Regardless of the organization’s size, contract management always comes with various challenges. During a contract lifecycle, businesses have to deal with several contract elements. Simultaneously, companies also need to manage communication with the stakeholders. In addition, the process becomes more complex as you are ready to scale up your business operations.
If your organization is already a SharePoint subscriber, you can use SharePoint for efficient contract management. The decision not only saves you from paying and managing a separate solution. It also improves your contract management workflow. Let us learn more about how SharePoint can help you with contract management.
Reasons to Use SharePoint for Contract Management
SharePoint is ideal for anything related to digital content, like images, documents, videos, and so on. Since business contracts also fall in the document category, SharePoint should be the company-wise global solution for contracts, agreements, or memorandums of understanding (MoUs).
Here are the reasons why SharePoint is an ideal choice for organizational contract management.
1. Centralized Contract Management
By keeping all contracts in SharePoint, organizations can enjoy the benefit of centralized contract management. SharePoint library repository is the place where you can store all the contracts, along with other important documents and files. From here, organizations can leverage robust document distribution features and administer access. Thus, managing contract-related challenges becomes easier to tackle.
Crucial document management actions such as tasks, renewals, approvals, and revisions, can be performed from a single hub. You can also have an extensive view of all these activities. The comprehensive dashboard and elaborate reporting of SharePoint are features that let you take a quick look at the document status and forthcoming tasks.
2. Corporate Data Security and Compliance
The security measures of your contract management system bear utmost importance for managing sensitive information of your contracts. Depending on your industry, you may need to adhere to different national and international regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, GLBA, and SOX. SharePoint also provides organizations with a full access trail (view, edit, share, delete) for auditing.
SharePoint implements a cutting-edge security model to keep your documents secure. Some of its common security features are data encryption (both at rest and in transit,) multifactor authentication, anti-malware protection, and data loss prevention policy.
3. Seamless Internal Communications
SharePoint offers you the facility to communicate with your colleagues from the same contract management sites or workflows. For example, your team can utilize SharePoint functionalities like Discussion Boards, Yammer, Content Tagging using @, SharePoint Communication Sites, and commenting on News Feeds.
Besides functioning as a convenient software for collaborative work, it is also ideal for team communication. There is no need to use additional communication apps since SharePoint contains features for individual and group communication.
4. Contract Process Automation
By automating the various steps of contract management, you can cut down on manual labor and make your team more productive and efficient. On SharePoint, automating the contract workflow is an effortless task since the tool readily supports SharePoint custom development and workflow automation.
Thus, you can manage how each team member collaborates on one contract throughout its life cycle. Furthermore, tasks like contract approval and review can be done easily on SharePoint Online.
5. Third-party App Integration Facilities
Being a part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite, SharePoint Online supports integration with other apps of the Office 365 suite. Apart from these, it also integrates with other enterprise-level CRM, ERP, ECM, OCR, intelligence, and analytics software applications.
Thanks to this integration, you can open the contracts stored in SharePoint with the integrated tool without switching between two solutions.
6. Scalable and Cost-Effective
If you already use SharePoint for document management, you do not have to think twice about choosing this platform for contract management. In this case, your organization does not have to bear any additional costs. Even if you do not use SharePoint for contract management, it is still an affordable option compared to the costs of using a dedicated contract management system. It is also a scalable software that you can scale up according to your company’s growth. Most businesses require tailor-made contract tracking management solutions. Thus, you can save time and focus on your business and let an experienced SharePoint consulting like Al Rafay Consulting develop an affordable and scalable solution for you.
7. Ease of Use
Choosing a separate contract management software means your whole workforce has to go through the learning process to master the new tool. On the contrary, using SharePoint for contract management means you and your team can focus on your business instead of learning a new application.
Thanks to the easy-to-use interface of SharePoint Online, even new users will need minimum training to use it. Moreover, it comes with different training tools and guidelines that users can utilize for quick learning.
SharePoint Features That Help Business with Contract Management
Now that you know the top benefits of using SharePoint for contract management, it is time to take a look at the useful SharePoint features for managing contracts.
1. Customizable Templates
SharePoint comes with an extensive library of document templates from which, you can choose one for your business contract. Hence, you do not have to create a contract from scratch. Just select a suitable template and modify it as your needs.
You can also use an electronic contract form that has been extensively customized through SharePoint custom development. Business admins can effortlessly modify the form with a few clicks and the frontline user, such as a real estate agent can instantly access the form from customers’ premises.
2. Automated Contract Creation
Using the special questionnaires of SharePoint, companies can partially automate the process of contract creation. For example, users can add fields and clauses to a contract by answering some contract-related questions. Since contracts involve legal obligations, this SharePoint feature helps with risk management.
An automated contract generate SharePoint app can cut a lot of clicks from manual contracts. Thus, your customers or field agents can produce elaborate contracts with one click in Microsoft Word or other suitable document formats. Such apps integrate predefined contacts values set by business admins and feed them to the final documents.
3. Approval-Driven Workflow
The smooth process of approval is another feature of SharePoint that will assist you with contract management. You can create a group of concerned stakeholders and automatically send a contract to them for approval or alert them after the contract draft has been finalized from your end.
SharePoint Online also supports rule-based approval workflows that you can create, regardless of the number of stages or complexity of the process. That is why it supports both simple and sophisticated approval workflows.
4. Robust Content Search
Thanks to the powerful search feature of SharePoint Online, finding the contract you are looking for is effortless. Companies can perform an intelligent search by file name, metadata, keywords, or even full text in the SharePoint contract management system. You can also filter and sort the search results for the precise search.
5. Hierarchical Linking
Managing and storing contracts hierarchically is highly beneficial for organizations that have to deal with an array of related contracts. As you create a parent-child relationship between the contracts by linking them accordingly, businesses can maintain the consistency of the contracts and keep them sorted.
This feature also makes contract management easier as any changes you make on the major contract will get applied to subordinate contracts.
6. Automatic Notifications
SharePoint offers automatic alerts and notifications system that you can schedule for various events of the contract, including contract status, expiration date, and other milestones. These notifications can help you avoid unwanted automatic renewal of contracts.
Al Rafay Consulting Offers Solutions of Sharepoint for Contract Management
SharePoint development is undoubtedly an ideal option for managing contracts for your organizations, especially if it belongs to the industries such as REIT solutions (real estate), legal, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, consumer goods, and media.
If the out of the box features of SharePoint is not enough, or if you want to create a tailored contract management solution on Sharepoint for your business, Al Rafay Consulting is the trusted name.
Depending on your organizational requirements and industry standard, we can develop contract management solutions that ensure the best user experience and better productivity than the existing contract management solution.