Modern business is nothing more than the nexus of contracts.
They are something that every department has in common. Whether they are used for executing new sales deals, hiring new employees or renewing software licences, contracts are a critical part of every business.
But as simple as a contract may seem, ensuring there is a safe and secure way to easily approve, sign and store contracts is something many organisations are still behind on, creating unnecessary risk within the enterprise.
Contracts should create, store and protect value. Yet, often, they strangle productivity and choke growth. What should be the connective tissue of value creation, is in fact the cholesterol that chokes the arteries of businesses.
The days of physical filing cabinets and archive rooms are gone, and contracts stored in desk drawers or emails become ticking time-bombs. With the enormous effort that goes into drafting, negotiating, approving, and signing contracts, they should be stored securely, but remain easy to find when needed.
Many in-house Legal departments combat this issue by using contract management software to draft, approve and sign contracts, manage risk, and generate revenue. Moreover, top Legal departments have paved the way for their whole business to realise the benefits of contract management software.
Take New Zealand energy provider Powerco for example. The Legal team at Powerco originally introduced a contract management system in April 2021 and it has since become a staple across the whole business.
General Counsel and Company Secretary, Jemma Stevenson, used Plexus Gateway’s contract management platform to send documents to C-Suite and Board members from all over New Zealand and Australia during COVID-19 lockdowns.
At the same time, Eric Pullicer, VP of Business Development has his whole team use the Plexus Gateway platform for all Commercial agreements and Commercial legal documents noting that “once the Plexus system was put in, we gained efficiency, we reduced our risk around contracts and we improved the way we interacted with Legal.”
Contract management software: tools for the whole business
When you think of contract management you'd be forgiven for thinking of lawyers and legal teams, however, winning businesses are making the most of contract management software across the entire business.
5 Departments that Benefit from Contract Management Software (other than Legal)
Finance departments use contract management software to maintain complete visibility over their key contracts.
Missing an obligation, renewal or payment dates can be a costly mistake for Finance, and the automatic alerts and reminders built into contract management platforms, such as those in Plexus Gateway, can ensure Finance always has the time to follow up before the milestone is missed and any penalties are incurred.
Increased transparency over contracts also lets Finance more easily find unpaid revenue, cost savings and underperforming services.
HR departments use contract management software to keep track of their employee agreements, training, development, and compensation reviews.
The e-signature component of contract management software allows candidates to easily review, sign and return their employment agreement back to their HR recruiter and seal the deal with just a few clicks. It also ensures these sensitive documents are kept secure.
As a bonus, many HR departments take advantage of contract automation tools to template employment agreements that help speed up the agreement drafting and approval process to get new hires starting sooner.
Procurement teams use contract management software to better manage supplier contracts. With end-to-end visibility over all their supplier agreements throughout the lifecycle, including managing important terms and dates, as well as supplier information, obligations, and performance, Procurement can better prioritise supplier renewals.
Procurement teams also use contract management software to streamline the procurement process with confidence via easily accessible templates, approval workflows, pricing, service-level agreements (SLA), and terms & conditions.
As a bonus, this added visibility and templated approach to standard processes reduces costs-owing due to manual input errors.
Sales departments use contract management software to reduce their sales cycles.
As any salesperson will tell you, the quicker you get a client the final contract, the more likely the deal will close.
Contract management software allows Salespeople to capture all contract revisions and send them for instant approval from their internal stakeholders, then pass the newly approved contract back to their counterparty the same day. This speed keeps their deal hot and tracking straight toward execution.
As a bonus, all revisions, amendments, and changes are documented for reference later.
For many Marketing departments, the most routine contracts are often the simplest for Legal to draft because the terms rarely change. However, Legal aren’t always able to draft these contracts on demand and usually have a long ‘to-do’ list of Legal support they need to provide to the business.
With contract management software, Marketing can access pre-Legal-approved contract templates, such as Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs) whenever they need them, without needing to wait for Legal.
Streamline your contracting process with Plexus Gateway contract management software
Contract management software is increasing the speed to execution of contracts by digitising the negotiation, approval, signature, storage and retrieval workflow.