Moving away from a combination of Excel and emails and encouraging users to adopt a new system for contract management is no small feat.
But implementing a contract repository is a huge, beneficial step towards:
- Centralising your agreements
- Improving contract visibility
- Quickly locating agreements when needed
- Improving version control
- Fostering collaboration between teams
And while centralising contracts is an essential step, a repository alone may not fully address other challenges associated with contract management.
So what’s the next step?
The answer lies in the evolution of your contract management process and the capabilities of the tools you’re using. Let’s take a look at the additional value using VCLM software like Gatekeeper can bring.
Take Control of Internal Processes with Contract Workflow Automation
Automating your contract management process extends the functionality of your contract repository into every corner of your contract lifecycle.
Advanced contract management platforms, like Gatekeeper, take automation to a new level, streamlining everything from creation and negotiation to approval and renewal."
Contract workflow automation helps your business to take control of several processes on both the contract and the vendor side. Automation can include:
- Contract renewal workflows that are triggered by key dates
- Vendor due diligence assessments workflows to safeguard compliance
- Risk mitigation workflows if certain thresholds aren’t met
- Automated reminders prompting action from contract owners or vendors
- Contract approval workflows bringing visibility to new agreements
A contract repository can bring your attention to key dates, contract value and gaps of information, but it’s only valuable when you use this visibility to drive action."
The workflow engine within Gatekeeper allows you to identify and address bottlenecks, ensuring that contracts move smoothly from one stage to the next.
It also enhances collaboration among departments, enabling the entire organisation to work cohesively as all stakeholders can see exactly where a contract is, who is responsible for it and what needs to happen next.
Build Stronger Relationships with a Vendor Portal
While a contract repository can organise and centralise your contracts, engaging with your vendors and getting the maximum value from your agreements could still be challenging without a dedicated platform.
Manual approaches to these relationships can often lead to delays, frustrations and breakdowns in communication. All of which can result in poor vendor contract outcomes.
That’s why Gatekeeper goes beyond just the contracts and helps your business to manage the vendor side of the coin too."
Incorporating a Vendor Portal in addition to a repository allows you to centralise all communication and data exchange with third parties. It also:
- Automates the vendor onboarding process
- Delegates management of vendor-related data to vendors themselves
- Provides a unified, branded platform for all interactions
- Works alongside the workflow engine to streamline processes
This increased efficiency and streamlined communication lead to better relationships with vendors, which can directly impact the quality of service you receive.
The improved visibility and control that a vendor portal provides can help safeguard compliance and make vendor and contract management a much more seamless process.
Streamline Requests with a Contract Intake tool
Managing incoming contract requests can be challenging. Without a proper mechanism, requests can get lost, delayed, or mishandled, leading to inefficiencies and potential issues with contract execution.
Without a proper contract request process in place, there is every chance the wrong contract, data or documents are being entered into your repository - if they’re being entered at all.
That's where a contract intake tool comes in.
Gatekeeper provides an Employee Portal which automates the request and review process.
All internal requests are submitted through the same portal and, when mandatory data is provided, are routed to the right people in the organisation via a workflow.
By providing a clear, comprehensive view of incoming requests, a contract intake tool can also help your team to better plan and allocate resources. This level of efficiency can significantly reduce friction points and improve collaboration across departments, leading to a smoother and more efficient contract management process.
Scalability and Limitless Potential
As your business evolves and grows, your contract management needs will undoubtedly grow too.
The basic functionality of a contract repository might not be enough to handle the increasing complexity and volume of your contracts and vendor relationships.
Advanced VCLM software such as Gatekeeper is designed to scale alongside your business. It can handle a growing number of contracts and increasing complexity, ensuring that your vendor and contract management process remains efficient even as your business expands.
Gatekeeper also offers unlimited users, allowing you to scale without worrying about escalating costs. Your business can continue to evolve and extend access to the software as your team grows, without any additional financial burden per user.
Making the Leap
The transition from a basic contract repository to more sophisticated contract management software might seem daunting. But remember, you're not just investing in a tool – you're investing in the future of your business.
Embracing advanced VCLM software is an investment in efficiency, risk mitigation, and vendor relationship management. It can help you streamline your operations, enhance collaboration across departments, and foster growth.
So, while implementing a contract repository like ContractNow is a fantastic first step, consider exploring the next stage of your contract management journey.
Gatekeeper offers sophisticated features that can take your contract management process to the next level and set the stage for a more productive, efficient, and successful future.
If you're ready to find out more about evolving your approach, contact us today.