The modern contract binder is digital, smart and helps you understand what information is in the company's contract. What questions does your company have to ask and what survey should be done in order to start using modern, digital contract management?
Here we go through how you can map out which requirements your company has and what you need to think through in order to be able to replace the contract binder with a digital alternative.
Which contracts does your company have today? Start from your business and map all your company's contracts by dividing the "elephant" into smaller - more manageable - parts.
Swedish contract law allows, with some exceptions, agreements to be entered into informally. If you and your contracting party agree and express this to each other, an agreement can be considered entered into. Formless means that there are no requirements for how this is communicated. Orally, on paper, via chat, social media etc.
Where are your company's contract and agreements stored today? How, ie in what form, are the contracts saved?
Information that is saved together with the contract document itself is sometimes called metadata or supplementary contract information. An analogy is the post-it note on the paper contract.
Metadata is linked to the contract but is not part of the agreement between the contract parties. Metadata can come from many different sources in your business. From individuals who have supplementary information in emails, to information that is saved in index files from a scanning provider.
You do not need to enter or identify metadata before you start managing your contracts in a contract archive. A modern system should allow you to do this afterwards, which gives flexibility around the rules of procedure for implementation. Some examples of metadata:
The modern contract binder must be able to handle your company's contract both before, during and after the validity period. An alternative description is that the contract can be managed throughout the life cycle.
Managing contracts means being able to change contract owners, change metadata, control what status the contract is currently in and follow up on which transactions have been completed for a contract. Equally important is that contract content and metadata are available to the right people in your company.
We break this down into a few points:
Contracts come in many different forms, but regardless of form, it should of course be possible to add all of them into the contract system. The paper-based contract binder may contain a system for cataloguing contracts. It can be by name, type of agreement or perhaps sorted in chronological order. To ensure that the categorization is kept intact, there may be restrictions on who can add new agreements.
In the digital contract binder, there are many more possibilities and below are listed some questions you should ask yourself to understand the requirements.
Your digital archive can provide a number of advantages over the paper binder. One of the big differences lies in how you can search for information and set up monitoring.
Generating a report means that you can compile information from contract documents and saved metadata that is to be used for a specific purpose or by a specific organizational part of your company. A simple example is to be able to get a list of all project activities from a project contract.
In order to be able to generate good reports, data is needed. Often from several different IT systems. There are very few companies where all IT systems are integrated with each other and data flows without human intervention. Even if integration is something you strive for, reality is often a compromise. Then it is essential that the systems concerned can export data in a good way - and for contract systems, this of course means both contract content and any metadata.
Many companies and organizations want to replace their paper-based contract binder with a digital alternative. With the right preparation, you will be able to formulate requirements and evaluate contract solutions based on what your company needs.
A modern contract management system not only replaces the contract binder but gives you much greater opportunities to benefit from contract information in your company's various activities. It also gives you the opportunity to develop your business and create innovative solutions when the paper disappears.