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According to recent research from World Commerce & Contracting, 26% of a typical organisation’s workforce is involved in the contracting process. And having a quarter of your workforce involved in manual contract management processes can be a huge drain on resources.

If at least a quarter of your workforce is involved in manually storing, retrieving, tracking & reviewing contracts, your business will experience:

  • Inefficient processes: manual methods are time-consuming and can increase time-to-contract
  • Increased risk of errors: manual contract management processes are prone to human-made mistakes
  • Siloed teams: Without a standardised way of working, or oversight of what everyone’s doing, it's easy for Legal and Procurement teams to prioritise their own strategic goals
  • Compliance oversights: Disparate data and multiple storage options can easily lead to lost contracts, the use of outdated versions & your business inadvertently violating terms or regulatory requirements, leading to potential legal consequences.

This guide is designed to help you select the best contract lifecycle management (CLM) software so you can start 2024 on the right foot, resolve the issues listed above and empower everyone involved with the contracting process.

What is contract management software?

Contract management software, sometimes referred to as contract lifecycle management software (CLM software), is a digital solution designed to streamline and automate the entire contract lifecycle.

The best CLM software acts as the technological backbone for modern contracting processes, transforming a traditionally tedious and error-prone process into a streamlined and efficient one.

It touches every stage of the process, including everything from initial drafting and creation to approval workflows, execution, monitoring, and, ultimately, renewal or termination.

Why is contract lifecycle Management software important?

At Gatekeeper, we often hear from Legal and Procurement practitioners who are drowning in manual chaos.

Without CLM software, in-house counsel teams often spend more time lost in stacks of paper and confusing digital folders than in actual legal work. Conversations frequently revolved around misplaced contracts or confusion over which version is current.

Meanwhile, Procurement teams grapple with manually tracking intricate vendor contracts. Overlooked renewals can lead to a loss in revenue, while outdated records can create issues with non-compliance.

Contract management software is important because it helps your business to:

  • Restore visibility: It drastically reduces time spent sifting through various documents. By centralising every contract, amendment, and related document, what was once a daunting search becomes as straightforward as typing a keyword, illuminating previously hard-to-find details.
  • Take back control: Missed contract renewal dates can result in unfavourable terms or penalties. Contract management software offers a solution with automated reminders, workflow approvals, and milestone trackers.
  • Safeguard compliance: The challenge of ensuring contracts align with a dynamic regulatory environment is significant, and manual oversight often leads to errors. Contract management software preserves an audit trail and allows stakeholders to identify potential issues early on.

What is the best cLM software?

1. Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper's contract management software offers complete visibility and control over your contract portfolio. With Gatekeeper you can:

  • See a summary of all contracts or vendors by category, spend, criticality, geography or other grouping
  • Monitor and prepare for all key dates, including renewals
  • Store all documentation centrally and securely in a contract repository
  • Collaborate with ease using messaging and alerts, all from within the platform and tied to specific records.
  • Electronically sign documents with its native eSign solution or DocuSign integration
  • Record and maintain compliance among your vendors
  • Access unlimited users, meaning that you can collaborate with as many colleagues and third parties as required so your business can grow without costs
  • Automate and improve your internal processes using our workflow engine
  • Delegate data entry both internally and externally to reduce administration time
  • Integrate with over 4,000 third-party systems to ensure a seamless fit into your business, including NetSuite and Salesforce 

Gatekeeper contract management software review

Independent contract management software reviews

The contract management software market is vast, with many different options available. Below, we take a look at some other CLM solutions, what they do and the reviews written by verified users on Capterra.

CLM Software Summary Review
Ironclad Ironclad gives business and legal teams an easy-to-use platform to handle every aspect of the contract lifecycle. "Ironclad is missing critical contract management functions in the contract notification area. Inability to customise redundant expiration notifications to targeted users is a major flaw and may result in problematic and expensive contract key dates being missed." (Capterra)
Juro Juro offers an all-in-one contract collaboration platform for your contracts. "While it has a lot of features, the interface can be confusing, and navigating it can be difficult. Additionally, the software can be slow and unresponsive at times, which can be frustrating when trying to complete tasks." (Capterra)
LinkSquares LinkSquares offers a solution that helps to streamline your legal processes and close deals at warp speed. "The tagging capabilities require manual work that a smaller legal team will have difficulty prioritising." (Capterra)
CobbleStone Software CobbleStone Software promises to deliver the most advanced, cost-effective, and user-friendly contract and procurement management software. "One of the main difficulties is the interface, which can initially be difficult to use. It can take some time to get used to all the features and functions, and the learning curve for new users can be steep." (Capterra)
Icertis Icertis’s goal is to empower companies to realise the full intent and higher purpose of every contract, so they can build trust, strengthen bonds, and create a better world. "It can be confusing and cluttered to use, making it difficult to find what you're looking for. This can lead to frustration and a decrease in productivity." (Capterra)


Wrap up

As we approach 2024, your business cannot afford to be bogged down by the inefficiencies of manual contract management. With a quarter of the workforce typically engaged in contract processes, the demands for streamlined operations have never been greater.

Contract management software stands out as the beacon of efficiency, eliminating the common pitfalls of manual handling, from misplacement to compliance breaches.

Whether you're a legal professional lost in a mountain of paperwork or a procurement specialist juggling multiple vendor contracts, the best contract management software is one that offers visibility, control, and compliance.

As we've highlighted with options like Gatekeeper, the benefits are tangible and transformative. Make the smart choice and ensure your 2024 is set for success with the best contract management software.

If you're ready to find out more about CLM software, book your demo today.  

Shannon Smith
Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith bridges the gap between expert knowledge and practical VCLM application. Through her extensive writing, and years within the industry, she has become a trusted resource for Procurement and Legal professionals seeking to navigate the ever-changing landscape of vendor management, contract management and third-party risk management.


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