Honesty the best policy when it comes to your data
We all know the old adage Honesty is the best policy, which has survived countless generations of cautionary tales. As a society, we expect the truth from our business partners and from our governments. We also expect the truth in our personal dealings – except maybe from our spouse if we’re putting on weight or our jokes are not that funny.
But how many of us working in organizations expect truth from our data? When did you last asked yourself: Does my data have integrity?
Data integrity can only really be achieved when your organization’s information architecture is set up with what is known in the IT world as the ‘single source of truth’, or what some call ‘the golden record’.
Do away with data silos
In most businesses, efforts to achieve this holy grail of data-based truth are hampered by the continuing existence of data silos. If the data in your organization is siloed, that means different departments are using different data to make similar decisions, which can result in expensive errors. Nowhere is this risk more pronounced than in the process of contract management.
In contract management, achieving a single source of truth means being able to maintain and ensure the accuracy and consistency of your contract data across the organisation over an entire contract life. That includes eliminating duplicate copies of a contract. If your co-worker goes on holiday leaving an updated paper copy in a desk drawer or in a file or with a data point jotted on a post-it then the integrity of your data source has been compromised.
So how do we overcome this?
Digitalise ‘dumb’ documents
If your organisation is still managing contracts manually through old-fashioned folder and file storage then the most practical and simple solution is to team up with a contract management software service provider, like Cloudia, and make the switch to eContracting. Paper documents don’t talk to each other, but digital records do and they speak the truth.
Using contract management software, any updates made by anyone, anywhere, can be inputted and propagated to the entire system without the possibility of duplicates or lost information. This will ensure that the same contract data is being stored, processed, or retrieved by everyone involved.
Getting the truth out of your contract data by automating the contract management process is just one of the many reasons why switching to eContracting makes good business sense for your overall operations, combining to eliminate risk and inefficiencies while cutting costs. But that’s only half the story.
Align contract management with strategy
On a strategic level, the switch to digital contract management becomes more about business enablement than tactical operations. If you’re a contract manager, you’ll be empowered to take a more thorough and analytical approach to managing your contracts, becoming both an adviser to top management on rising issues and trends, as well as an agent for implementing strategic goals across the organisation. This could mean anything from using contracts to optimise risk levels, create market competitive commitment capabilities, or just generally evolving more collaborative types of agreements.
Whichever way you slice it, your role as a strategic contract manager will become more pervasive and more valuable. And, you’ll have more time to devote to it as well, because you’ll no longer be manually reading through hundreds of contracts.
Now and then, you might even get out of the office early, using your free time to get some exercise or to work on your jokes.
CEO, Cloudia Middle East
Find out more from our one-stop guide to eContracting
You might also enjoy reading From tactical to strategic sourcing: going beyond daily battles to long-term victory and Squirrels go nuts over contract management solutions