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Deadline management in ECM

Never miss another contract deadline

Violations of deadlines can occur when a party to a contract loses sight of its ongoing contractual obligations. This includes keeping track of the many deadlines, which can be a challenge considering the thousands of contracts maintained by businesses – especially since deadline management can be an error-prone and time-consuming activity. 

With an enterprise content management (ECM) system you can ensure that you have a firm handle on your deadlines in the future. Learn how the deadline manager in Doxis can help you to never miss another deadline. 

Contractual deadlines 

For businesses, efficient deadline management means complying with ongoing contracts. Deadlines are contractual conditions that both parties have to comply with. An ongoing contract only remains valid if both contracting parties take the legal requirements into account at all times. If one party misses a deadline, it risks the contract becoming invalid. 

Typical contract deadlines and their meaning 

Deadlines define the period of time in which contract partners may exercise a right or are required to perform activities. For example, businesses only have the option to terminate an ongoing contract during the applicable notice periods. If they do not exercise their right, the contract will be extended unless otherwise agreed in the contract. 

The situation is different with task-related deadlines. Maintenance or other deadlines have to be completed by the deadline. Otherwise, the contractual obligation is not met. 

Both scenarios have legal consequences and can occur in the same contract. Typically, a single contract contains many different deadlines that have to be observed: 

  • Payment deadlines: Period during which businesses pay bills, fees, and other financial demands. 

  • Delivery and performance deadlines: Period in which businesses deliver goods and provide services. 

  • Notice periods: Period in which a contracting party may properly terminate ongoing contracts. 

  • Extension and option dates: Period in which contracting parties extend contracts or supplement them with additional services. 

  • Withdrawal periods: Period in which a contracting party may withdraw from the transaction under certain conditions. 

Risks of neglecting contractual deadlines 

Missed deadlines are always a form of breach of contract. The consequences that businesses face vary from case to case. They usually cause unnecessary costs, damage the image, and harm the business relationship. In case of serious breaches of deadlines contracts lose their validity and the contract partner may take legal action against the business. 

The businesses then seek compensation from the contract partner. Employees have to renegotiate contracts, formally apologize to the contract partner, and deal with all processes related to the breach of deadline. As a result, a missed deadline costs businesses money, time, and prestige. 

Here is an overview of the risks: 

  • Contractual penalties: Clauses in contracts define the financial or legal penalties that result when a deadline is missed. 

  • Financial consequences: Additional costs arise from contractual penalties, lost business opportunities, and the fact that businesses have to renegotiate contracts. 

  • Loss of reputation: Stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, and other business partners trust the business less. 

  • Damaged customer relationships: Missed deadlines leave customers dissatisfied and can jeopardize long-term business relationships. 

  • Legal consequences: In the event of serious breaches of contract, the contract partner may initiate legal action against the business. 

  • Liability: Businesses are liable for damages and losses incurred by the contract partner due to missed deadlines. 

Document management guide

How can a DMS boost your organization’s efficiency? Which system is right for you? This practical guide helps you to find & implement the right DMS. Incl. checklists, real-life examples, etc.

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Never miss another contract deadline with deadline management 

Deadline management is part of contract management and fulfills two tasks: 

  • It documents deadlines, dates, and tasks from contracts. 

  • It notifies and reminds the responsible persons. 

This is a challenge to do manually. However, automated in an ECM system, it is a routine step in the workflow – that is, provided the contract management solution comes standard with a deadline manager. 

Requirements for a deadline manager at a glance 

The deadline manager ensures that you meet deadlines and approach contract management in a legally compliant and financially sound manner. 

Application features 

Each deadline manager has at least one reminder function. It notifies responsible employees automatically about upcoming deadlines. 

Ideally, a calendar function will be integrated in the deadline manager. This feature also automatically notifies employees about upcoming deadlines. The depth of functions is more advanced than the reminder function. 

The deadline manager displays upcoming due dates clearly, but also allows you to edit deadlines with little effort. In the calendar function, you can check upcoming deadlines and update them, if necessary. The software automatically notifies team members about activities in documents and the tasks assigned to them. 

How deadline management with Doxis works  

Doxis digitally reproduces the entire contract management process and creates consistent corporate standards for document storage at every process step – from creation of new contracts to legally compliant archiving of completed contracts. 

Document storage is carried out either in a document management system (DMS) or directly in the enterprise content management system. The benefits include centralized information, automated workflows, and transparent documentation, as well as reminders for all deadlines related to the contract. 

Hey Doxi, how does deadline management work with Doxis? 

Step 1: Create contracts in Doxis and structure information 

As soon as Doxis records a new contract in the system, it stores the various contract contents as structured information in the document. To do so, Doxis extracts and stores data such as contracting parties, content, penalties, or deadlines. 

When Doxis stores the information for a contract document in a structured manner depends on who creates the contract: 

  1. Internal: When an employee in your own company creates a contract, Doxis structures the information while the contract is being created. 

  1. External: When a supplier or other external party submits a contract, Doxis captures the contract content on receipt in the system in a structured manner. 

Step 2: Automatic notifications about deadlines 

Since information in Doxis is stored in context, Doxis detects when a deadline begins and ends. Based on the contract deadline, Doxis creates automatic reminders. The responsible employees will receive this information in advance by email. 

In addition, the contract deadlines are visible in the calendar view. This makes deadline management transparent and ensures that responsible employees act early when a deadline is approaching. 

Summary: Optimize deadline management through automation 

An Excel spreadsheet is just as unsuitable for managing deadlines as post-it notes. In an ECM system, you can manage deadlines digitally and across systems. Doxis records all the deadlines at the beginning of the life cycle for a contract document, and reminds responsible employees in a timely manner as soon as a deadline is approaching. 

You can edit contract documents, including deadlines, directly in Doxis and launch automated workflows or tasks in the team. This enables you to automate your deadline management and never miss another deadline. The approach minimizes legal and financial risks in contract management and ensures that you are complying with contract conditions at all times. 

FAQs about deadline management 

What is deadline management?
Deadline management documents deadlines from contracts and reminds responsible employees when the deadline is approaching or shortly before it takes effect.
What is a deadline calendar?
A deadline calendar presents in calendar format all the deadlines that arise for businesses from contracts, and allows users to create, edit, or postpone deadlines.
What happens when a deadline is missed?
If a deadline is missed, the terms of the contract are violated. This may result in contractual penalties that have legal, financial, and relationship-related consequences for the contracting parties.
How do businesses keep an overview of deadlines?
A deadline calendar or a reminder function can help a business keep track of its deadlines. Digital software automates deadline management and ensures that the contracting parties do not miss any deadlines.

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