How Contract Management Systems Can Benefit City Councils

The contracts utilized by a city council may differ in nature from the contracts generated and used by a corporate entity or a small business, but the need for properly managing those contracts is the same. We recently posted about the universal need for more oversight of contracts, where we referenced an article from the Times of San Diego. That article told a woeful tale of a city that didn’t have proper oversight for their contracts, which amongst other things, lead to “10-15 percent markups. . . above department approved pricing.”

 

A lack of contract oversight can stem from many different areas, but perhaps the most common is an insufficient system for managing contracts. Using Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software can bring greater contractual oversight to any organization, and as we’ll look at today, to a city council. Councils that implement CLM software will also see improvement in the following areas:

 

Streamline Contract Review

Whenever a contract is negotiated between the city government and an independent contractor, there are inherent obligations and risks associated with that contract. This risk can be mitigated, in large degree, if there is an oversight and review process that is quick and accessible.  Reviewing contracts thoroughly can identify potential liabilities, unclear language, and other latent risks within the contract.

Conducting reviews of contracts managed with a paper system, however, can be frustrating and time-consuming. Accessing and reviewing the contract can be bogged down delays and errors, and even worse is to have to revise and reprint the paper copy, while keeping track of versions. Managed this way, the vitally important review process is slow and inefficient, and is less likely to be executed with the thoroughness needed.

Contract management software can streamline reviewing process however. By storing contracts on the web, as they are with a contract management platform, city attorneys can be granted direct access to the contract itself instantly, and make edits and suggestions that update the contract instantly, while keeping track of versions. All updates, comments, and suggestions can be made from their computer, and all parties will receive those edits in real-time. There is no more back and forth with email, no lost contracts, no mixing up multiple drafts, and no sluggish approvals process. Contracts may be reviewed at any time, from any location.

 

Expedite the Signing Process

Once the city attorney reviews and approves the contract, you can then send it out for signatures. With a paper system, the process can take a rather lengthy period of time. You have to make sure you’ve got the right draft, send it to the contractor, or have them come into the office, sign it, file it away, and then remember where it went.

Electronic signatures simplify and speed-up the signing process. Simply request the signature of the contractor, and Concord will alert them to the need of their signature. They can sign securely in seconds, and you will be notified when the signature has been applied. It’s a quick, painless way to execute a deal.

 

Maintain Compliance and Keep Projects on Track

After the contract is signed, your job also includes ensuring that it gets carried out. This means monitoring the terms of the contracts carefully to make sure delivery dates, invoice amounts, and payments are all in line with the terms and conditions set forth previously. Add to this that you likely have not just one, but dozens of active contracts to monitor, and you’ve got yourself quite a lot to tend to.

 

CLM software makes it easy to monitor contracts and ensure compliance. Contracts that are stored in the cloud are easily searchable, so you can locate terms whenever you need to. There is also a handy summary tool that will present key terms and dates, whatever you decide is most important, as you open the contract. This makes it easy to locate and identify any aspect of the contract that you need to find.

 

You can also establish deadline alerts to automatically notify you whenever a key milestone approaches. This helps city councils stay aware of the lifecycle of all contracts, and monitor compliance throughout the process.

About Concord

Though contract management is critical to all business operations, 96% of the world’s companies still manage their contracts manually, wasting $153B a year.

To correct this, Concord unifies all the steps of the contract lifecycle into a single platform, being one of the few platforms to natively support the entire contract lifecycle from drafting, negotiating and signing, to managing executed contracts. No additional third-party software solutions are needed for e-Signature or storage when you use Concord. There are no other extra costs.

Concord is committed to making sure that no one will have to manage a contract manually ever again and provides many of these key high-performance features for free—to everyone.

To learn more, feel free to schedule a demo here.