Contract Management Best Practices

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Contract Management Best Practices

Contract management best practices include using contract lifecycle management software to create and execute the most effective methods to monitor, process, and implement contracts for a company. 


Eight Best Practices in Contract Management

  • Formalize the Contract Creation Process

Poorly written contracts can cause businesses to lose money and their good reputation among their clients. A specific template from your contract management lifecycle software can ensure the best start in writing a contract. In addition, building a central depository with standardized templates for all your contracts and incorporating them with lifecycle management software that automatically extracts specific templates based on needs can decrease the time and money spent on contract creation. Likewise, the one-time effort to create templates guarantees error-free contracts with comprehensive coverage of all premeditated terms and legal provisions.

  • Specify Contact Management KPIs

Many businesses strive for successful contract management to leverage the intended worth of contracts. It is where contract management KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) play a pivotal part. Determining these KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and tracking them with the correct contract lifecycle management tools will help you take the required actions to guarantee the effectiveness of your contract management program. 

Six Key metrics to evaluate during contract management 
  1. Process Compliance: It ensures the approved, standardized contracting procedure is adhered to and is a fundamental part of contract management.
  2. Contract Creation and Initiation Cycle Times: It is the time required to draft a contract and evaluates the efficiency of your contract creation approach.
  3. Contract Risk: This key performance indicator is essential to lower risk exposure from non-compliance to contract provisions, statutory guidelines, policies, regulatory prerequisites, etc.
  4. Obligation Administration: This helps gauge performance against contractual responsibilities to guarantee fulfilled deliverables.
  5. Missing Clauses and Contract Deviations: Contract lifecycle management tools can utilize Artificial Intelligence to notice missing clauses automatically and deviating terms, helping lower the threat from maverick contracting.
  6. Conflicts and Issues: Track the number of contract lawsuits, matters, and disputes by agreement and supplier to resolve recurring problems and notice trends.
  7. Establish Excellent Contract Communication

Poor interaction between a company’s central procurement department and the contractors’ agencies can end in incorrect drafts, missed opportunities, and, eventually, failed associations. Therefore, it is essential to establish communication policies on contact frequency and approved team cooperation mediums (Slack, email, etc.), along with a checklist of the fundamental stakeholders. Integrate this list into the contract lifecycle (during, before, and after contract execution) so stakeholders remain informed of modifications in contract documents.

  • Optimize Supplier and Vendor Management

Efficient vendor and supplier management is key to fostering long-term customer and supplier relationships. Good relationships help achieve business objectives and lower the threat of supply chain disturbance or mistakes on the purchase side and income disorder on the sale side. Also, contract management is crucial to align your commercial associations and their results to the underlying agreement. Contract lifecycle management mediums offer vendor administration functionality that allows you to evaluate and track continuous vendor performance. It will assist you in ensuring that planned business outcomes are accomplished. In addition, it improves cooperation and associations when conflicts, problems, and suits are fixed with transparency for contracting parties using the same information on a single medium.

  • Balance Easy Access and Data Security

Security is paramount in legal work, so CLM software stores all your data in secure cloud storage. Rather than allocating authorizations at a personal level, you can assign functions and create groups with different ownership. Next, you can add multiple users to the group based on the needed privileges. As a security action, appropriate assessments and constant inspections must be in place to remove users who no longer require entry and detect unauthorized people.

  • Conduct Routine Compliance and Performance Audits

Establishing best-in-class contract management procedures will only have the expected effect if you guarantee compliance. In addition, during the contract creation stage, contract administrators must certify compliance with the authorized process, clauses, templates, and authorization order. Finally, after executing the contract, you must ensure the provided assistance is according to the responsibilities and service ranks decided in the agreement by conducting contract compliance inspections and audits. Moreover, you must note that audits can differ from risk, supplier, and regulatory audits. Manually accomplishing these is time-consuming, ineffective, and error-prone. So it is reasonable to leverage modern technology, given the essential nature of these performances and audit reviews.

  • Resolve Conflicts Efficiently

When you evaluate KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and evaluate threats, you determine problems that require resolution. Also, communication problems among your workforce can result in complicated disputes. The best way to handle conflicts is to resolve them quickly before they escalate to statutory authorities. Create a dispute resolution task force that comprises agents from both the company and the supplier sides and different units (HR, legal, finance, etc.). 

  • Benchmark Performance and Progress 

Constant monitoring of quantitative indicators like contractual performance and parameters metrics generates an abundance of data for research. In addition, subjective data through casual communication mediums, discussions on risk and change management, etc., is accessible. You can readily use all this information constructively to benchmark against documented data and industry standards.

Existing data can demonstrate how spending habits have transformed through years of the contractual arrangement. It can then provide a feeling of whether the agreement is progressing in the planned direction. 


Key Terms 

  • Confidentiality: Confidentiality refers to an arrangement that one or more people involved in a contract will not reveal specific details to third parties.
  • Breach of Contract: Failure to follow the prerequisites of a contract without lawful justification is known as a “breach” of the contract.
  • Contract Audit: A contract audit is an analysis and review of information or performance designed to confirm that one or more people involved in a contract have complied with prerequisites or criteria outlined in the agreement.



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