Contract management software helps businesses streamline their contracting process, ensuring that contracts are managed in an efficient and effective manner. This buyer's guide will provide an overview of contract management software to help you make an informed decision when selecting the best software solution for your needs. From understanding the key features of contract management software to independent reviews of different platforms, we'll provide you with all the information needed to select the right option for your business.
Contract management software is an electronic system that automates and controls the process of contract creation, negotiation, execution, and management.
Contract management tools can help businesses save time and money by reducing manual effort, improving document tracking, and ensuring compliance with various regulations. Additionally, these systems help streamline contract-related tasks such as tracking deadlines, approving amendments, and monitoring performance.
One of the stand out benefits of this type of software is the use of an end-to-end platform to manage contracts in one place. Contracts are centralised in one workspace reducing the need for multiple tools and bringing benefits to multiple teams within the organisation.
Contract management software can be used by any business that needs to manage contracts. Using automation to gain efficiency and standardisation for low value or repetitive contract work frees up time for the professionals in your business to focus on higher value work.
Multiple teams within a business can use contract management software with common users including legal, finance, sales, HR and procurement teams.
Legal teams use contract management software to streamline the process of creating, negotiating, and executing contracts. They can use contract management software to develop customisable contract templates that allow the business to generate contracts with limited input from the Legal department.
"The Legal team has seen administration time cut dramatically. Previously, a team member was solely dedicated as an internal ‘help desk’. Now, their admin time is just 30 minutes a week while they spend most of their time providing higher value legal support." Sharon Heighway, Senior Legal Counsel at Powerco
Read this contract management case study if you are interested in how Plexus helped improve legal efficiency for Powerco.
Finance teams use contract management software to oversee billing, invoicing, and payment processes. Additionally, these systems can help finance teams to track the performance of contracts, ensuring any deadlines, obligations, renewals or payment dates are met.
HR departments use contract management software to keep track of their employee agreements, training, development, and compensation reviews. When companies are growing fast, HR departments can use contract automation tools to template employment agreements at scale and speed up the hiring process. Moreover these sensitive employment documents are kept secure within the platform and the e-signature functionality allows candidates to review, sign and return their contract in an efficient manner.
Contract management software is used by procurement teams to improve the management of supplier contracts. The software provides detailed insight into all supplier contracts, including the tracking of key dates and terms, supplier details, commitments, and performance. With this data, procurement teams can prioritise renewing agreements with suppliers.
In addition, contract management software provides templates, approval processes, pricing, SLAs, and terms and conditions, allowing the procurement process to be executed quickly, securely, and cost-effectively. Errors resulting from manual input are also reduced.
Sales departments rely on contract management software to speed up their sales cycles and close the deal. Having the ability to quickly capture and send contract revisions for internal approval, then pass the approved version back to their counterparty, helps keep the deal moving forward. Additionally, the software keeps track of all changes and revisions, providing an easy reference should any issues arise in the future.
Eric Pullicer, VP of Business Development at Powerco said, "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."
Many of the most common contracts that Marketing requires can be drafted without Legal assistance by using software that provides pre-approved contract templates like Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs). This saves time and effort, as these documents no longer need to be drafted from scratch and Legal don't need to be consulted in order to complete them.
Marissa, Global Head of Legal and Compliance at Sonnedix said of Plexus, "What used to take us multiple days now takes just 12 minutes to execute and draft an NDA."
Legal departments usually dedicate 65% of their efforts to contract work, and 68% of them predict that the demand for contracts will continue to rise in the future. Leading General Counsel are leveraging contract lifecycle management software to increase efficiency and maximise the impact of their work.
If you're not sure if you need a contract management solution perhaps consider the following questions. If you answer yes to any of them, then it may be time to start thinking about investing in contract management software.
Are you creating almost identical or similar contracts regularly?
Do you expect contract volumes to increase significantly?
Are you signing more than 10 contracts a month?
If you needed to find the contract that's going to expire next, would it be difficult to locate?
Is your legal team unable to deliver value due to being bogged down in low-value contract admin?
Are contract processes slow and inefficient?
Have you missed a contract renewal date?
When selecting a contract management software, it is important to consider the key features and capabilities it provides. Ideally it will address all parts of the contract lifecycle from briefing, drafting, approvals, negotiation, signing, storage and renewal.
