If you’re one of the average employees surveyed in 2017, you’re reading this blog rather than the hundreds of untouched emails in your inbox. According to a recent study, most workers maintain 199 unread emails at any given time.1

Chances are, at least one of those emails is about a critical contract.

But, we may never know.

Because no one is reading them.

If your business still relies on email as the primary way of initiating contract workflows, term changes and renewals, then you’ve got 199 problems standing between you and an efficient and responsive process.

In our recent white paper Six Principles of Effective Contract Management, we expose the limitations of processes that lack integration and automation. “Even small delays can add up to significant costs over the course of a year; errors can cause costly lapses in contract compliance and damage your reputation. This problem becomes more severe if you have to manage a bidding process. Handling two-way communications between multiple bidding parties is time-consuming for employees and leaves opportunities for errors.”

These errors are magnified when, in hindsight, we see how a properly customized system could have streamlined the process and removed the risks. Just ask the good people at Palo Alto Unified (The $6M Blunder) or Australia’s National Rugby League (Contract bungle points South Sydney five-eighth Cody Walker to Brisbane Broncos).

Unless you’re interested in reading your company name splashed across the headlines like these, it might be time to address all those unread emails. Sure, you could spend your evenings and weekends plowing through your inbox, but consider the alternative. A robust contract management system can automatically send copies of invoices to Accounting, inform Procurement that contracts for purchases are in place, and seek the correct approvals. The system can also give employees a simple way to review, approve or reject a contract. The key is finding a solution that can effortlessly manage approvals as part of an automated workflow. The more advanced systems can handle bidding processes by allowing public posts with two-way communication.

You’ve got enough problems, contract management needn’t be one.