Paralysis by analysis.
It can often happen when trying to select a new software provider for your business. You research the market, establish a shortlist of potential providers, conduct demos with some of them, review commercials and then it’s time to make a decision.
At this point, it can be easy to lose sight of the original reasons that you came to the market and instead focus on the minute differences in functionality between the various companies that you’ve reviewed.
This can particularly be the case when assessing an unfamiliar market and you’re introduced to features and processes that you weren’t initially aware of or that weren’t on the original list of requirements.
This can lead to confusion or an inability to make a decision about which company to select.
The purpose of this article is to help simplify this process of selecting a contract management solution and show six key areas that demonstrate why Gatekeeper is different from its competition.
This won’t necessarily lead to the conclusion that Gatekeeper is a good fit for your business. In fact, it may well establish that Gatekeeper isn’t a good fit. And that’s fine by us.
We are passionate about working with companies that we are sure we can help be successful and if we’re not a fit we’re happy to recommend other solutions that may work better for a prospective customer.
The six areas that set Gatekeeper apart are:
1. Our Pricing Model
All Gatekeeper plans come with unlimited users. Instead of selling individual licenses, Gatekeeper’s plans scale with the volumes of contracts or vendors you choose to manage through the platform.
Why have we chosen this method of pricing?
It’s simple, from our years of experience in contract management, we’ve established two significant things:
- That contract management is a highly collaborative process, which over time will require an unpredictable number of people to be involved, sometimes only for very short periods.
- That one of the main barriers to success for any software solution is user-adoption
As a result, we’ve elected to make it as easy as possible to include colleagues, partners and suppliers in the contract management process.
We place no limits on the number of people you can invite and provide a range of access controls to make it simple to maintain confidentiality and to ensure users see only the contracts and areas relevant to them.
Rather than having to predict how many users you’re likely to require over the next 3, 6, 12, 24 months, with Gatekeeper you just invite whoever you need into the solution and let them get on with it.
The alternative is continually having to seek approval from your finance team to add new licenses or having to deactivate one user so another can be added in their place. Both of these options are inefficient and risk delays to contract processes, including sign-offs.
Furthermore, limiting users can also mean that key stakeholders are not brought into the collaboration process. And worse still, this can also promote the sharing of user login credentials, effectively invalidating the audit trail, one of the key benefits of a contract management platform.
Any one of these scenarios is far from ideal and the straightforwardness of Gatekeeper’s model can be a key advantage in these situations.
That’s not to say that it’s right for every business.
If, for example, price is the number one factor driving the decision about which solution to go with, then Gatekeeper won’t always be the logical option.
If your business will only ever require a fixed, small number of users then there may be alternative solutions that are better suited from a pricing point of view. In high-growth or acquisitive business, this may be a short term solution and lead to collaboration and audit issues in the future.
However, a close comparison of product capabilities will be necessary to ensure that you’re not sacrificing functionality for the sake of cost.
In the interests of transparency, all our pricing is published on our website along with detailed descriptions of product features.
We conduct regular reviews with Gatekeeper customers, as well as speaking to a multitude of prospective customers.
From both groups, we consistently receive feedback that Gatekeeper’s user interface and usability is superior to competitor offerings.
This is clearly important from the point of view that information is easy to find and extract, and that people feel comfortable that they can understand the system.
However, it also provides some further practical advantages:
- User adoption. Again, a key point when it comes to successfully implementing a contract management solution. If it’s easy to understand and get started with then there’s more chance that people will use it and not simply revert to previous practices outside of the chosen platform
- Minimal training required. While it’s important to receive training for new technology, it can be time-consuming and will take people away from their day-to-day roles. In fact, it’s often wise to be wary of buying a solution that comes with what seems to be very large amounts of training included within the implementation. Not only is this usually charged for directly but it can often mean that the solution is complex and hard to navigate.
At Gatekeeper, we place a very high priority on clearly understanding our users’ roles and what they need from a contract management solution.
We then translate that understanding into the cleanest and most logical user interface possible.
If you’re interested in seeing how Gatekeeper helps businesses make sense of their contracts, reports and processes, then contact us today.
3. Workflow Management - Use of Kanban Principles.
We’ve written a full explainer article about the principles of Kanban and how they’re applied in Gatekeeper.
