Check out these 5 tips to improve your Contract Management

1. Get a head-start - know your contracts

No prizes for guessing this one, and yet it is almost universally accepted that large contracts are mind-bendingly complex, so it is increasingly rare to find contract managers who are well-versed in their own documents. Thankfully, you don't need to be like Alan to get a head-start on your contracts..

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Using Affinitext's Intelligent Document Format (IDF), you can access your contracts anytime online, and instantly search and navigate them in a way that leaves conventional document formats back in the last millennium (when they were initially developed, coincidentally). Scrolling pages, running CTR F searches across dozens of documents and rotating poorly-scanned PDF pages is a thing of the past with IDF. Give yourself a head-start - spend less time trying to corral your contracts and more time understanding them.

2. Keep your contracts up to date

I once spent two days updating clauses in hard-copy Product Disclosure Statements by applying a sticker printed with a new clause into the third paragraph of page 43. A minor change, but read in its entirety, this resulted in an entirely new contract. Managing your contract from an earlier version isn't like buying an earlier edition of a university text book to save a few bob. Its more akin to trying to playing Minesweeper (showing my age here...) with a blindfold on.

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With Affinitext, your documents are up to date. Contracts are fully-conformed, incorporating amendments. Contract Administration Manuals are too - so when you are reading the contract, amendments and guidance material are presented to you without your having to go looking for them. Imagine what you could get done with that level of faith in the veracity of your documents.

3. Identify opportunities and capitalise on them

It's easy to become so entrenched in your own day-to-day contractual obligations that you don't have time to ensure your counterparts are fulfilling theirs. But missing an entitlement in this space can be as costly as missing one of your own obligations. Affinitext's Task Finder identifies not only your own contractual obligations, but those of your contracting-partners as well. The Task Manager then allows you to track those obligations, sending you notifications as requirements become due. Steer clear of disputes, or enter them with compliance evidence at your fingertips... Either way, happy days...

4. Enrich your documents with organisational knowledge

Improving the way you manage your contracts is an undertaking that will ultimately impact your colleagues as well as yourself. No one walks into a new role or project knowing every circumstance, pitfall, ambiguous clause interpretation or deadline that will affect the operation of the contract. These are often discovered on the run, leaving the contract manager to deal with them in a hurry, and under pressure. One of the core organisational behaviours that Affinitext encourages is to capture and share knowledge. Contracts in IDF allow you to capture important knowledge directly against the relevant clause(s). That way, when you, a current colleague or a future colleague return to review a clause at a later date, they don't have to start from scratch.

5. Recognise the patterns – analyse - improve

Improving your performance, mid-race is a difficult trick to master, but for those who can, it can be the difference between winning and losing. IDF's Task Manager automatically captures task activity and presents the data in an easy-to-understand report. From here, you can track important indicators that highlight bottlenecks in your processes, individual and team accountability and areas for improvement. Best of all, capturing this data requires no further input from users - it is automatically tracked for you. It sounds a bit 1984, but really it's more of a Mario Kart Time Trial ghost..

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