The Use of a Contract Management Application in Hybrid Work Environments
Contract management has been a cornerstone of business for a very long time. Contracts are the primary method of documenting agreements for all sorts of things like payments, employment, marketing, renting land, and more. In the past, all contracts were written or printed on paper.
However, as the world moves more and more into the digital realm, many contracts are completed and saved as files on computers. Today, many documents like contracts are saved online in storage systems called ‘clouds’ instead of individual computers and managed in contract management applications.
What is a Hybrid Work Environment?
A hybrid work environment is a work arrangement in which some or all of the members of the team can split their work between in-office and work-from-home. This means that oftentimes, a team will not all be present in the office at the same time. This comes with some obvious difficulties, especially in terms of communication.
Luckily, with new technologies like video chat software, a lot of the challenges with hybrid work environments are being dealt with. However, massive challenges persist such as contract lifecycle management (CLM).
Creating, signing, and distributing contracts has been a relatively simple, albeit mundane process for teams that work in the office. However, in recent years, hybrid and work-from-home have become more prevalent for teams worldwide, and as a result, it’s not so simple anymore. Gone are the days when you could visit a few cubicles and corner offices to obtain all of the required signatures for your contracts, at least for hybrid teams.
Luckily, digital contracts are nothing new and they are perhaps the most reliable way of getting a document signed by an entire team no matter where each member happens to be working from. However, issues persist with the digitalization of physical paperwork, printing, and faxing digital work, and hopefully, you never need to find an old contract. Even for teams that choose to use only digital contracts and meaningfully eliminate these first two massive pain points, the organization remains a difficulty.
How do Contract Management Applications Help?
CLM apps offer significantly more effortless workflow management when compared to manually storing and organizing contracts online. Many of them will allow you to categorize contracts based on where in the lifecycle they sit, that way you can see at a glance what needs to be done next to push your documents through the pipeline. You can also assign tasks to particular team members or even collaborate in real time.
One of the most obvious benefits of using a CLM application is that members of your team can easily collaborate on the creation, revisions, signing, and processing of your contracts. Where online video chat applications like Zoom and Skype allow you to effortlessly communicate with your team, contract management applications like facilitating the same kind of efficiency for your important documents.
Having your contracts all in the same place within an app for contract management gives your team a level of continuity in your work. Not only does using a CLM app make it obvious where in the lifecycle your documents are, but your members can send collaboration invitations to each other within the app. That way, it’s not necessary for your team members to check their emails or Slack to see where their input is needed.
Another huge benefit to using a contract management application is the findability of your contracts. On contract management applications, you can import contracts from Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, and even email. Then, they offer the capability to search through your documents by the counterparty, contract types, dates, and more.
Imagine trying to find a contract that you are 75% sure is in your team’s Google Team Drive, but you’re also not sure of the name of the contract. Good luck with that! You’re much better off using a CLM app, where even knowing which week your contract should be filed under makes finding it a breeze.
Finally, an app for contract management can reduce your company’s security and legal risks. They often offer templates that you can use without risk of legal intervention, where otherwise you may have to create documents from scratch, or worse, use templates you don’t have the rights to. These CLM apps also offer comprehensive security measures, such that your contracts are likely safer than even ones stored on Google Drive.
How to Choose a Contract Management App for Your Team
Different contract management applications will come with varying features. The vast majority of them offer at least completion tracking and contract lifecycle management, two of the essential functions of these applications. However, some of them do not offer compatibility with government contracts. Others offer government contracts but do not offer pre-built templates. Some applications such as Parley Pro offer all of these features and more. Parley Pro, unlike most other CLM apps, offers a free trial. This makes determining if it’s the right fit for your team free of cost and risk-free.
Overall, the most reliable way to ensure your team chooses the best CLM applications for your purposes will be to do some in-depth research yourself. We recommend speaking with a software expert or getting a software demo from a couple of companies to help you determine which product will work best for your team. Better yet, just give Parley Pro a try risk-free!