The Pitfalls of Manual Contract Processing

“Digital transformation” and “automation” have been hot trends for years. According to a recent AIIM study, 95% of companies surveyed have taken significant steps toward digital transformation and automation. However, that study also found that only half of respondents viewed the level of automation in their contract management process as “above average.” In fact, 18% viewed the level of automation as “below average.”

Blue Files Office, stack of contracts to show Manual Contract Processing

Although contract management may be lower on the priority list for some businesses (many of which focus on automating their supply chain or procurement systems), automated contract management is essential for project-based companies that rely on contracts to complete their core business processes.

What Could Go Wrong?

“Automation might be nice, but what’s wrong with the way we do things now?” you may wonder. Unfortunately, manual contract processing can cause several different problems for your business. Here are some of the pitfalls you may run into if your company processes contracts manually:

  • Information and documentation chaos: When contracts are stored merely in file folders—whether on a computer or in a physical cabinet—they have a habit of multiplying. Perhaps a manager forgets the terms of one contract and asks an employee to make them a copy. Maybe that employee first downloads the contract onto their own computer, then prints out a copy for their boss. In response to one information request, the contract has multiplied twice.
  • Confusion around authoritative versions: When the same contract is stored in multiple places, where is the authoritative version of the document? A vendor or a higher-up in your own company may amend the contract without notifying every employee. How will they know where to find the most up-to-date copy?
  • Typos and errors: Let’s face it—we all make typos. Automating contract processing lessens the chance of human error causing delay or confusion in the process.
  • Signing delays: If your contract management isn’t automated, in order to get someone to sign a contract, it will need to be downloaded, printed, signed, scanned, and uploaded. These five steps turn into one in an automated system that includes electronic signature capability.
  • Lack of notification: It’s easy to miss a deadline or forget that a contract needs to be renewed by a certain date. With an automated contract management system, you can easily program notifications when a document needs to be changed, renewed, or archived.

By using an automated contract processing system, you can avoid all of these pitfalls and enjoy increased efficiency, profitability, and visibility into your system.

How M-Files Can Help

 M-Files is a great solution to help your business create a streamlined contract management system. With metadata and AI at the center of the software, M-Files can simplify contract processing in even the most complex businesses.

Every document in M-Files is organized based on what it is, not where it is: you can search documents across hard drives, network folders, cloud storage, and your ERP. M-Files uses AI and machine learning to analyze documents, extract metadata, and add tags to each document. Through M-Files, you can access a single view of the most recent versions of all contracts in your organization.

In addition to organizing the contracts themselves, M-Files automates contract workflows. It guides contracts through each stage, keeping everyone on the same page all the way from drafting to signatures. What’s more, automatic assignments and notifications enable visibility and confidence in the process.

Ready to Get Started?

Want to learn more about how M-Files can help you process your contacts more effectively? Contact us today to set up your consultation with our experts. We’re here to help you succeed.