A contract repository is a place where contracts are stored. In the past, it was usually a physical location where originals and copies of paper documents were stored. Nowadays, it is understood as a digital storage of contracts.
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What is a contract repository?
Contracts form the basis for business relationships and therefore for companies in general. One of the most important goals of an effective contract repository is to ensure transparency and provide anytime, anywhere access to a company’s contract portfolio.
Traditional, manually driven contract management processes that essentially use paper documents and email attachments are inefficient and expensive. For this reason, companies are often switching to digital contract management, with a cloud-based contract repository at its core.
Why should companies use a contract repository?
The time and resources required to store and locate contracts, search for specific clauses, and monitor compliance efforts are increased when a company uses manual processes for the contract repository - whether it’s a combination of Excel and Sharepoint, keeping paper files in cabinets, or sharing contract information via email.
This prevents employees from focusing on overall business goals while their day-to-day operations become cluttered with administrative tasks. The solution to this is a contract repository, which provides the foundation for effective contract management. In doing so, it allows contracts to be stored, searched, monitored and managed in one central location.
Using a cloud-based contract repository not only improves the way contracts are stored. It creates additional benefits for the entire organization - from individual employees in their daily tasks to external relationships with customers and suppliers. The following is an overview of the key benefits:
1. Preventing data fragmentation
Using a combination of manual programs to capture data, such as Excel, emails and/or Sharepoint, may seem sensible at the start of a business, but as a company grows, contract data inevitably becomes fragmented and you lose track of it.
With a centralized contract repository, contracts and their associated documents can be easily stored in a single location. This means that there is always a single source of truth and there is transparency and an overview of the contract data.
2. Optimize accuracy
Manual data entry into spreadsheets introduces the risk of human error into the organization. Data can be entered incorrectly and errors in formulas can go undetected. When errors occur in contract metadata, it has far-reaching implications for an organization.
By using artificial intelligence to read key metadata from (legacy) contracts and storing it centrally, companies can significantly reduce the risk of human error and make contract information easily accessible. Compared to manually entering key data, an intelligent contract repository also saves a lot of time and effort, allowing stakeholders to spend more time on essential activities.
3. Effective Tracking of Contracts
Spreadsheets provide a quick, accessible solution for tracking contracts - but this manual approach to a contract repository is only appropriate for organizations managing a low volume of relatively simple contracts. As a company grows, the underlying contracts become more and more complex, and the continued use of spreadsheets eventually becomes impractical.
A cloud-based contract repository scales with organizations and allows organizations to use it not only as a data repository, but also as a single, secure and accessible place where they can better track and manage their contracts from anywhere, at any time.
4. creating efficiency
By using a centralized contract repository instead of manual spreadsheets, not only can contracts be easily found and searched, but employee:s also regain important time and control to focus on their tasks and achieving overall business goals.
When contracts are stored all over the place and organizations can’t assume a single source of truth, it can take hours to find an agreement. Then it’s a matter of verifying that it’s the right version - especially when multiple copies are scattered in inboxes, shared drives, and on desks.
5. Reduce risk
When contract data is fragmented across an organization, it’s impossible to get a consistent picture of what’s really going on. This can expose companies to financial, reputational and legal risk.
By centralizing contracts in a contract repository, it is possible to get an accurate picture of contractual risk, identify potential instances of non-compliance, and take corrective action.
Unlike manual contract management, a centralized contract repository as part of a contract management solution offers an organization much more than just the ability to store contracts. The efficiency, visibility, and accuracy that contract repository software can provide is the foundation of any mature contract management approach.
With the right solution, companies can stop simply storing contracts and start using them as strategic assets that bring greater value to an organization.
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