Contract Management
Software as a Solution

More organizations are turning to contract workers to fill a skills gap. Globally, around 45 percent of companies are experiencing difficulty filling full-time positions and are turning to contingent workers as the solution. The 2016 EY Global Contingent Workforce Study showed that 50 percent of organizations increased their use of contingent workers from 2011 to 2016. 

Once considered the “alternative workforce” for those who were looking for a side hustle to supplement income or to fill the gap between full-time jobs, today the alternative workforce has gone mainstream and is fast becoming the workforce of the future.

How to Manage Contingent Workers

The gig economy has exploded. Since 2005, the number of people who work from home (remote workers and freelancers) has increased by 140 percent. Organizations now have the benefit of tapping into this large talent network for anything from writing services to IT consulting.

For organizations, managing an agile workforce consisting of independent contractors, consultants, and freelancers can become an administrative nightmare—with contracts to draw up, projects to manage, and contractor fees to pay. Fortunately, the digital era makes these processes easier. Contract management software, also called contract lifecycle management software, eliminates the need for manual management of paper contracts.

Project management software makes it easy for both organizations and freelancers to manage the progress of tasks. 

Knowing how to stoke the talent at your disposal requires not only good managers but also efficient systems. Temp staffing agencies and freelance marketplaces can be good places to find talent. Once you’ve hired the right talent, you need a contract that outlines the role of both parties, compliance regulations, the project timeframe, deliverables, payment agreement, monitoring and evaluation processes, how disputes will be handled, and how the contract will be terminated should the relationship not work out. All of these can be managed using contract management software.

What Is Contract Management Software?

Contract management software allows you to draft, track, and manage contracts through the various stages of the contract life cycle on one platform.
These stages include:

  • Drafting contracts
  • Negotiating terms
  • Approving contracts
  • Executing contracts
  • Tracking contract milestones and obligations
  • Updating and amending contracts
  • Renewing contracts

All parties involved in the contract have shared access so that any additions, amendments, and renewals can be easily carried out. Most contract management software features renewal notifications, assists with compliance management, enables digital signatures, and stores all contracts and any related documents for easy retrieval. 

Additional features may include

  • Version control that allows you to view previous drafts.
  • Different role-based permissions such as “read-only” for those who are not allowed to edit the contract.
  • Analytics and reporting with a dashboard that enables the administrator to view contracts by type, status, progress, and timeframe.
  • Data security measures such as two-factor authentication for users and encryption for internal data storage as well as in-transit encryption to protect sensitive documents from being intercepted when sent externally.
  • Third-party integrations. More advanced contract management software integrates with other collaborative tools to manage freelancers, such as Slack or Google Drive.

The Benefits of Contract Management Software

If your company regularly uses independent contractors, or your contract terms are often complex, contract management software is the solution to getting the legal “paperwork” completed quickly. It also helps you better manage the contract life cycle. When you switch from manual to digital, you’ll wonder why you never implemented it sooner! Here’s how contract management software can benefit your company.

Saves Time

Remember how contracts are traditionally created? A company’s legal department or an independent lawyer has to write the contract and then numerous drafts may go back and forth between the parties involved. Finally, all parties have to be physically present to sign the document. The process is time-consuming and can delay the start of the work to be done by the contractor.

Cloud-based for Easy Access by All Parties

Contract management software is usually cloud-based. That means all parties have shared access and can view drafts and negotiate the contract at any time, from anywhere in the world. Once the terms of the contract are agreed upon, all parties can electronically sign the contract. No emails or face-to-face meetings are necessary for this process. It saves time and eliminates the need for paper copies which, in turn, means you also get to save money (and trees).

Easily Searchable

No matter how organized your manual filing system is, pulling out drawers and flipping through file after file to find the document you want is a pain. When all your contracts are organized on one digital platform, searching for a contract is quick and easy.

Minimizes Risk

Many a client-freelancer relationship has soured because one or both parties did not fulfill the agreed-upon obligations. In many cases, this means either no contract or a weak contract was in place. In any area of business, contracts are crucial to minimizing legal, financial, and even brand risk. According to The International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM), the average company loses more than 9 percent of total annual revenue due to contract-related issues. 

Poor contract management can be detrimental to your organization and lead to lawsuits. Manual contracts mean relying only on human efficiency to manage the contract process, which can lead to missing contract expiration and renewal dates, a lack of proper compliance and governance, and unauthorized persons gaining access to confidential contracts. Going digital with your contract management lowers the risk of old versions of contracts being accessed, issues reminders on outstanding tasks that need to be completed, and alerts you when the contract is close to expiring.

How Technology Can Ignite Your Talent Network

The right technology can be the match that fires up your business’s growth. As the gig economy continues to grow, technology continues to evolve to make collaboration between clients and freelancers more streamlined. You can source talent online, write and sign contracts electronically, communicate digitally, and centralize project management. This means your talent network can produce work more efficiently, and both parties can communicate and respond to issues promptly—ultimately leading to increased productivity and faster delivery of services.

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