The term Contract Repository elicits different responses, and so are its capabilities and merits, which is why it is one of the fundamental components for businesses’ success today. Contracts serve as an engine propelling organizational efforts toward goals. Hence, it is vital in every business to define client/vendor relationships, processes, and goals. As a business grows, so does the volume of contracts. The consolidation of all these documents is referred to as a contract repository. But that’s just the superficial definition. There is much more to it than being just an online archive of contracts.
The Contract Repository is the life of every CLM system. It is the place where contracts and the contract data, supporting documents, contextual information, etc., are stored. It makes the contract data accessible and facilitates quick reporting. In this article, we discuss the Contract Repository in detail to make sure you understand it.
Is building a Contract Repository a good idea?
Undoubtedly! Contract Repository provides your business with a centralized space for storing multiple contracts and other legal files. With everything consolidated, your legal team will have easy access to the contracts and data, from anywhere and anytime. Not just storing is easy, but retrieving is easier. Traditional repository demands much time and effort. Contract Repository lets you focus on other business perspectives, by structuring the administrative tasks for the better.
How does a Contract Repository work?
A contract repository, in simple terms, is the place where every contract is stored for easy access and management. It could be in various forms, say physical (filing cabinet) or digital (cloud-based platform). Whatever the form, the underlying objective of building a contract repository is to create a single source of truth for all contracts. This goes a long way in enabling all the relevant stakeholders to easily locate, track, and manage their contracts. But the merits go beyond these!
- A Centralized Archive: Every contract that has been created within the organization gets to be stored in a single location. This includes the legacy contracts existing well before the Digital Contracting.
- Ease of Search: The best part of a digital contract repository is its searchability. Like any other digital platform, it allows searching for specific contracts with dates or other relevant keywords or criteria.
- Version Control: A contract repository allows organizations to keep track of different versions of a contract and access previous versions if needed.
- Effective Contract Lifecycle Management: Building a contract repository enables seamless management of every contract’s entire lifecycle, from creation to expiration, in addition to precisely tracking key milestones and dates.
- Stay Compliant: With the added ability to track every milestone, a contract repository assists in ensuring compliance, be it contractual obligations, internal policies, or regulatory requirements.
- Seamless Collaboration: With the involvement of multiple stakeholders in contracting, a digital contract repository facilitates them to collaborate on contracts, letting every stakeholder access, track, and edit a contract.
How to build an effective Contract Repository?
Here, we would like to be of a little help. There could be many objectives to creating a Contract Repository, which may vary depending on the organization. However, the fundamentals remain the same for everyone that you can’t afford to miss by any chance.
- Define your requirements: Clearly document the goals and outcomes of your contract repository. Based on your organization’s specific needs, types, and volume of contracts to be stored, user access, and the objectives to be achieved, you can identify the features and functionalities that must be integral to your contract repository.
- Identify the platform: Today, the market is filled with options for contract repository platforms. Each has its own merits and features, which range from fulfilling basic document management needs to delivering more sophisticated solutions. Use your discretion to decide which one will rightly serve your purpose.
- Regulate your contract templates: This is a key process to achieve consistency, which is vital for streamlining the entire process. To ease the standardization of contract templates, most of the contract repository platforms come with a template library.
- Build a customized process: Contract management-specific process is fundamental in building a contract repository. You will have to define the roles and responsibilities of all the users, create workflows, and a schedule for contract reviews and renewals. It is equally important to communicate the process to everyone involved in the contracting activities.
- Prioritize data security and compliance: The system, once established, will be dealing with crucial information. Hence, it is vital to ensure that the Contract Repository is built to be compliant with all the relevant data protection regulations. In addition, the team should also be appraised of data protection best practices.
- Training is a must: A contract repository is a tool, and hence, all the users will need to be trained on the functionalities, say how to create and manage contracts, ensure compliance, etc.
- Continuous improvements: Constant tracking of the efficacy of your contract repository with user feedback, analysis of various metrics, including compliance, incorporating best practices, and adopting the new in contract repository is vital for its sustained success.
If you manage to get all these done to the dot, you are in the right direction to build a truly effective contract repository that catalyzes better contract management with less risk and improved compliance.Top of Form
In reality, Contract Repository is not only a tool for storing your contracts, but it supports your defined contract management solution. Contract visibility throughout its life cycle is what it ensures so that it can be tracked periodically to avoid any risks associated with your business.
This is what Cenza has been enabling our customers to achieve. As you take the first step into the world of CLM, we are here to help you build a Contract Repository that precisely delivers your goals and be a catalyst in maximizing the CLM outcomes and that of your business.
Like to learn how we do it? Connect with our experts, today. We’d be glad to take you through the process so that you have the much-needed clarity before you begin your digital contracting journey.