for contract management software. When considering the ease of use, it’s not just about you, but your team members as well.  For them to embrace the solution that you intend to introduce, they should be able to approve of it. Ease of use, positive user experience, and convenience will contribute significantly not only to the initial application but also ensure consistency and long-term use. Seek a solution that has features such as the option of creating contracts from accurate templates, automated approval routine that is based on not only workflows but also common requirements, a repository for the storage of contracts that you can search through to ensure ease of use for all team members, and the ability to send a batch via a single screen.

Vendor Access on Future

While you might find this an obvious consideration, the allure associated with new shiny startups may sometimes turn out to be confusing and make you overlook their potential volatility. You'll want a software vendor whom you can be sure will be around for long time to continue enhancing the product, provide the required support, and assist in addressing any of the problems come up along the way as you make use of the product. For instance, if you choose to go for a startup funded by VC, you may run out of luck in case its funding is cut off, a factor the will adversely impact your support system. Even though a startup may have the best technology, it may also tend to be buggier coupled with poor customer services and slow upgrades as the company may have its focus on building its own business and securing more funding. However, there are exceptional circumstances that may leave a given startup as your only option. For instance, you could be looking for a specific software product that is only available at a specific company that may just be setting starting up. If there are extenuating circumstances, make use to avoid startups.

Customizability of the Software

The specific needs of your company should inform the kind of software that you go for. While many software providers will offer you a product that fits your requirements, there are still bound to be changes in your needs in the future. For this reason, you need to consider going for contract management software that can be customized to align with your new requirements. For instance, as your company undergoes growth, there may be a need for changes in the organization of the contract, labeling, and how you search for them depending on your new business goals. As you consider various contract management software, seek to establish from your potential vendor whether it's possible to customize the solution during the installation time and in the future as your needs change.

Final Tip: Focus on the ability of the contract management software to meet your needs as opposed to the price. While some options may appear cheap initially, you may encounter higher costs when operating it or when things go wrong.