Contract management issues with PDFs and how to overcome them

Table of Contents: 

  1. What are contract management issues with PDFs?
  2. How to overcome contract management issues 
  3. Contracts are broken in pdfs and it is time to change that!

PDF contracts are the best for keeping backups on your computers. You can easily verify the signatures of other parties as proof and change font types as per your requirements. But when it comes to managing and accessing a contract from a pdf, it is more of a problem than a solution despite the PDF/UA standardization.

In today's digital world, meeting deadlines and getting your high quality products delivered on time to clients is highly crucial. What if you have to sign a complicated legal document (for example, a service contract) drafted in PDF format before you can initiate your project? Will you be able to sign it? Most often, people don't care about this question. 

Yet, these are far from being the only issues with PDF. Some PDF issues in contract management come from user experience, while others show up in other vital management processes.

However, you can deal with these issues successfully and operate a seamless contract management process with newer technologies. This post will highlight contract management issues with PDF and how to overcome them.

What are contract management issues with PDFs?

The proponents of PDF may have done a fine job at putting forward some fine points. However, it’s still impossible to ignore the following PDF issues in contract management.

1. Collaboration through PDFs does not satisfy the needs of modern contract automation

Some of the main advantages of contract automation are collaboration among relevant stakeholders and version control. These are not only difficult with PDFs, but they can even create more significant contract management issues.

For instance, PDF file sizes are usually large and can be ridiculous when trying to fit in multimedia files. Yes, PDF can contain videos, animations, and other interactive elements. But it rarely happens because of the resulting file size. 

This makes it extremely difficult to store files because of the space it will take up from your local storage. And what about the download time for those who use cloud storage. Downloading and uploading contracts in PDF files every time you need to make an edit must be one very unpleasant task.

Now, consider what happens after creating multiple versions of the same contract. Even if your system lets you add a version identifier to each file to distinguish between the versions, you’re leaving a lot of scope for human error. 

Although possible with a bit of pain, collaboration through PDFs make it difficult to ensure contract collaboration and proper version control.

2. Contract management with PDF gives an awful user experience

The general experience of dealing with PDFs is horrible, especially on mobile devices. The flexibility of modern-day business means a lot gets done on our mobile gadgets. However, opening a PDF file on mobile phones is largely unfriendly, let alone more technical tasks like adding a comment.

While it’s possible to sign PDFs electronically with open fields or apps like DocuSign, it still requires downloading and uploading. You also need to install applications, which adds to the terrible experience and is a far cry from being able to sign contracts by ticking a box. 

3. PDFs do not allow data analysis and extraction, which modern contracts require

Modern contract management requirements mean contracts are data-rich documents. Hence, they work interconnectedly to provide essential business data. To ensure contract compliance and execution, stakeholders need to analyze, extract, and use key data from contracts. 

Trying to do all these with PDF is not only tricky but also a sure-fire way to waste a hell of a lot of time. Just think about it. First, you need to gather all the PDFs and start opening one after another. A lot of time is lost in the process, and it defeats the objectives for embracing contract automation.

4. PDF files are difficult to edit, and so is converting them to an editable format

Editing a PDF file requires conversion into another problematic format – DOCX. However, this does not help due to the issues of incompatibility between both formats. You will often end up with a disorganized file that gets much worse with special content like tables and charts. This is yet another time-consuming and super stressful task. And that still holds even with a fully paid-up Adobe account. 

PDF files are primarily nerve-wracking to edit. This is considered a form of security, but newer trends have shown that is not the case. Instead, it only adds to the list of reasons to avoid PDFs. Even with the tools available for editing PDFs, doing so is not a pleasant or efficient experience!

How to overcome contract management issues 

Over the years, we’ve seen many attempts to improve how PDF works. For instance, some tools have tried to lower PDF file size, but this only results in unusable quality. Other forms of improvements have also been attempted. However, all these do not provide an efficient way to avoid the issues with PDF. 

Instead, what it does is increase the problems of user experience as well as open up other issues. Essentially, you will be wasting your time learning how to create better PDFs. That’s because most of the downsides will ultimately remain in some shape or form.

1. Collaborative contract automation software solution

Avoiding PDF issues in contract management requires software solutions like Contractbook. Contractbook is contract management software for maximum efficiency for sales and other departments. It makes the whole process of creating, executing, and managing contracts easier. In addition, there are features such as contract automation, collaboration, version tracking, and eSignature. 

2. Smarter data format system

We’re able to do these because Contractbook uses a data-rich format and stores the contracts in a database. This database format resembles PDF, giving you everything you get from PDFs and even more.

3. Data-driven solution

Contractbook uses a format that is always connected, and you can leverage the metadata to make self-executing contracts. You can even integrate them with other workflows to enhance data usage. That means you get more insight into contract management processes, the areas that need improvement, and the solutions. The future will be connected and data-driven, and the PDF is everything but that.

4. Highly beneficial integrations

Unlike PDF, Contractbook’s format lets you integrate with hundreds of potential useful integrations that improve your existing tech stack. So, you can get relevant data into your contracts, extract from them, and present everything in an easily digestible manner.

Contracts are broken with PDFs, and it is time to change that!

PDFs still have a purpose, but not in contract management. Apart from bringing minimal benefit, they also add friction to every step of your business and contract processes. PDFs can be frustrating for you and your clients, and it is time to find a better way.

Contractbook is a collaborative contract automation tool that has modernized the process. We believe that the current approach is broken and are working to improve it. Now that you know about contract management issues with PDF and how to overcome them, it’s time to embrace the solution.

Our system can save you 45 minutes or over one hour for each contracting process. Simply book a demo today to take advantage of our better and improved contract file format.

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June 7, 2022
June 7, 2022
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