Organizations have seen in 2020 how important it is to have an infrastructure that allows employees to work remotely. This applies to a variety of industries that need to have adequate support, tools, and applications that ensure business continuity in unforeseen circumstances. The global pandemic has accelerated the requirement to facilitate and implement remote working policies.
The Importance of Remote Working
Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have been urged to allow employees to work from home to prevent further spread of the virus. Communication technology has taken a massive leap by providing the means to connect teams virtually, and the same trend is starting to show with contract management.
Necessity has called for an increased remote workforce that can digitally integrate with the business and teams and utilize the right tools to not only effectively execute projects and daily tasks but to also focus on improving operations. An intelligent, feature-rich solution supports any remote work environment and offers full confidence in ongoing processes.
Businesses have realized the world is in the early stages of what may become a more permanent shift towards flexible, remote working. Owners and business leaders can’t be complacent when it comes to developing strategies for the ‘new normal’.
The Value in CLM and a Remote Workforce
When organizations have to take the step in transitioning from working in an office space to a home environment, productivity levels need not be a concern when equipped with the right tools. Contract lifecycle management has become an invaluable solution that prevents disruption and offers round the clock effectiveness.
User-friendly features empower employees to easily manage contracts without worrying about compliance and security. Old contract management practices are fast becoming obsolete in an ever-changing digital world. During these turbulent times, companies need powerful tools to transcend challenges and continue production.
CLM Features for Remote Working
Remote professionals can be just as effective as if working from an office. CLM offers the ability to continue maintaining and managing contracts, procurement, and sourcing tasks so the entire contract process remains effective and runs efficiently. The following CLM features ensure business continuity when working remotely.
The centralized contract repository in a CLM solution lets organizations and teams manage contracts regardless of location. A secure cloud-based repository is the core storage hub where contracts are saved and organized with controlled accessibility. It maintains version control of all documents, allows the quick search and find relevant contracts, it tracks approvals, and facilitates collaboration between online users.
Automated Contract Workflow
Workflow automation minimizes the need for face-to-face contact and decreases holdups that come with traditional processes. Contract management software is configured to alert key people in the process to action requests and approvals. Organizations can track each step in the contract lifecycle to ensure milestones and obligations are always met and constantly logs an audit trail of communications and edits.
A good CLM will provide mobile integration so users can manage contracts and communicate effectively while on-the-go. It allows you to continue to track key dates and tasks and access reports from any location while maintaining security integrity. User-friendly interfaces help users easily navigate mobile applications.
Configurable systems support digital signing that streamlines collaboration throughout the contract process. An integrated solution for electronic signatures help companies stay compliant. By adhering to regulations through the use of legally binding digital signatures, organizations will continue to industry-specific regulations. Simply request the relevant signatures without anyone being physically present.
CLM offers automated contract writing by offering templates that can be easily created and customized through field data, standard clauses from defined libraries. The input of new contracts, contract requests, and approvals are easy to initiate and setup. CLM also provides the capability to export, import, convert, and print Word format documents and PDFs.
Main Business Benefits of CLM
Contract management software can transform business operations while improving efficiency and productivity. Contract managers can drastically reduce the amount of time expended on tedious and repetitive tasks, thus providing time for high value activity. Contract management software also provides better risk management and improved performance of personnel, read more here.
An important reason to invest in contract management software is to minimize the risks. Having filing cabinets full of paper contracts doesn’t give you the visibility you need in identifying what is in a contract or where a contract currently sits in its lifecycle. This can lead to a myriad of issues down the line that could even result in penalties.
When milestones are missed, it can impact revenue, compliance, and reputation such as overlooking the termination of a contract that no longer produces value, or not fully realizing when a supplier hasn’t delivered its contractual agreements. CLM notifications and alerts ensure nothing goes unnoticed.
Compliance across all your organization’s contracts is of utmost importance and holds the biggest risk. While it may be hard to manage in manual processes, contract management software is invaluable. Industries are heavily regulated and compliance laws are often updated. This requires you to review and update existing contracts to ensure you stay compliant.
Contractual agreements are critical and proper processes need to be implemented to identify and report on contract risks to avoid costly fines and compliance violations. Strategic planning and implementation of a CLM solution that fits your business is the first step in successfully preparing for a future that has significantly changed.