What is a Contract Repository and How is it Used?

By Samantha Wargo

organizing-files-contracts

A contract repository is a fancy term for the method you use to store and organize all your organization's legal agreements, but a modern contract repository solution offers a great deal more than any antiquated filing cabinet ever could. In today's world, a contract repository is a software solution -- one that offers some very specific advantages over other document management tools.

The first aspect that distinguishes a contract repository is that it serves as the contract repository for your organization. It is not a place your team stores legal documents; it is the one and only place your team stores contracts and agreements. Both your team and your software solutions need a "single source of truth" for referencing and retrieving contracts, and a contract repository is it.

To ensure that all your contracts are consolidated into your contract repository, your contract repository software should seamlessly integrate with every other tool that reads, edits, transfers or otherwise interacts with your contracts. That way, storing contracts within the repository is automatic. If your contract repository integrates with Docusign, every contract you execute via Docusign will be saved to the contract repository.

It is this integration that generally separates a true legal-centric contract repository solution from other document sharing and management tools. Solutions like Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive make it easy to sync and share contracts across devices and team members, but they don't natively connect to the rest of your contract automation suite.

If you have a defined contract workflow, your contract repository should not only help move contracts through the stages of your contract life-cycle but also reflect those changes on your contract status dashboard. Every document sharing tool has some form of optical character recognition (OCR) to convert images into text files, but a contract repository should have legal-centric OCR trained on common legal terms. When it comes time to sign or countersign a legal agreement, your contract repository needs to directly connect to your e-signature tool, so executed agreements don't disappear into an obscure email folder.

Above all, a contract repository should be deeply integrated with your contract drafting and contract analytics tools, so that when you use automation to develop better contracts and analyze your old agreements, every contract is available to the artificial intelligence powering that automation -- because every contract in your company is stored in your contract repository. If you're going to invest in AI tools, you don't want any contracts to be denied analysis because the AI couldn't find them. A centralized contract repository solves that problem.

Every legal team and legal practice needs a contract repository. If you're ready to get your contract storage in order -- and adopt the contract repository that integrates directly with Microsoft Word, Adobe Sign, Docusign, and the best AI-powered contract automation and contract analytics tools on the market -- contact LinkSquares today.


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