People are expensive, time is valuable, and smart people don’t like doing stupid things. Competition is tough, retention is key, and optimizing technology and workflows gives you a distinct advantage.
Hand-drafting simple agreements, sending them, collating signature pages and exhibits (even if digital), and finally, saving and coding them, increases turnaround time and decreases accuracy. Large firms can afford the complexity of integrating legacy systems, but small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) have few simple tools to take a contract from drafting to management.
In fact, the average time to complete even a simple agreement, email it, collate signatures, redraft due to mistyped information, and code for storage and retrieval, is over 30 minutes. Business can reduce this to 2 minutes and increase accuracy.
Given the current technology and reduced cloud and storage costs, SMBs can now access enterprise grade systems at a fraction of the cost.
Any business modernizing their contract workflows should consider:
- What roles create and send documents
The sales teams create the first impression. Are your proposals and initial documents free from errors? Do they showcase your company, or your e-Sign vendor? Is your sales team changing names and dates, or promoting your company?
Can you draft multiple documents with a single input for investor consents, HR forms and notices? Can you track it all easily on a single platform? Can you integrate drafters, approvers and outside counsel into the approval flow?
2. Workflows and Status
Do you know where each contract is in its lifecycle? Is it waiting for approval from the supervisor, the outside counsel, the general counsel? Discover your bottlenecks.
Can you easily retrieve contracts and their related amendments? Can you search them? Are they coded manually, or are they auto coded when drafted without manual inputs?
Can you send and sign with a click? Can you add some level of identity verification?
Can you templatize your standard agreements and forms? Can you code them with a simple mapping tool, so they pull all non-variable terms from the database? Is that mapping tool simple enough for attorneys to use, so your entire document file is pre-approved and ready to go?
Do you need to take manual steps to save and code, or is it done automatically?
7. Is it easy to implement and use?
Many systems are infinity customizable and infinitely complex. Can your admins and associates draft documents easily? Does it take weeks of training and thousands in implementation?
Many companies are realizing their contract system is more cumbersome than it needs to be. As SMBs begin to search for simple, reasonably priced solutions, remember that enterprise solutions are expensive and complicated due to the integration requirements with legacy software.
As a smaller, growing enterprise, you have the option to start fresh, to find a solution that is simple and streamlines your entire workflow without consultants and without trying to integrate multiple software packages.
We built ContractHub.Com from the ground up, specifically to bring a modern system of contracting to the SMB market.