To achieve maximum efficiency, your business should have all the right tools in place to make operations run smoothly and eliminate unnecessary confusion. If you’re looking to get your contract management software in place, it can seem daunting to figure out how you’ll create and issue purchase requisitions with your existing software.
In this guide, we’ll cover the steps you need to follow to make any transformation or transaction as smooth as possible.
1. Understand Your Business’ Needs
Start by clearly identifying what you want your contract management software system to do, who will use it, and how you’ll use it. This makes it easier for you and your team to identify which features are critical. It’s also important that everyone involved understand your company’s contract goals and objectives to guide vendors about meeting them. And don’t forget, software that does one thing well is better than a tool that doesn’t.
2. Work Out Who Will Take Responsibility
Before you rush out and buy software, make sure you’ve worked out exactly who will be using it. You need people who are organized and dedicated to using it on a regular basis. Once you have someone onboard for each step of your contract management process (initiation, negotiation, budgeting, tracking, reporting), try starting small. Just write down details from one deal at a time.
Later, once there’s some momentum behind your project and everyone is invested in its success, consider investing more money in a more powerful software that automates elements of your contract management process (such as invoicing).
3. Map Out the Process
When you know what you want, your job is to figure out how. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be complicated or overly technical. In fact, a basic process map can illustrate it perfectly. All that’s needed is a simple what-if-then flowchart.
For example, once X happens, Y will happen likewise. A good process map can explain exactly how from A to B without getting bogged down in unnecessary details or super-specific processes. When creating a document like this, make sure you focus only on tasks that are critical for completing your project successfully. Remember, any task not contributing to output should be removed as much as possible.
4. Create the Rules and Regulations
You’re not getting a contract without rules and regulations. So, spend some time putting together a set of rules and regulations for your contract management software. This will help you keep your records organized and make it easier for new users to learn how to use your system.
There are two things that should be considered when creating these rules:
- You must first decide whether you want employees to be able to update or change any of their personal information.
- If you allow changes, will they be subject to approval?
Rules like these go a long way towards helping people get familiar with your software and may save you headaches down the road.
5. Run through a Test Pilot Program
Before you implement a procurement system, it’s a good idea to run through a test pilot program. This gives you an opportunity to assess your current needs, see how well you do without (or with different) software, and ensure that your new system is actually going to work for you.
The biggest benefit of running through a test pilot program is that it takes some of the pressure off. If there are any issues or problems along the way, they happen before implementation rather than after. You can also take notes as you go along. By making changes while there’s no urgency or expectation around them, everyone involved has more time and freedom to make smart decisions.
6. Educate Users on Your New System
Understandably, most employees will be apprehensive about new systems and policies. If you’re instituting a new way of doing things, it helps to ensure users are clear on how they should approach their new responsibilities. Invite questions and concerns during these meetings, but also make sure that you have answers ready when people are worried or confused.
Be ready to answer any questions and provide training as necessary. Over time, people will get used to your new system, but over-communicating is essential at first. Small bumps in the road can grow into big issues if left unchecked.
7. Set Up Benchmarks and Success Metrics
If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you expect to get there? That line of thinking is a guiding principle at Amazon—and any other company that wants to set itself up for success. So before you start working on your software, take time for some careful strategizing:
- Decide what success looks like.
- As far as possible, your benchmarks should measure how much more efficient (or effective) your organization becomes as a result of using new technology.
- Benchmarks should also cover metrics that drive engagement or other critical business goals (such as reduced costs).
- If the new software doesn’t relate directly to an important business objective, leave it out.
According to IACCM research, good contract management could increase a business’ profitability and revenue by 9 percent. So, choose your contract management solution wisely.
Get Your Contract Management Software Now
Purchasing software can feel like a big, time-consuming investment. It might be, but if you don’t have a contract management solution to manage contracts, you need one now. In fact, the global contract management software market is expected to reach $2.9 billion by 2024.
Getting your contract management software up and running is as easy as determining what type of software you need, finding it on a reputable review site, downloading a trial version, and giving it a whirl! So, stop procrastinating and start making life easier by managing contracts efficiently today.
Just follow the steps above on how to get your contract management software in place to make the best choice and bring your business to the next level.