Contract Manager: Roles and Responsibilities
Contract managers play a critical role in an organization as they direct and oversee contracts throughout their lifecycle. For example, they serve as the liaison between companies, employees, customers, vendors, and independent contractors.
Additionally, that means contract managers serve as the main facilitators for
- Record keeping
- Change management
- Much more
First, we will look at the three key roles of a contract manager. After that, we’ll discuss some best practices on how to keep everything organized, making contract lifecycle management a smooth, streamlined process.
1. Contract drafting, evaluation, negotiation, and execution.
Contract managers cover a variety of industries from government to technology to any company that has a large number of contracts. Regardless of organization type, one consistency is that contract managers are the primary individual responsible for the creation and management of all contracts those organizations use.
To successfully oversee contracts from drafting all the way to execution, contract managers need to be skilled in numerous areas. For example, some of those areas are legal compliance, negotiation, and relationship management.
Contract managers often serve as the key point of contact between a business and third parties to ensure timely review and approval of any variations. Furthermore, they also provide recommendations and negotiate contracts directly with customer attorneys or purchasing staff. Together, they craft a final document that is satisfactory to all parties.
Streamlining communication and monitoring processes are very important for success in an organization. Fortunately, having a contract management tool that will automate processes and keep all conversations and edits in one place improves a contract’s lifecycle and a contract manager’s efficiency.
2. Maintaining contractual records.
Good contract managers know that even a signed contract is still very much an active, live document. Keeping thorough records of all documents that an organization has, even after a contract is seen through to execution is essential for the efficiency and compliance of an organization. Importantly, record management also mitigates risk by serving as an audit trail and evidence that is easily accessible.
A contract manager needs a good filing system. In the past, this meant physical file cabinets or extensive email folders. Of course, in today’s digital world, those tools aren’t efficient enough for the rapidly increasing pace of business.
Organization at work is simpler when using a contract lifecycle management platform that has a secure cloud-based contract repository as well as OCR for easy search capabilities. Maintaining complete records on the entire procurement and contract administration processes helps when other departments need relevant information. Additionally, this process is made much simpler through digitization.
Another benefit of digitization is the length of storage. In the past, as file cabinets filled up and active and archived files were stored in different locations, management for records was more complicated. With a contract lifecycle management platform, all documents are stored forever — allowing a contract from decades ago to be found in mere seconds.
3. Developing and implementing procedures and policies
Policies and procedures ensure employees carry out an organization’s vision every day. Also, established procedures for anyone involved in the contract process reduce organizational expenses. It also increases efficiency, as well as sets precedent for decisions down the road.
Furthermore, having policies in place to deal with independent contractors, customers, and employees helps in several ways.
Simply put, they:
- Maintain best practices
- Provide a baseline for accountability expectations
- Protect against legal, regulatory, and liability issues.
Contract Manager Tips
Keeping these policies and procedures intact is easy with a contract lifecycle management platform. Setting up templates and approval workflows solidifies and simplifies processes across an organization. Access rights and organizational structure ensures all users can only see and create the documents they need to.
Contract managers often have hundreds of contracts they are responsible for managing. Luckily, contract management software makes those processes more efficient.
Driving digital adoption with a contract lifecycle management platform is just the first step to ensure people, processes, and documents are in a single location.
From there, contract managers have the power to enhance workflows. Finally, they can also reduce manual tasks, and automate processes to work as effectively as possible with their contracts.