Managing contracts can be a giant pain. Without a central hub that keeps your contracts organized, companies easily find themselves with contracts strewn throughout desktops, Dropbox, Google Docs, and other shared locations. When it’s time to locate the most up-to-date contract information — to compile and report aggregate data, for example — you can find yourself spending hours sifting through documents to find the relevant information or data.
Having a well-set up contract repository solution easily solves this problem. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about contract repositories and help you choose the best contract database for your business’s needs.
Contract Repository Meaning & Benefits
A contract repository, also known as a contract database or document repository, is a unique solution that keeps all of your contract information stored and accessible in one location. Additionally, it stores meta-data like terms, dates, and clauses, helping you keep your information stored, organized, and easy to access and report by contract or in aggregate.
There are a number of reasons to invest in a contract repository for your business. A good contract management solution saves you time and resources, allowing you to focus on meaningful legal work that adds value rather than on administrative tasks. In addition to ensuring you always know where to look for your contracts when you need them, your digitized contracts are kept safe and easily accessible. You can even have relationships set up between related contracts, allowing you to identify all contracts with a specific company, for example, or all contracts of a specific type, without investing hours of your time in the project. These relationships and search terms reduce the time it takes to gather information for auditing and reporting and makes it easy to track KPIs.
Choosing the Best Contract Repository for Your Needs
Once you’ve decided to invest in a contract repository for your business, the next step is determining how to choose the best repository for your unique needs. Here are a few important factors to consider when determining the best contract database for your business:
Ease of Use
One of the biggest stressors when investing in any new technology is training all users in your business. Although it’s important to understand how to train employees on new software, it’s equally important to invest in software that’s intuitive from the get-go or requires little change in management. When choosing an intuitive software, consider factors like whether:
- The software integrates with other systems your business already uses, such as Slack, Salesforce, or Microsoft Teams
- The vendor offers full contract lifecycle management (CLM) features like document generation and tax management
- The business takes care of on-boarding processes or team training for your business
- The system automatically onboards all legacy contracts into the system or requires you to import those contracts yourself
- The system uses smart AI to import and categorize contract data from templates or third-party papers, or whether they require you to input that information manually
Search and Reporting Capabilities
One of the main goals of a contract repository is to save your company time. If you still have to spend hours sifting through the database anytime you need information about an individual contract or get a high-level view across contracts you may as well keep your documents categorized manually in an old-fashioned spreadsheet.
A strong contract repository uses artificial intelligence to import and categorize your contracts, making it much easier to report on just about anything within those contracts. AI-powered technology like Lexion’s lets you efficiently run reports across thousands of contracts to answer complex legal questions.
You also want to be sure that once the information is imported into the system, the repository allows you to search quickly, accurately, and easily through its data.
This allows you to keep your repository seamlessly up-to-date and to locate the information you need in a few button clicks rather than forcing a team to spend hours sifting through data to find what you need.
Security & Reliability
It’s not enough to know that your software works. You also need to feel confident that the software you’re using doesn’t put your clients’ data at risk.
Data breaches can be expensive and cause your clients to lose trust in your brand. At a bare minimum, you need to feel confident that the contract repository system you choose offers a high level of document security. For that reason, you should always research the security technology a brand is offering, ensuring that it’s up-to-date with the latest safety protocols and that data security is at the top of the brand’s priority list.
Another great way to screen vendors is to ensure they are SOC 2 compliant. When a vendor is SOC 2 compliant, it meets a strict set of standards for all its systems and processes. This gives you assurance that the vendor is reputable to work with and that your legal information will be kept secure and confidential.
Lexion’s Contract Repository Solution
Even after you’ve done your due diligence researching contract repositories, it can seem impossible to know which repository is right for your company without seeing the software in action. Request a free demo to see how Lexion’s intelligent AI-driven repository quickly and easily organizes and centralizes your contracts, saving you hundreds of hours in wasted time.