One thing that most businesses have in common is that contracts are the basis by which they operate. As a trades worker, you probably have to write and sign several contracts between clients, subcontractors, and material suppliers. If this is true for you, you should consider using a digital contract management system to keep track of your contracts. A digital contract management system is a software used to control all aspects of contractual agreements such as creation, negotiation, amendment, signatures, and more.

Here are a few reasons to consider tracking your contracts digitally:

It provides automatic storage and security to your contracts.

As your business continues to grow with an increasing number clients and subcontractors, it’s easy for your office space and file cabinets to become cluttered with paperwork. You and your team may have to spend hours looking through all of it to find a specific document. With a digital contract management system, you will be able to keep all of your contracts in one place where they can all be accessed digitally at any time. You’ll also have the capability to upload new contracts and supporting documents, even when you’re not in the office. This provides less chances for documents to be misplaced or damaged. A digital contract management system will save you the hassle of having to sort through and file paper contracts later. If you store them online, you can set notifications for yourself whenever a contract expires so that you can easily delete or archive it.

You can easily search and find information.

A contract isn’t just a piece of paper that is never touched again after it’s signed. Most contracts are living documents that you might need to periodically update or review. Instead of spending your entire day rummaging through your paperwork, most digital systems let you type in a name and date to find what you’re looking for right away.

You can back up all your contracts.

An unforeseen event could occur like a natural disaster or a fire that could cause you to lose all of your contracts unexpectedly. This is one risk that you can avoid if you track your contracts digitally. As you continue to update your system with new contracts and make changes to existing ones, the system will automatically save and back up all documents to protect you from losing any information.

Your contracts can be signed whenever and wherever.

Negotiating a contractual agreement can take up to several weeks, especially if you are working with someone in another town or state. Traditionally, you would have to write the contract, deliver it to your client, wait for them to review it, and then spend days repeating the same process over and over until an agreement is met. Instead of dealing with constant rewriting, exporting, printing, and mailing, contract negotiations can be done completely online, where you can go in and make changes to the live document that your client can see right away. You no longer have to wait for the final sign-off to arrive in the mail, since it can be done on-the-go.

You’ll never miss a renewal date.

If a contract auto-renews without your knowledge, it can be harmful to your business. Overlooking a renewal can disrupt business operations, and result in loss of money or a missed opportunity to renegotiate for more favorable terms. A digital contract management system will allow you to schedule alerts whenever a contract is up for renewal. Since renewing a contract can be one of many critical business moments, some systems offer alerts that don’t reset until specific steps have been taken to handle the renewal.

ー Poorly managing your contracts can pose legal risk for your business, wasting time and money. Even if you are running a small business and are effectively managing your contracts manually, you will find that digitally tracking your contracts will make your life easier, and will prepare you for when contracts become a bit more difficult to manage as your business grows.