In short, it’s a system for visualising work. It’s centered around a “Kanban Board”, split into phases, which allows for discrete pieces of work to be moved through a process and tracked as they go.
First utilised by Toyota in the 1940s, we’ve found it an ideal method for visualising work processes relating to contract management.
Processes such as sign-offs and renewals, which need to be tracked and monitored consistently, lend themselves very well to management via a Kanban board.
Not only do they help to visualise a process, but they also show exactly where each contract or vendor is in the process at any one time.
In Gatekeeper, Kanban workflows can be triggered from any one or combination of data fields and supports complex transitional logic, approvals, contract and supplier generation and SLA management.
While workflow management is a feature of many contract management solutions, it’s not usually presented in such a visually accessible way and this is again typical of Gatekeeper’s approach.
By placing a high priority on usability, we ensure that value can be extracted from all the tools on offer within the solution.
4. Time to value
All of our customers receive a tailored onboarding experience tied to their specific use-case.
The aim is to swiftly guide customers to value so that they start making a return on their investment within weeks, not months or years.
We forge deep relationships with the key stakeholders through this initial period to make sure that the set-up of Gatekeeper is exactly what they need.
This includes activities such as data-mapping & import, workflow creation & testing and branding & personalisation of their tenants.
The implementation covers a fixed period and an optimised series of actions to get the customer to a self-sufficient position. Thereafter, we have 24-hour support through a variety of channels to help give our international customer base the resources it needs.
We receive consistently excellent feedback on the quality of our implementation and it’s regularly called out specifically in the reviews we receive on third-party sites like Capterra.
Gatekeeper places the highest priority on information security and works with businesses in highly regulated industries such as finance and healthcare.
We conduct regular security reviews, including via external specialist firms and provide a detailed security pack to prospective customers, which details all of our credentials and certifications.
Our platform is hosted using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and we provide five separate global instances to help customers meet data sovereignty requirements.
Both Gatekeeper and its underlying AWS hosting platform are also certified to ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 standards, giving customers further reassurance about our information security and quality credentials.
You can read here about why this isn’t the case with some of our competitors.
All of which makes Gatekeeper a logical choice for companies looking to protect their confidential information and securely manage their contract and vendor relationships.
The Gatekeeper platform is designed to scale with businesses as they grow, catering to use-cases ranging from the simple right through to complex, enterprise level requirements.
We support businesses at every stage of the contract management maturity curve, with appropriate solutions and features.
Consider for a moment where your business sits on this maturity chart:
We combine a modular approach with enhanced features in order to meet the changing needs of our customers.
In all our plans, you have a solution designed for the full contract lifecycle. This includes:
- Automated workflows to manage and optimise your contract processes and to provide an auditable record of actions.
- eNegotiate, our MS Word-compatible redlining solution for fast and efficient contract negotiations.
- eSign, our integrated electronic signature solution, which is compliant with ESIGN, UETA and European eIDAS standards and speeds the time to signature.
- A central repository for all your contracts and associated metadata, allowing for easy retrieval and accurate reporting.
- Obligation and renewal management, with automated reminders to ensure you gain the maximum value from your signed agreements
In addition, as your business grows or your contracting needs change you can modules to your plan to monitor spend, risk or vendor performance, or to allow your employees and vendors to self-manage parts of the process and save time.
You can also take advantage of enterprise level features such as role-based access controls (RBAC), single sign-on (SSO) and custom integrations
All this means that your business won’t outgrow Gatekeeper. You can generate significant value as a growing business or as a larger enterprise by bringing discipline and rigour to your contracting processes.
This flexibility again sets Gatekeeper apart from competitors who often cater to the different ends of the spectrum or who specialise in one particular use-case for contract management such as for Legal Teams only.
Gatekeeper is always evolving, with new functionality and enhancements being delivered every six weeks. This ensures that our feature-set remains at the forefront of the market and that our customers’ individual requirements can be met.
However, while individual features can be easy to emulate, it’s harder to copy higher level principles like commitments to usability, service and security.
When choosing your contract management solution, you should factor in both the low-level feature set and the higher level principles that the business works to.
This should ensure you get the right partner for the long term and the best return on your investment.
To find out how Gatekeeper helps businesses save time and money, while boosting compliance and information security, contact us today.