Understanding Contract Management Costs

Have you ever considered how much your organization spends to manage its contracts?

Don’t just think about sales contracts. Think about ALL documents you use to engage another party such as NDAs, Teaming, LOIs, LOAs, Consulting, Subcontracting, License & Technology, Sales, Purchase Orders, Offer Letters, other HR documents etc.

You might say

  • “We have no costs, we use Microsoft Word, Docusign, Outlook and Share Point.

  • “Our contracts are cookie-cutter templates so we really don’t spend much at all.”

  • “We have a contracts department so the cost of that department is the cost of our contract management”

If this is your thinking, continue reading for five minutes and prepare for a shock. This article will open your eyes to the real costs of a manual contracting environment.

Duplicate Contract Versions Clog Operations & Cost You $

Recently we surveyed more than 10,000 accountants, corporate attorneys, contract administrators, executives, sales and other professionals to learn their level of confidence in their organization’s current contract and transaction processes and infrastructure.

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This post centers around the results of the responses to the following question:

Care to guess the results?

Over 80% of respondents acknowledged that the contract and transaction repositories are cluttered with numerous versions as well as duplicates of the same transaction!   

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You might say "So, who cares?". If you do, you probably aren't involved in day-to-day transaction logistics OR you've already automated your transaction environment (hopefully the latter).  If not, I want to point out why this matter is important to your organization's bottom line. 

 The bottom line is that when multiple copies of the same contract are created, you and your team members are often uncertain about which copy should be referenced, sent, edited or signed.   

Cloud storage has made contract and transaction duplication easy and even mandatory in some cases, resulting in many copies of the same agreement, further confusing version control, and making document search a real headache.    

This confusing situation occurs because storage of the most current version at any one point shifts from one repository to another during the lifecycle (ie: email to local to cloud back to email etc.).  As a result, even strict document management tools with policies enforcing check-in/check-out can't help, because a manual process governed by policy must be followed. 

In a manual transaction environment, team members must remember and adhere to the following without fail: 

  • Know where to find the version they are looking for 

  • Know the status of each version 

  • Understand the policy for naming the file 

  • Understand the procedure for uploading to and downloading from the right tree structure 

  • Strictly follow the policy 

  This is difficult enough.  Duplicate copies only exacerbate the problem, leading to otherwise unnecessary inefficiencies, delays and costs. 

Good news:  transaction automation solutions eliminate this problem—and more!   See more here.