5 Tips for Better Contract Management
Contracts can be the bane of your business since they contain a lot more moving parts than meets the eye. This means it's even easier to take major missteps on the path to effective and efficient contract management. But, these 5 tips can help.
- JUST SAY NO TO AUTO-RENEWAL: The main problem with contract auto-renewals is that they completely take out the due diligence process. This in turn denies your financial institution the proper exposure to the technological advances in competing products and the opportunity to potentially save money with negotiations and other providers. Never forget the fact that leverage is on your side when renegotiating a vendor contract. It's always cheaper for the vendor to simply keep you instead of having to find a new client.
- OUTSIDE STORAGE: While keeping all of your contracts in-house may give you a slight sense of security, the fact remains that unforeseen events such as fires, natural disasters and even simple computer and server crashes can really threaten that security. This is why - if you haven't already - you may want to seriously consider cloud storage. Cloud storage provides extra layers of security by storing your contract information off-site and online. Restricting access to data is also easier because many standard cloud storage security protocol require permission-based logins provided by Information System (IS) departments.
- DON'T RELY ON CALENDAR ALERTS 100%: Relying on calendar alerts is a slippery slope. Staff turnover is a prime source of missing calendar alerts on long-term contracts. Alerts are easily lost when responsibilities are changed along with software platforms. There is always the possibility that contract calendar alerts can be overlooked or deleted.
- CONSIDER NEW PROCESSES: It's clear that spreadsheets are a standard tool used across financial and business institutions. However, these files - like calendar alerts - can be overlooked or deleted. Spreadsheet file data can also be corrupted by switching software versions or computing environments. This is often caused by having too many staff members involved in the contract management process. Communication issues arise and the wrong date ranges in a spreadsheet are deleted or overwritten. Many times before the conversation about using alternative contract management methods even starts, a major loss of business-critical data happens. If you haven't revisited your contract management process recently, now is as good a time as any.
- IMPLEMENT ESCALATED NOTIFICATIONS - NOW: This is a must have for every contract management process. The use of a software platform that offers escalated notifications, incident tracking and oversight capabilities enable the senior management team of your financial institution have a tighter handle on any activity in their contract portfolios.
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