With 80% of B2B transactions governed by contractual agreements, contracts are the foundation of nearly every trading relationship and should seek to define and mitigate risk. Contracts also provide the basis by which companies ensure compliance with regulatory and financial accountability requirements. More importantly, agreements should be documented.
However, the number and complexity of those contracts are growing. According to IACCM, the average Global 1000 corporation maintains over 40,000 active contracts; these high numbers of contracts are difficult for companies to track and maintain. This difficulty is magnified when contracts are managed manually with pen-and-paper, filed away into overflowing cabinets or saved as Microsoft Office documents, at best, in shared folders or at worst, on individual employee’s hard drives. Plus, with remote working on the rise in many workplaces, deal management can become even more complicated.
Like almost every other business process, making the move to a deal management solution, with a built-in centralized deal repository, is necessary for improving efficiency, speed, and cost.
Key benefits of a centralized deal repository
A deal management solution with a centralized deal repository provides many business benefits and is a huge enabler for achieving your digital transformation objectives.
- Visibility: Having full visibility of your trading agreements is key to making sure your company does not miss any important information that can provide an opportunity to make decisions based on facts, rather than rough estimations. A centralized deal repository will give you this, by providing full scope, stage, and status of all your trading agreements. Another significant benefit when it comes to having this level of visibility is the transparency of updates or changes, this provides a real-time and accurate audit trail for compliance purposes.
- Version Control: A centralized deal repository provides an easy and effective way to maintain version control, preventing you from working on an outdated version. Keeping track of all the edits when negotiating with your trading partners is a difficult task when you are managing them manually. Not only do multiple people have a copy of the document at the same time, but they are making simultaneous changes that may or may not be tracked properly. The key to effectively managing version control is to use a deal management solution that tracks changes by user and allows them to simultaneously review, amend, and approve contracts directly in the system. This ensures you avoid missing, duplicating, or using inaccurate data that can result from emailing back and forth and comparing different versions of the trading agreement.
- Templated agreements: Drafting an agreement can be time-consuming when staff members are unsure if they have the correct template. This uncertainty is a liability and hard to avoid when using manual techniques. A deal management solution with templated agreements like Enable is key to increasing the productivity and compliance of any deal management process. They help assemble documents and get sign off faster.
- Interact with your trading partner: Companies using a manual approach for their deal management, will find they have to go back and forth over email or phone to make changes to the trading agreement, but what if you could interact with them in the deal management software? With Enable’s collaborator platform you can use the comments feature for communication between you and your collaborators (as we call them), and also facilitate direct sharing of supporting documentation. This dramatically speeds up the deal management process and means everything is agreed in one place.
- Automated notifications: When you centralize your trading agreements in a deal repository you can take advantage of alerts and notifications that ensure you never miss signing off the agreement. With Enable’s deal management platform, when your trading agreement is ready for approval you can automate email notifications to be sent to the approvers alerting them, they need to sign. Secondly, your trading agreements can be signed electronically from any device anywhere in the world in minutes. An advantage of this is increased security because electronic approvals carry a digital record about who, when, and where the document was signed.
- Audit trail: When you have many deals with different trading partners, you’ll want to keep a full audit trail for compliance and regulatory requirements. But this can be difficult if you’re using a manual spreadsheet-based, and/or shared folder-based deal management process. Having a centralized deal repository with complete audit trail data and auditing capabilities tied to each agreement means you can make sure you can capture and store full history data such as edits, updates, logins, and user permissions.
- Leverage role-based and feature-based permissions: Another best practice is ensuring that certain team members have appropriate access to trading agreements and parts of the deal management process. You can easily set limits on who has access, editing, and sharing privileges, letting you conduct your business safely and securely. For example, role-based and feature-based security allow you to set different permission levels. You can grant or revoke access on a person-by-person basis, ensuring that employees can only access deal information that is appropriate for them to see.
- Cloud-based security: A deal repository hosted by a highly reputable, reliable, and secure cloud provider such as Microsoft Azure is far more secure than a shared folder or spreadsheet-based approach to storing and managing your deals. It keeps all your trading agreements organized and reduces the risk of them being lost, overlooked, or accessed by the wrong individuals.
Reasons to implement a centralized deal repository in your business
Centralizing your trading agreements, related documents, and data in a secure, deal repository is the first and most important step any business can take to streamlining and automating its manual processes. This ensures that you and other appropriate members of your business can access your deals from anywhere via any device. The right version of a trading agreement is always at your fingertips. At Enable we can help your business mitigate risk, increase compliance and collaboration, do business faster, and uncover opportunities like never before.