Contract Repository: What It Is & Why It's Important

A contract repository is a central place where a business can store all of its agreements and contracts in one place to establish a single source of truth.
December 19, 2023

Contracts are the lifeblood of businesses, and with a typical Fortune 1000 company managing anything between 20,000 – 40,000 contracts at any given time, there must be an efficient and organised contract repository to manage them.

With all your pre-and post-signature contracts in a centralised place, they are accessible and useable, giving users enhanced visibility and allowing them to make decisions based on risk, opportunity, and contract goals.  

What is a Contract Repository?

A contract repository is a central location where contracts and agreements can be stored and managed. It provides businesses with a primary storage location for these documents, creating a single source of truth and allowing them to easily store, manage and search through their contract portfolio.  

A contract repository is also known as a document repository, and the names are often used interchangeably. With advanced contract repositories, businesses can also store non-contractual documents and supporting files alongside their contracts and agreements.

Traditional vs modern Contract Repositories

Traditional contract repository solutions were manual, heavy, and often weren’t digital. Businesses would store them in multiple places, including filing cabinets, local and shared drives, and drawers. In most cases, these documents were stored and only seen again once something went wrong.

This contract management method wasn’t uncommon, even though it exposed the business to increased risk. It also prevented stakeholders and contract managers from accessing crucial information and insights when they needed them.

Research by the World Commerce of Contracting notes that this kind of ineffective contract management can cost businesses up to 9% of their annual revenue. So, due to the ineffectiveness and implications of traditional contract repositories, many companies began to transition to cloud-based, digital repositories.

Today, many contract lifecycle management solutions come with a central contract repository. Documents are stored in the Cloud and so are accessible anywhere. Plus, modern tools typically offer additional capabilities such as advanced search, tracking, and easy cross-department collaboration. With this kind of central storage, businesses can access smart analytics and contractual information with the click of a button.

Why is a Contract Repository important?

In its simplest form, a contract is a written agreement that defines the rights and responsibilities of the involved parties. But today, contracts are more than just agreements. They contain vast amounts of critical data and insights, and for them to be accessible and useable in the most effective way, they require a solution that brings all their elements together into a single space.

Contracts are lengthy documents, and their processes are often time-consuming. A digital contract repository supports all contracts and agreements across the business, from HR to Sales and Procurement.

1. Central storage: A digital contract repository provides businesses with a centralised location for storing and managing their contract portfolio. A central repository makes it easier for users to access and manage their contracts from one place – streamlining and simplifying the contract management process.

2. Advanced search: Contract repositories typically come with advanced search capabilities, which makes it easy for users to search for specific contracts or terms without having to search multiple locations and pages or go through legal.

3. Security: A digital contract repository provides advanced cloud security measures, protecting sensitive information from unauthorised access.

4. Improved collaboration: A central repository makes contracts accessible and useable by the wider business, enabling multiple stakeholders to review and manage contracts easily.

5. Versioning: Contracts often go through multiple versions before reaching the signed agreement, typically through negotiation. A contract repository enables a more streamlined and effective version control process, ensuring that the parties have access to the most up-to-date contract.

With a small in-house legal team and no CLM process in place, Purple wanted a centralised, intuitive repository to standardise and accelerate their processes. By partnering with Summize to create a clever and manageable contract repository, Purple reduced their time on contract management by 50%

Read the full customer story here.

Save 50% of time on contract management with Summize

What to look for in a Contract Repository

Every business is different, and each will have a set of unique requirements to fit its use case, but when choosing a contract repository, there are several key features that you should look for. By selecting these features, you will simplify and accelerate the contract management process, bringing efficiencies across the business and saving costs.

Below are the key elements that every contract repository software should offer:

1. Advanced search: Simply storing contracts in a central location doesn’t solve the issue of accessing what is inside of them. A repository should have advanced search capabilities allowing users to search for individual contracts and clauses.

2. Integrations: For contracts to be at the heart of the business, they must be accessible to stakeholders. Integrations allow enterprises to connect their repository to their existing tech stack, consolidating contract processes into existing workflows.

3. Analytics: Contracts contain vast amounts of data, and an advanced repository converts this data into actionable insights, allowing users to easily visualise their data in an advanced dashboard and make better-informed business decisions.

4. Intelligent Summaries: Advanced repositories will leverage AI to extract critical contractual information and present it in a helpful summary, highlighting risks and tasks across each contract.

Manage your contracts securely with Summize’s Contract Repository

Summize’s digital contracting software modernises, accelerates, and improves contract management processes, making the critical data stored inside them accessible to the entire business.

The dynamic repository creates a single source of truth, storing your contracts alongside any related files and attachments in a central place, accessible anywhere via the interactive dashboard. Summize AI-powered repository provides instant, powerful contractual summaries for every contract, with intuitive insights and actionable data, allowing you to make decisions based on risk and contract opportunity.

The flexible solutions allow your contracts to be organised to suit your business and manage your contracts by department, location, or project. Access via a simple, powerful search feature, non-legal users can seamlessly self-serve and allow legal teams to focus on becoming leaders in the business.

“I’ve always found that contract storage and retrieval across a globally-dispersed organization can be complex and frustrating. Summize makes it simple and convenient by providing comfortable folder-based storage and targeted search features”.

Brandon Tatum, Managing Attorney


About the author

The Summize Team

Summize is a Contract Lifecycle Management solution that incorporates contract workflows into the tools you and your business already use every day.
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