As has been previously mentioned in this blog, contracts are everywhere in business, so making sure they are optimized to your business requirements is a major part of the contract process.
There are four main elements to a contract; an offer, acceptance, consideration and intention:
- The Offer – The initial proposal to provide goods or a service.
- Acceptance – An agreement to the terms outlined in the offer.
- Consideration – The price paid for whatever is documented in the offer. This is normally money, although it can be anything of value.
- Intention – This is the mutual agreement between parties that they are entering into a legal agreement.
Our contracts need to include these components, and to be legal and clear. If we are dealing with several companies and have various departments within our business, implementing standardized agreement templates can help to increase productivity and to save time and money.
Let’s look at how this can be true.
Streamlining and Centralization
Standardized templates help to streamline and centralize the contract process. Different departments can then use the same templates to conduct their business, and modify and fill fields as needed. Because all departments are familiar with the templates used, they will cut down on errors and increase cross-departmental understanding. The document can also be streamlined by revising the language used for clarity and understanding, in order to make it both quicker and easier to read and comprehend.
Time is saved on drawing up individual contracts and filling in forms, as fields are being modified and filled as required. This again saves on potential errors. Staff also need to do less research in order to discover which protocols need to be followed, due their existing familiarity with the templates. Standardization can also help to reduce or even eliminate the negotiation process. If there is little room for negotiation in a pre-prepared contract, time won’t be wasted.
The main money saving aspect of having standardized templates is that it decreases or removes the need for legal fees. If you’re templates are preapproved, then there will be no immediate need for additional legal advice when new contracts are entered into.
As mentioned, with templates there is less form filling. Therefore, they are much more user-friendly for staff and can be implemented by a greater number of workers and departments, helping to bring uniformity across your business.
As you can see, contracts bring with them a level of complexity which can require highly-trained staff and legal advice, and have the potential to be drawn-out and problematic. Implementing a standardized template means more staff can utilize the contracts without the need for legal advice while simultaneously saving time and money for your company.