Three Tips on Maintaining Contract Documents
By Kristin Ghanem | Harkcon's Contract Manager Contracts are the lifeblood of your company. They are how you earn money, predict future revenue, and create professional relationships. In all businesses, especially government contracting, it is important to have an organized and easy to understand system for maintaining contract documents that allows you to quickly find the information that you need. Read below for three easy tips to create a system that works for you.
1. One Boss
It is likely that several people will need access to your company’s contract documents. However, this does not mean that everyone should be in charge of organizing and maintaining your contract management system. It should be one person’s job to organize contract folders and ensure contract documents and modifications are properly filed. Having a contracts “boss” will create a consistent system that will ensure all documents are filed correctly and enable everyone to easily locate files.
2. Create a Filing System
Most offices have series of filing cabinets stuffed with paper files. However, the world is increasingly becoming more paperless and virtual. Enter Google Drive. Google Drive is a cloud based system that allows you to create, organize, and share documents with your team and your clients. You can update documents and files whenever you want and whoever is viewing them will see the changes in real time. This allows people to work from anywhere and saves trees!
The ability to have multiple people virtually edit documents is a great benefit, but it is also important to have a company-wide system for version control. This is something your contracts “boss” can coordinate and it can be very simple. Harkcon always saves document edits as a new document with the date on the end. You will be thankful you did this when you have 10 versions of an important document!
3. Organize your Folders
Folder organization in Google Drive is incredibly important. Your system needs to fit in with your business structure and be intuitive to those who use it. It is helpful to create broad category folders and use sub-folders for more specificity. For Harkcon’s filing system, our broad category folders are contract types (i.e. GSA Schedule contracts, Subcontracts, Commercial Contracts, etc.) Within those broad folders, there is a sub-folder that contains the documents for each specific contract. We even have sub-folders within sub-folders. What is important is that you organize your files in a way that is best for your business. Hopefully these tips will guide you as you set up your company’s filing system. Next time, we will discuss how to get on a GSA contract schedule.
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