Making the shift to remote contract management is a big step for your business. It’s one that many businesses have had to make quickly in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Properly managing your contract pipeline is critical to keeping your business flowing smoothly during this period. You want to make sure your contracts move smoothly down the contract pipeline with remote access features. A smarter contract management system can help, often without the in-person touches that usually help your business manage those tasks. To manage your contract pipeline with remote access, try some of these important steps.
1. Make sure all employees have the right access.
When you’re in the office, things are simpler. An employee who doesn’t have access to the right contract documentation can simply walk down the hallway and find someone who does. Unfortunately, when your employees are working remotely, they might not have access to others who can get them into those documents. As you prepare your contract pipeline for remote access, make sure your employees have the right access. Make sure logins are current, that all employees know their passwords, and that they can access contract data remotely. This is also a great time to remove old logins for employees who have left the company.
2. Create contract processes that include automated checks and reminders.
When working remotely, it’s important to include automated reminders for your employees. This can help ensure that they take care of all of their obligations with regards to your contracts in a timely, effective manner. Your employees are out of their familiar element. They’re away from the office and struggling to adapt to new and changing circumstances. Make sure your contract management software offers the reminders they need:
Reminders That Action Needs to Be Taken on a Contract
Has a contract been allowed to sit too long in a particular queue or at a particular stage of the approval process? Make sure you issue a reminder that will let your employees know that action needs to be taken.
Automatic contract scoring can help you identify any potential challenges with a contract before it moves further through the approval process. Remote work can mean longer approval times and fewer connections between members of your team. This can make it easier for potential errors to fall through the cracks. With automated contract scoring, on the other hand, you’ll be able to more easily identify any potential challenges with the contract before they become more serious.
Do you have contracts coming up for renewal during this period of remote work? Make sure employees get reminders well ahead of time so that they can begin negotiations. This can ensure they will have time to take into account current events and how they may impact future contracts with a given partner.
3. Automatically move your contracts on to the next phase in the contract cycle.
Once a specific stage of the contract process has been completed, it needs to move on. Set up your contract management system to automatically send the contract on to the next stage in the process. You may, for example, need to move it straight from the sales team to approval. Alternatively, a smart system can move it through the stages of approval. Make sure it automatically moves to the next person who needs to see it. Then your team can accomplish their tasks remotely and easily.
4. Make sure you have a remote signature option in place.
Connect your contract management software with a remote signature platform. This will allow both your team and your contractual partners to sign your contracts without having to be in the same place. These e-signatures are just as binding as physical signatures on a document. But they don’t require team members to leave the safety of their homes or expose themselves to potential infections. A contract pipeline with remote access to e-signature options will also ensure that the signed version of the contract is stored online, where your team can easily access it.
5. Institute virtual contract compliance monitoring.
Contract compliance — both with external regulations and with the terms of the contract — is incredibly important to your business. You want your contractual partners to know that you will continue to meet your obligations even during a difficult period. Make sure you have virtual contract monitoring in place that will allow you to keep up with how well your employees are complying with the terms of the contract. You should also monitor whether vendors are keeping up with the terms of your current contracts and whether you need to make changes to any of your contracts based on the current situation.
Shifting to a contract pipeline with remote access features can offer unique challenges. With these strategies, however, you can move your contract smoothly down the pipeline and ensure that your business has everything it needs to continue to thrive and meet its obligations during this time. See how ContraxAware can help by scheduling a 1:1 demo.