Some of the most commonly sought after features for contract management software include: customisable templates, approval workflows, browser-based redlining and audit trails, e-signature, renewal reminders and smart contract storage.
Contract management software should offer users customisable templates that allow them to draft contracts with some autonomy while ensuring that legal teams can still control the contents of the contracts. This way, legal teams don't have to put in the time to individually craft each one.
Approval workflows help get contracts reviewed and approved faster. This helps prevent bottlenecks in the business by enabling teams to rapidly obtain feedback and authorization from senior stakeholders while still following protocol.
With Plexus you can configure custom approval pathways and delegate authority via a no-code workflow builder. Automatic notifications then prompt stakeholders to review, approve or sign at the right time so your contracts keep moving.
Browser based redlining allows teams to collaborate and negotiate in real-time. Audit trails and access control give users an insight into who has changed or viewed the contract.
Keeping all edits, changes, advice, feedback and redlines within the one platform means that you have a single source of truth. You always know the version you are looking at is the most up-to-date version that every stakeholder has access to.
Software that does not possess this feature means that teams are required to go back and forth between various file formats and documents to finalise deals. This can delay the sales process and make it tough to monitor changes due to having to switch between Word documents, emails, and PDFs.
In a manual process, contracts are signed with either physical, handwritten signatures or digitally scanned versions. e-Signature functionality allows users to securely sign documents without needing to print, scan, and send them back. This permits individuals and teams to put legally binding digital signatures on contracts from any place and using any device.
Plexus integrates with the top signature tools on the market which allows us to continue to develop features our customers love and which help them with their holistic contract management.
Never miss another renewal date. Customise automated alerts for important contract milestones and renewal dates well in advance so nothing ever slips through the cracks.
Without automated renewal reminders, businesses typically utilise a contract management spreadsheet in order to monitor their contractual information manually. This involves taking out and entering information from separate contracts, which can be a time-consuming task for legal and wastes resources.
Many businesses have contracts that are stored in desk drawers, filing cabinets, disparate systems, emails archives and hard drives. This makes it difficult to locate, track, and generate reports on contracts.
As the number of contracts that your organisation manages grows, tso too grows the importance of selecting a contract management system with a sophisticated storage solution. Imagine being able to search your documents and their details to quickly find contracts or answer specific questions like "what's our liability for x?" or "what's the renewal date for y?".
Also, having all contracts within the one platform means that there is no chance that a contract will be lost when someone leaves the company or moves roles. They are all stored in the same, secure database and can be recovered when they are needed with either a simple search function, or through customised filters (e.g. filter by purpose, "I want to see all contracts authored by Sally Smith between 1 Jan - 31 Dec 2022)
Contract management software like Plexus also has an analytics tool which allows users to report on contracts, and monitor the success of these contracts in relation to legal KPIs.
The best contract management software will offer a comprehensive suite of features tailored to your business needs. While we might be biassed towards Plexus, we've looked into a number of different contract management software options and compared their different features and capabilities. To keep it balanced we've also included independent reviews from their user base as published on G2.
Plexus is a comprehensive contract management software that is designed to streamline the entire contract lifecycle. It offers a user-friendly interface that allows users to create, store, manage and track their contracts with ease. This software is particularly useful for organisations that deal with a high volume of contracts, as it helps to minimise the risk of errors and ensure compliance with regulations.
With Plexus, users can create customised templates for different types of contracts, and these templates can be easily modified to suit specific requirements. The software also provides automated workflows that help to speed up the contract approval process, as well as reminders and alerts to ensure that deadlines are not missed.
In addition to contract creation and management, Plexus also provides robust reporting and analytics tools that help users to gain insights into their contract portfolio. These tools can be used to identify areas where contract processes can be improved, as well as to track key performance indicators (KPIs).
Overall, Plexus is a powerful contract management software that helps organisations to improve their contract processes, reduce risk, and increase efficiency.
Plexus will have your environment configured and your team realising value in hours, not months.
Unlimited end users
Plexus helps you scale legal support across the enterprise, so won’t charge you for additional end users or counterparties.
Plexus will do the heavy lifting to get you live and drive widespread, risk-free adoption.
The Plexus platform access controls give you full control over who sees what, and its ISO 27001 security certification is industry standard.
Dedicated support team
For peace of mind you'll get 24/7 enterprise support and a dedicated customer success manager from day one.
