Are you a small business owner in the hospitality industry? And do you have to draw and sign multiple contracts as part of your business model?
If so, the question that begs is, how do you currently manage your contracts? If you answer that you have a paper-based system, this question changes to how should you change your business processes to utilize virtual hospitality contract management software?
By way of answering this question, let’s consider the following scenario:
A case study demonstrating the practical application of contract management software
For the purposes of this article, let’s assume you own an event management company, specializing in hosting conferences and training days for other small businesses like those in the IT industry. And part of your job includes the drawing up and signing of contracts with caterers, venues, as well as your clients.
You usually draw up a contract in a word processor app like Microsoft Word, print it out, sign and initial each page, then scan and email the contract to your supplier or client. Or, instead of scanning and emailing the document to the other signatories, you either deliver the contract in person or courier it.
This process is a time-consuming, costly process. And, if you store the contract on your computer and email the contract to the other signatories, you run the risk of losing client details and your personal details as a consequence of a malware or ransomware attack.
Therefore, let’s work through the step-by-step process of using a SaaS contract management system to manage a single contract’s lifecycle.
You have found a new catering company that will deliver baked goods that you can serve during tea and coffee breaks at a day-long (or multi-day) conference. A contract must be drawn up describing the partnership details.
- Log in to your user-profile to draw up this contract
The last of the assumptions describing this scenario is that you have signed up with an online contract management SaaS company and completed the onboarding process. Therefore, all you need to do to draw up a contract is sign in to your user profile and use an existing template to create the new contract. Details required include the types of baked goods supplied, amounts of each type, cost of each product, and payment terms.
Once all this information has been added to the contract, the last step is to save the contract, which will trigger the email workflow route that sends emails to every reviewer and signatory to the contract in the order that each individual needs to review and sign the document.
Part of the contract creation is to set up the reviewer and signatory order or route, including names and email addresses.
- Revisions and completion
Because the contract is stored in a centralized location, and everyone who needs to sign or review the document is notified via email, the time taken to sign off on the contract is significantly shorter than if the contract were physically transported emailed between recipients.
Not are the time and cost savings significant, but the cloud storage allows users to access the contract from anywhere and anytime during a 24-hour period.
- Expiry and renewal notification
All contracts expire and need to be renewed if the contractor’s services are required regularly. Contracts also have to be renewed before they lapse. Remembering every renewal date becomes a challenge when dealing with many contracts or a hectic daily schedule.
Therefore, another useful feature of the virtual contract management system is setting a notification on the expiry or renewal date. The software application will send you an alert on or before this date to ensure that you attend to the contract’s resigning before it expires or lapses.
The merits of implementing the SaaS contract management model
Apart from the real cost and time savings benefits of signing up for a Software-as-a-Service contract management model, there are additional advantages such as the following:
- Improved cybersecurity measures
2020 heralded the arrival of the global SARS-CoV-2 or novel coronavirus pandemic. The virus has rampaged its way through the global population causing mayhem physically and economically. The latest global figures as quoted by John Hopkins University show 36.566 million infections and 1 062 636 deaths.
The world’s economy has moved into the most severe recessions since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Millions of workers have either been furloughed or laid off with the global economy said to lose between $5.8 trillion (USD) and $8.8 trillion.
Most companies moved online with employees working remotely. Individual people have also moved their lives online, online shopping, online banking, and connecting with friends and family via social media and online chat and video tools like WhatsApp and Zoom.
The unfortunate partner to the online world is an increase in the number of cyberattacks, including phishing emails and ransomware attacks where hackers infiltrate a computer or computer servers, in the case of the recent Garmin ransomware attack. Their main aim is to steal identification and social security numbers and other personal information, as well as credit card details.
Thus, it is vital to ensure that all of your work contracts are stored securely, protected by the latest cybersecurity best practices, hardware, and software. The SaaS model is housed on secure servers in the cloud, ensuring that all of your data is secured and backed up so that if anything happens, there are copies of your data.
There are many benefits to and merits of a SaaS-based contract management system over a paper-based system. It is probably reasonable to assume that it is the best solution compared to any other implementations and business model.