Why Every Business Needs a Contract Repository

Leading companies are moving their agreements to a contract repository. These are some of the benefits of having a single place for contracts and why every business should have one.

How Does a Contract Repository Work?

The most obvious thing a contract repository does is create a single place for all your business contracts, and it does – in a logical and searchable archive. But it does so much more! In a repository, each contract has a rich dataset that includes the history of the contract and the business relationship, each iteration, as well as who reviewed, redlined, and approved each part.

No more will you have to read between the lines and guess at the history of a contract – it’s right there at your fingertips.

The magic happens when the repository appends background information – or metadata – to the contract as it is drawn up and processed. No one on your team needs to take notes because the repository is doing it for you automatically as it moves from person to person and through the contract lifecycle.

But We Already Have a Contract Storage System…

Most businesses start out with static file storage for contracts. You might be using a shared drive or cloud solution like Google Drive or Dropbox. With a firm revisioning system and absolute vigilance on the part of all staff, you might have a workable solution where most contracts can be found most of the time. But how much do you trust your Frankensteined shared drive to give you the right version? And how can you know the history of the file?

Since most of us business owners go looking for contracts only when things go wrong, you need the security of knowing you’re able to put your hands on the right file at a moment’s notice.

Contract Repository Benefits You Need Right Now

When it comes to contracts, the importance of confidence cannot be overstated: As a leader, you need to be sure your contracts are airtight, up-to-date, and executed in line with your business expectations and capacity. You need these three benefits of a contract repository:

1. Trust in a Single Source of Truth

The contracting process is messy. There are seven stages to the Contract Management Lifecycle and most contracts go through many revisions before approval. With multiple stakeholders at your company and the contracting party, it’s not unusual to have a contract on its 10th or 15th revision.

Say you discover that an unauthorized clause was introduced somewhere in the redlining process, how would you find out who did it and which version it was in? Scour through 15 versions of the contract in your file storage? How can you be sure that they are all correct? How can you tell who made the change in a collaborative document?

Even if you can Sherlock Holmes your way to the answer, it would take you hours or days. Do you have that kind of time or do you need to act now? You need to trust your files so you can make good decisions – fast.

It's not unusual to have a contract on its 10th or 15th revision, and it can get messy.

2. Integration with Your Fulfillment Systems

Your contract repository can connect with the platforms you use to deliver on your contracts, taking the heartache out of fulfillment. This cuts down on double-handling, which wastes time and can introduce risk. Requirements are often paraphrased and communicated using systems that don’t connect back to the original contract for verification. It’s natural that your team wants to push the work forward but this is one of the places that misunderstandings can creep in. Anapact integrates with Netsuite, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics.

3. Painless Audits

If you do business using contracts, you need to audit your contract load. But few businesses account for the amount of time it takes to do an audit – it simply gets swallowed up in the cost of doing business. What if you could speed up that process? A contract repository gives you access to your files – both individual and in aggregate – in a way that makes audits a breeze.

Contract Repository Benefits You Didn’t Know You Needed

It’s clear that a contract repository can revolutionize your day-to-day contracting. But there are also benefits for having your contracts in a single, searchable database – like the ability to scale.

See Your Entire Contract Load in Multiple Views

So far, we’ve mostly talked about the benefits of being able to find what you’re searching for. What if you don’t know what you’re looking for, or you’re searching for patterns? Having your contracts in a repository with rich metadata means there’s no limit to how you can understand your contract data. If you can tag it, you can search for and view it.

Do you want a lifetime value for a particular customer or a member of your sales team? No problem. Do you want to see how many weeks it usually takes from contract initiation to approval? You got it.

With a contract repository, your ability to understand the patterns in your contracted work is only limited by the questions you want to ask.

Automate and Never Miss a Deadline

Perhaps the most exciting benefit is the ability to automate some of your contract processes. Your repository can be hooked up to automation tools and workflows to save time and ensure your business is operating effectively.

For example, a Contract Lifecycle Management platform like Anapact can alert the relevant team members when a contract is approaching renewal. They will never again be caught scrambling three weeks out from a deadline.

The most exciting benefit of a contract repository is the ability to automate some of your contract processes.

Level-Up with an Integrated Contract Management Solution

Your contracts are too important to leave to chance. Streamline and modernize contracts at your business with a contract lifecycle management platform like Anapact that features a contract repository. Get a demo.

About The Author

Louis Balla

The opportunity to solve organizational and mission-critical issues for clients through technology and consulting drew Louis to Anapact CLM. Louis and the team bring years of experience working with software solutions and industry-leading practices that help their clients get the most from their software investment.