Adopt Plexus Gateway modules one at a time, or all together.
Independent review of Plexus
Plexus scores an overall 4.7 out of 5 on the G2 platform.
"Plexus Gateway is a clean, simple and user friendly platform, with serious smarts on offer behind the scenes. The automatic workflows and e-signing integration have been game changing for us. Plexus has a clear plan for ongoing enhancements to the platform and provides great customer support along the way." Independent reviewer, G2
"Hard to imagine legal life without Plexus right now" Independent reviewer, G2
Juro is a contract management software designed to streamline the contract management process for businesses of all sizes. The software offers a user-friendly interface that allows users to easily create, store, manage, and track their contracts. With Juro, businesses can save time, reduce costs, and minimise risks associated with contracts.
One of the key features of Juro is its contract creation and editing tool, which enables users to create and edit contracts with ease. The software also provides customizable templates that can be easily modified to suit specific business needs. The software’s native e-signature feature allows contracts to be signed electronically, further reducing the time and costs associated with contract management.
Juro’s smart contract management capabilities also provide real-time analytics, automated reminders, and alerts to help users manage their contracts effectively. The software is cloud-based, ensuring that users can access contracts from anywhere, at any time, and on any device.
Overall, Juro is a powerful and easy-to-use contract management software that can help businesses to improve their contract management processes and reduce risks associated with contracts.
Independent review of Juro
Juro scores an overall 4.7 out of 5 on the G2 platform.
"Easy to use and great team to work with" - Independent review, G2
"Juro helps our team save time and energy by streamlining the legal process of our internal and external documents. The ability to internally and externally edit documents makes Juro a must have for any organisation looking for a scalable legal document solution." - Independent review, G2
Ironclad is a contract management software designed to automate and streamline the entire contract lifecycle. The software offers a wide range of features, including contract creation and storage, automated workflows, and real-time analytics. With Ironclad, businesses can save time, reduce costs, and improve compliance with regulations.
Ironclad's contract creation tool allows users to create and modify contracts with ease, while the software's automated workflows help to speed up the contract approval process. The software also provides real-time analytics, enabling users to gain insights into their contract portfolio and identify areas for improvement.
One of the key features of Ironclad is its ability to integrate with other software tools, such as Salesforce and DocuSign. This makes it easy for businesses to manage their contracts across multiple platforms.
Overall, Ironclad is a powerful and versatile contract management software that can help businesses to improve their contract processes and reduce risk. Its range of features and integration capabilities make it a popular choice for businesses of all sizes.
Independent review of Ironclad
Ironclad scores an overall 4.4 out of 5 on the G2 platform.
"Decrease headcount and human error" - Independent review, G2
"The user interface and UX design are top-notch. It has made the user adoption journey as easy as possible which has made all the difference in identifying immediate impact on the business. The flexibility, the templates, the playbooks, the ease of interface and the metrics tracking are all excellent." - Independent review, G2
Outlaw is a modern contract management software designed to streamline and automate the entire contract lifecycle. The software offers a range of features, including contract creation, negotiation, and e-signature capabilities. With Outlaw, businesses can reduce the time and costs associated with contract management and improve compliance with regulations.
One of the key features of Outlaw is its intuitive and user-friendly interface, which allows users to easily create and manage contracts. The software also provides customisable templates, automated workflows, and real-time analytics, enabling businesses to improve their contract processes and reduce risk.
Outlaw's e-signature feature allows users to sign and manage contracts electronically, reducing the time and costs associated with traditional contract signing. The software also provides real-time updates and notifications, ensuring that users are always up-to-date on the status of their contracts.
Overall, Outlaw is a powerful and user-friendly contract management software that can help businesses of all sizes to improve their contract processes and reduce risk. Its range of features, customisable templates, and e-signature capabilities make it a popular choice for businesses looking to streamline their contract management.
Independent review of Outlaw
Outlaw scores an overall 4.6 out of 5 on the G2 platform.
"We have been using Outlaw for about a year and it has really helped streamline out contracts with partners around the world. It is easy to get up and running and as I use it more and become more comfortable there are many features that make my work day much easier and more efficient." - Independent review, G2
"The system is designed for true legal contracts and we are using it for that as well as employment letters and contracts so there are a few features that we have had to adapt to our type of use. That being said I find the customer support really helpful in puzzling out the best way to do so." - Independent review, G2
ContractWorks is a contract management software designed to simplify the contract management process for businesses of all sizes. The software offers a range of features, including contract creation, storage, and tracking. With ContractWorks, businesses can reduce the time and costs associated with contract management and improve compliance with regulations.
