SharePoint is a sophisticated collaboration solution that goes beyond being just a software system. Companies across the globe use it for process management, teamwork, company portals, and web content management. Many companies use SharePoint and Office 365 as their primary platform for digitisation strategies.
However, apart from being a reliable tool for team collaboration and document storage, did you know that SharePoint is also capable of handling contracts?
That’s right, SharePoint enables streamlined contract management and improves efficiency and productivity across the organisation. If your organisation is already using SharePoint or Office 365, it’s a logical choice to use it as the foundation for implementing a contract management solution.
Keep reading to find out how.
Understanding SharePoint Contract Management.
The question “How to create a contract management system in SharePoint?” is something that many businesses struggle with. Their understanding of this platform is often restricted to its content management and collaborative capabilities. Little do they know that they can leverage a few tricks under SharePoint’s sleeve to their business advantage.
Contract management often involves collaboration between multiple individuals and departments within a company. SharePoint facilitates this process seamlessly integrating with applications such as MS Word, enabling users to collaborate on contract documents in a familiar environment.
So what exactly is SharePoint contract management? Allow us to explain.
SharePoint contract management utilises the collaborative capabilities of SharePoint and Microsoft Office 365 to optimise the contract lifecycle management process. Both platforms are widely recognised for their ability to handle large amounts of sensitive data, making them ideal for contract management.
By using a SharePoint-based contract management system, you can improve user adoption thanks to its user-friendly dashboard that displays the current status of the contract, previous actions taken, and what steps you should take next. This makes it easier to answer questions regarding legal reviews and approvals and know who was the last person to work on the contract.
Additionally, SharePoint and Microsoft Office 365 allow you to delegate contracts easily, use customisable search functions, set reminders, and track electronic signatures, making every stage of contract lifecycle management more organised and efficient for your contract management team.
That’s not it. Using SharePoint as a centralised platform for contract management can also reduce the burden on the IT department by reducing the need for training and maintenance costs.
12 Essential Elements of Contract Management
Here are some essential features that make SharePoint one of the best solutions for contract management.
1. Contract Requests
Prioritise which contracts come first by implementing a system for requesting and approving contracts by the department. This will increase visibility, and security, and reduce miscommunication within various teams.
2. Search and Reporting
SharePoint includes customisable, filtered searches and real-time reporting capabilities to find the information needed quickly.
3. Document Storage
Centralise contract storage by keeping contracts and related documents in one location on your intranet. A cloud-based contract repository can enhance efficiency, security, and time management. Additionally, it can improve data cohesiveness, accuracy, and compliance for your overall business strategy.
4. Creating, Reviewing, and Approving
Manage the contract lifecycle by automating workflows to ensure every stage is set up for success. Automating contract workflows creates a standardised and consistent process for contracts, notifying specific individuals or parties of the actions to take and when to take them. This makes contract creation, reviews, and approvals more collaborative and efficient.
5. Electronic Signatures
Allows clients to provide their signature using eSignature technology on any device anytime, anywhere. This dramatically reduces turnaround time and keeps contracts on pace.
6. Priority Management
Track obligations and manage contractual responsibilities with auto-reminders and audit trails. Enable various notifications, reminders, and alerts to make sure you miss a renewal or expiration date again. Audit trails make it easy to track document locations and version changes.
7. Synchronised Dashboards
SharePoint’s user-friendly dashboard gives you all the contract lifecycle management details at your fingertips. Follow the contract lifecycle in real-time to stay updated and keep track of metadata, workflow histories, and reports.
Stay on top of the negotiation process with version control, track changes, and redline items within the contract lifecycle. Moreover, automated contract lifecycle workflows ensure that the flow adjusts following specific negotiation details.
9. Renewal Reminders
Receive automatic reminders for unused or expiring contracts and renegotiate as needed. This feature helps you with various renewal reminders and keeps you updated and informed.
10. Templates Libraries
Accelerate contract creation by using SharePoint’s in-built templates that allow non-legal staff in your organisation to create contracts quickly and easily, freeing legal staff to handle more complex legal matters.
The security features of your contract management system are essential for protecting critical contract information. Your documents are secure thanks to SharePoint’s cutting-edge security architecture. Security features like data encryption, two-factor authentication, malware protection, and data loss prevention play a vital role in improving the security and integrity of your content.
12. AI-powered documentation
AI can enhance contract lifecycle management by streamlining processes. Users can establish rules for locations, dates, values, and other identifiable information and critical data subsets, which reduces the time spent on tedious tasks such as importing contract data into an electronic format, content conversion, tagging, and data extraction. This improves the contract documentation process for different teams and makes it more efficient and user-friendly.
The SharePoint contract management solution does not reinvent the wheel but rather enhances the existing capabilities of SharePoint with the functions and features necessary for efficient and secure contract management within an organisation.
If your organisation still uses traditional contract creation and management methods, it’s time to consider a modern, user-friendly, and feature-rich contract management system like SharePoint.
Please contact us if you have any questions or need guidance on implementing a contract management system in SharePoint. We would be happy to assist and demonstrate how SharePoint can revolutionise your contract management process and take your business to the next level.