Evaluating Contract Management Software? 4 Key Considerations

By Chris Combs

Contracts are the backbone of any business. These documents hold crucial information about how the organization relates to its partners, customers, suppliers and employees.

Contract management software (CMS) has been around for decades and has various segments of new technology that allow organizations to pull contractual data and analyze it so they may track their performance, grow their business and remain compliant with changing rules and regulations. With the right contracts tools, businesses no longer need to manually review contracts, a process that takes far too long and ties up time and resources.

Far too often, business leaders approach contract management without having a full understanding of the needs between legal and finance departments, and the key considerations that must be included to help them select the best solution to track and review key contract data in their organization. At LinkSquares, we do this for companies everyday so we thought it would be interesting to share the common themes we see when talking to many high-growth technology companies. Here are the 4 key considerations to keep in mind:

1. Beware Legacy Products

Many contract tools in the market today are legacy products designed and build decades ago. Be careful when looking at any tools that have outdated technology and design. Our engineers are constantly building new features into the app and customers benefit from them at no additional cost. Legacy tools are mostly focused on servicing their existing customer base and are very stagnant in terms of technology build, rarely pushing new features.

2. Document Conversion Accuracy Using OCR

At LinkSquares, we have found that most standard OCR tools only convert documents at around 60-70% overall accuracy. OCR has about 11 spelling mistakes it commonly makes, for example converting the letter "m" into "nn". In short, all documents that go through OCR should be checked for spelling mistakes. LinkSquares proprietary process does additional conversion and QA work to bring document onboarding closer to 99%+ accuracy so customers don't have to worry about this extra work.

3. Long Implementation Process 

Take some time discuss implementation with each vendor. It's not uncommon for us to talk with a prospect to find that they are coming up for 2nd year renewal ad have still not completed implementation yet. LinkSquares platform includes easy, ‘hands off’ implementation in under 30 days while other products take 8-16 months. Many are not implemented on time or by the next renewal. LinkSquares does all of the work and back fill and simply provides you a login in under 30 days.

4. Complicated Pricing Structure

Lastly, make sure to discuss pricing structure. We find other tools will charge per-user and have hidden costs during implementation that can cost tens of thousands. LinkSquares has unlimited user access, premium support and simple predictable pricing from year to year.

Bonus: Final Questions To Ask

Here are some potential questions you should ask before you begin shopping for a potential contracts solution:

How will you handle the planning and scope?

Migrating all of the contracts is generally gets overlooked. How will you handle this transition? What team members will you assign to lead the project? Is the company you are working with able to share some ideas and learnings?

Are you ready to support this change?

Is your organization spending too much time reviewing documents?  To be successful with any technology adoption, management must understand the pain and team members must offer sponsorship of the implementation. The best part about a tool like LinkSquares implementation is under 30 days so it can be a 'quick win' for teams.

The right contracts tool will increase your organization’s efficiency while decreasing risk and overall costs. It’s important you do your due diligence so you can filter out the hyped-up promises and legacy tools, from vendors whose product will leave you out thousands of dollars and with technology that doesn’t measure up.

If you follow the advice above, you can make a well-informed decision with confidence, and you’ll be on your way to a successful implementation of a different kind of contract management solution that reduces work and meets your requirements at a better price.

Want to hear some feedback from our customers? Get in touch with us today. We love sharing how our clients save time and money.

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Topics: Contract Management Product Blog