One of the key features of ContractWorks is its user-friendly interface, which allows users to easily create and manage contracts. The software also provides customizable templates, automated workflows, and real-time analytics, enabling businesses to improve their contract processes and reduce risk.
ContractWorks offers a powerful search tool that allows users to quickly find specific contracts, clauses, and terms. The software also provides customizable reporting, allowing users to generate reports on contract status, renewal dates, and other key metrics.
Overall, ContractWorks is a powerful and easy-to-use contract management software that can help businesses to improve their contract processes and reduce risk. Its range of features, customizable templates, and search and reporting capabilities make it a popular choice for businesses looking to simplify their contract management.
Independent review of ContractWorks
ContractWorks scores an overall 4.8 out of 5 on the G2 platform.
"This a simple, intuitive program that has proven itself extremely valuable. Makes the process of storing, retrieving and most importantly managing contracts and their ancillary documents easy and effective. Features are well thought out, not just added for the sake of it. Signature process is easy, powerful, time saving. Reminders on contracts renewals and expiration's are exactly what everybody needs, without exception." - Independent review, G2
"Satisfies all of our contract housing needs" - Independent review, G2
CRM stands for customer relationship management, but it doesn't include the functionality for managing contracts. Therefore, it is necessary to integrate a contract management system to be able to create and manage contracts within the CRM system. With Plexus Gateway you can leverage out-of-the box integrations or API to power cross-platform productivity.
Software for managing contracts is a very useful tool for locating and preparing reports about contracts. Products such as Plexus make it possible to securely store and easily search, view, and generate reports regarding contracts.
Plexus contract management software provides a secure repository to store your contracts, featuring precise access control, centralised document records and additional safety settings such ISO compliance and certification. We ensure our security meets the most stringent security standards. Hosted with AWS (Amazon) entirely on Australian servers. Your data is kept separate from others, is backed up live, and run through regular penetration testing. When reviewing contract management solutions, ensure you review their security capabilities.
The cost of a contract management software solution can vary significantly depending on the features and capabilities you need. Generally, contract management software can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. The cost will depend on the size of your organisation, the number of users, the platform, the level of customization, and other factors. Ultimately, it is important to consider the value of the software in relation to the cost when making an informed decision.
It is important to ask the software provider about any hidden fees that may be associated with using contract management software. Make sure to read the terms of service/purchase agreement carefully, as some software providers may include additional fees for features, storage, or technical support. Additionally, there may be taxes or fees associated with using the software, so it is best to inquire with the software provider before making a purchase.
Contract management software can store a wide variety of data, including key documents related to the contract such as the scope of work and timeline, contact information, payment and invoicing information, and relevant notes or updates. In addition, it can store details about the parties involved in the contract, clauses and conditions, and compliance information.
The answer to this question depends on the contract management software you use. Many contract management software solutions are intuitive, user-friendly and include built-in support to help you find answers to any questions you may have. However, some contract management software solutions can be more complex and require a bit more training and support to learn how to use them effectively. Ultimately, it is important to do research and find a contract management software that fits your needs and is easy to use.
Contract management software aims to bring value and simplify the stages of the contract journey, while eSignature solutions only focus on providing value at the moment of signing. Both contract systems have eSignature capabilities, but contract management software provides a great many more features which enable legal teams to more efficiently manage large numbers of contracts.
To find out more about contract management software, contact Plexus customer service specialists. For further reading, see the below resources:
10 mistakes companies make when buying contract management software
How to use contract management software to speed up your sales process
Plexus' contract management software gives you everything you need to accelerate business productivity in one modular platform. Get contracts signed faster, streamline document workflows, collaborate in real-time and integrate with the apps you already rely on.
One of our consultants will be in touch ASAP to answer your questions and determine your requirements.
Want to speak to someone instead? Call us on 1300 983 907
One of our consultants will reach out to you shortly.
Get weekly legal transformation best practices, benchmarks and trend analysis.
Thanks for subscribing
Modernise your legal function with the Digital Transformation Guide for General Counsels.
The eBook is on its way to your inbox. You can also download via the link below.Download now