Use digitalisation - Accelerate processes
28. April 2021

Digital contract management – much more than location-independent

The Corona crisis has demanded flexibility from companies. As many employees as possible were to work at home from one day to the next. In the first "Corona months", the goal was to keep processes running, even if the digital tools used were rather provisional in character. In the meantime, many companies have recognised the added value of digital solutions, which they want to use even after the crisis. A good example: digital contract management.

At some point, the Corona crisis will be over. Many things will return to normal. Some things, however, will remain. Among them, experts agree, is a great acceptance of home office arrangements. The reason for this is easy to understand: Companies have realised through the crisis that home office holds great efficiency potential.

From communication to special applications

Many companies were forced to react quickly at the beginning of the crisis. The initial focus was on the digitalisation of basic communication. This includes direct exchange with colleagues and presenting via video conferencing software. However, video conferencing and sending documents are not sufficient for most processes or delay processing. Access to special software becomes indispensable when it comes to speedy, location-independent processing procedures.

Contract management in the home office

Paper contracts in files in the office become a problem as soon as an employee needs them in the home office. Asking a colleague to scan the contract and send it by e-mail can work as an emergency solution. However, working with the contract file is only one task among many in contract management. There are also: Creating contract content, reviewing and approving contract proposals, signing contracts. Contract management covers the entire life cycle of a contract and can become a challenge as soon as decision-makers work in a home office. The solution: The company’s contracts are digitised and stored in a central database. Users can access the current status of data and documents from any location, from the office or from the home office.

Much more than “just” location-independent

Location-independent access to easily searchable and up-to-date data is only one benefit argument among many when discussing the use of contract management software. The acquisition of a solution should not only be considered from a home office perspective, but from all contract management perspectives.

Example contract creation
Dedicated contract management solutions such as otris contract allow users to create draft contracts as a team. The advantage over other collaboration solutions: otris contract includes a template library and clause management. Both components are precisely geared to the needs of the contract creation process. This means that contract drafts can be created with otris contract even by legal laypersons, as the responsible lawyers in the company define in advance which contract templates and clauses fit which scenario. This pre-definition sets the legally secure framework for uncomplicated, fast standard contract creation (read more: Clauses at the click of a mouse).

Example review and approval
Not only draft contracts, but many other contents are reviewed and approved in operational contract management. Different responsible persons in the company check offers, purchasing conditions or non-disclosure agreements according to pre-defined criteria (e.g. amount of the offer or contractual penalty). The course of the document to be released by the company can be precisely mapped with the contract management software otris contract: The system notifies employees as soon as a document to be reviewed is available. After checking, otris contract sends the document to the next point in the release run. Each releasing employee can edit the document according to predefined criteria, comment on it or just read it. This makes the digital approval workflow a process accelerator, and not just in terms of location independence.

Example: signing a contract
Approved contracts should be signed promptly so that processes are not unnecessarily delayed. This has always been the case, but Corona has made it even clearer. For a contract to be signed in the same way, the person responsible has to go from the home office to the office or the contract has to be sent from the office to the home office. If several responsible persons have to countersign, a procedure quickly emerges that drags on for days and weeks. An uncomplicated solution: the digital signature. otris contract offers standardised interfaces to providers of digital signature services (FP Sign and Docusign). With just a few clicks, a contract is prepared from the system for signature dispatch. The signatories confirm their signature with a click – uncomplicated, fast and legally secure.

Conclusion

The Corona crisis and home office have made many companies realise how important location-independent access to data and documents is. But digitalisation can do more than “just” make people location-independent. Digital solutions accelerate processes. In contract management, this means eliminating delays in drafting, reviewing, approving and signing contracts so as not to block business processes. With otris contract, companies simplify their contract management – for the time when employees work in their home office and also for the time afterwards.