Great contract management processes are key to maintaining successful business relationships, mitigating financial and legal risks, and measuring the success of projects. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of contract management and discuss the ways in which a content services platform (such as Q-Action) can help your organization do it successfully—whether you work primarily in the public or the private sector.
What is Contract Management?
Contract management is the process of managing contracts between employees and employers or between organizations and goods and services providers. While not all companies have employees dedicated to contract management alone, many major defense firms, government agencies, and businesses that work with government agencies often use contract managers. No matter the title or role of the person responsible for contract management, they need legal knowledge and familiarity with best practices to lead the process appropriately.
There are three main stages to contract management:
- Pre-award. This phase includes all the work that takes place before a contract is awarded, such as gathering bids.
- Awarding. This stage encompasses all the work involved in making the agreement final, such as negotiating timelines.
- Post-award. The post-award phase spans the lifetime of the contract and includes all management and maintenance activities, such as tracking updates on the work being done.
What Does Contract Management Success Look Like?
Successful contract management yields the following results:
- All phases of the contracting process progress in a timely manner. Protracted negotiation is a sign of ineffective contract management.
- Both parties are reaping the expected financial and strategic benefits from the agreement.
- If the contract involves goods or services, the supplier continues to meet the expectations of the organization in a responsive manner.
- No surprises or disputes arise from either party. This can include issues such as lack of clarity on the terms or scope of the agreement.
How a Content Services Platform Can Help
A content services platform can help your organization avoid the common pitfalls of contract management. A software solution such as Q-Action can be tailored to your organization’s specific processes and needs so that with every contract, you can ensure clear communication, eliminate confusion, and avoid a drawn-out negotiation process.
Version Control and Collaboration
Drafting and editing contracts is usually a collaborative process with multiple experts contributing. A content services platform with version control helps avoid potentially costly mistakes that can result from working with multiple versions of a document.
For example, when working with contract documents in Q-Action, you’ll gain peace of mind that all collaborators are working with the same single source of truth during the drafting and editing phase. All changes are tracked, so a previous version can be restored if needed. Your team will be free to work efficiently since there is no confusion resulting from multiple versions floating around on various drives. And finally, you reduce the risk of an unfinished version of a contract making it into a potential partner’s hands, which if not caught could cost your company money and make for a dysfunctional business relationship with your partner from the get-go.
Automated Business Process Workflows
Communication is critical to successful contract management. The approval process is where bottlenecks most often occur. An automated workflow ensures that no steps are skipped and the process keeps moving.
Additionally, a solution such as Q-Action provides visibility of the contract status to all parties involved in contract management. Integrations with systems that allow electronic signatures can also make it easier and faster to get contracts executed before being handed off to the proper people to get work started.
Improve Your Contract Management Process with Q-Action
QFlow Systems is experienced in helping government and private sector organizations reduce risks and improve operations with our content services platform, Q-Action. This solution can be tailored easily to adapt to your unique business’s workflow and integrate with existing systems you’re currently using. If you could use support in improving your contract management process, we are ready to help! Connect with a QFlow Systems expert today to discuss your challenges.