The Modern Contract Repository: What It Is and How To Get One
Contracts are the lifeblood of any organization and act as a foundation for every business relationship. So it’s scary to think of your company’s contracts as difficult to find, misplaced, or mismanaged. In today’s economy, no business can afford that.
Luckily, contract repositories offer a seamless way to store, track, and analyze your agreements—and the data they contain—to efficiently support legal, procurement, finance, and other business goals.
Let’s look closer at the benefits of a contract repository beyond simple hosting and how to determine the right contract or CLM platform for your business.
What is a Contract Repository?
A contract repository is a central location for storing and managing all contracts. It provides a single source of truth for the various agreements made with vendors, partners, and customers.
When establishing a contract repository, you have two routes to choose from – manual or cloud-based.
Manual repositories – Contracts often exist in various locations, such as local or shared drives, or disconnected tech stacks, such as ERP systems. Traditionally, organizations and law firms kept documents in physical filing cabinets or binders – some still do!
Cloud-based contract repositories offer advanced capabilities for managing your contract portfolio and give you a rich storehouse of data to reference anytime you need it.
In this article, we’ll look specifically at cloud-based solutions. To do that, it’s important to dig deeper into what happens when you’re stuck using archaic manual repositories.
The Drawbacks of Poorly Organized Contracts
Contracts are much more than static documents. They live on beyond the signature phase and need to be easily accessible at the click of a button. So without a central, digital contract repository, you’re bound to struggle with issues such as:
- Poor Access to Agreements – Manual contract storage prevents you from getting the information you need in a timely manner.
- A Lack of Insight into Contract Details – Without a way to quickly search through contracts on-demand, you lose visibility on critical data points like terms, obligations, and service levels.
- A Lack of Visibility into Performance Data – Without contract intelligence of past performance, KPIs, or contract history, you might make repeat mistakes or unknowingly accept risky terms.
- Inefficient Processes – Manually searching for and managing contracts wastes time and effort that you could spend on more strategic tasks.
- An Inability to Track Version – Without good visibility into contract versions, you may create several versions of the same contract being used by multiple departments, causing confusion and disruption.
- An Increase in Missed Renewals or Deadlines – When you house agreements in multiple, disconnected systems, it’s easy to miss important contract renewals and deadlines. This risks business disruptions and can frustrate important stakeholders.
- Regulatory Non-Compliance – Non-centralized contract management leaves room for inefficient, error-prone processes and increases the risk of misreporting data to regulatory authorities.
- Inadequate Business Outcomes – A lack of visibility into contract obligations leads to less than stellar performance, budget and project time overruns, and external and internal disputes.
What Does a Cloud-Based Contract Repository Offer?
Upgrading to a cloud-based contract repository puts you in a better position to increase visibility, use key data points to make better decisions, and grow your business.
Many enterprise-level contract repositories today also leverage AI and machine learning to give you access to a whole new level of tools and capabilities beyond simply storing your documents.
In combination, an AI-powered contract repository allows you to:
- Establish a Single Source of Truth – Give your team a single place to pull in contracts from disconnected ERP, CRM, and P2P systems and place them in a central document repository.
- Streamline Contact Creation – Set up, draft, and manage an entire enterprise contracting playbook with approved templates, clauses, and variations.
- Easily Search Through All Documents – Get a holistic view of all contracts and instantly find specific documents and important data within your database.
- Improve Collaboration – Give multiple stakeholders the controlled ability to redline and negotiate contracts in a single location.
- Reduce Admin Work – Find contracts by pre-set filters. Ensure version control with configurable administrative workflows. Scale as you can quickly digitize and add new contracts into the repository.
- Simplify Auditing Processes – Create detailed audit trails with heightened accuracy to reduce response times.
- Ensure Stronger Security – Prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information with customizable controls and minimize the risk of data leaks or breaches.
What to Look For in a Contract Repository
Finding the right contract management software to establish a digital contract repository is not the easiest task. Make sure the system you choose allows you to:
- Integrate with Your Existing Systems – Connect your existing tech stack to your contract repository to pull in and consolidate contracts stored across your entire IT landscape.
- View Documents Natively – Seamlessly view any type of document without having to switch between systems.
- Control Access Permissions – Ensure only team members with the right permissions can access sensitive data within the contract repository.
- Search For and Extract Specific Data Points –Bring your documents to life by using AI contract analysis to monitor obligations, service levels, price books, and more from your contract portfolio.
- Analyze Data Points for Actionable Insights – Convert extracted data into easy-to-understand visuals and role-based, customizable dashboards.
Establishing a Contract Repository That Serves Your Business
Don’t waste another day without insights into your contracts as you bounce between systems and manually manage thousands of documents within your organization.
See how Sirion’s AI-powered CLM platform lets you digitize and streamline every phase of contracting so you can transform your contract repository management and reap all the benefits that come with it.