In a manner of speaking, you could say that procurement is the most fundamental process of capitalism. It is the process of attaining assets based on agreed-upon terms, after all. It is also how companies do business with each other, from the humblest Silicon Valley garage startup to the most prestigious Fortune 500 Wall Street firm.
At its most basic level, procurement is the story of contracts, the agreements between companies that set the boundaries and terms for how they do business. Agile contract management, then, is one of the most important tasks for a company’s corporate health. Mistakes in contract management can cost lost opportunities, liability risks, and unnecessary expenditures. This applies not just to Procurement, but to the strata of company departments ranging from Human Resources to the legal department.
Cloud storage providers are just as well lumped together, as there’s little difference between them and they’re all about even in terms of popularity:
Google Drive – The search engine was one of the earliest on the scene with remote file storage and synchronization, and they’re still one of the most trusted names in software. Google Drive is also integrated with other Google services if your company also uses Gmail, YouTube, AdSense, Android for mobile, and other Google products.
OneDrive – Part of Microsoft’s office suite. Microsoft also has a long-standing reputation in the office environment. OneDrive is also integrated with other Microsoft services if your company leans more towards Redmond for its needs.
DropBox – The alternative third-party. Founded by MIT grads from the Y Combinator seed accelerator, DropBox runs compatible with most other office software, making a good neutral choice for companies that seek to integrate tools from both Google and Microsoft.
The latest innovation that has the business world buzzing, Evisort provides AI for Contract Software. What this means is that it uses Artificial Intelligence to scan contracts and associated legal documents, applying flexible language parsing models to gather information from the contracts. It can then classify, extract, track, and report these contracts, making them highly visible in shared graphs that display provisions, party names, addresses, terms, clauses, and other important data.
Evisort has been a game-changer and is so far without a competitor since its development was based on very recent cutting-edge technology. But it’s had global success with businesses from mom and pop indie stores to multinational enterprises.
Microsoft’s SharePoint is a solid web-based collaborative application that works in conjunction with other Microsoft products and offers document management handling in server form and in enterprise form for larger company needs. It’s a good choice for multi-team collaborative “groupware” needs.
Originally focused on CRM needs, Salesforce has grown to expand its services so that it now resembles more of a project management platform. Various services in the Salesforce sphere include task management, the PaaS Lightning platform for customized project needs, cloud SaaS, team performance management, and even their own blockchain.
An eSignature, cloud-based application, DocuSign has become a popular method for the networked management of electronic agreements. Documents stored on DocuSign are secured with encryption for security. DocuSign is a specialized company that has a secure niche, making it a popular choice for companies handling a large volume of electronic documents.
For a small entrepreneur just setting up shop, document management can be done from a folder in a desk drawer. Once a business grows, the pace of contract bulk quickly outgrows all manual methods of contract management. The standard for software contract services is to digitize the paper and keep the hard copy on file, but keep the document data in the cloud where it can be nimbly accessed and widely shared among the entire team, no matter how remotely they’re scattered.