It is easy to forget about your vendor contract renewal dates and miss the opportunity to renegotiate the terms or change supplier. The vendors will notify you about upcoming renewals but on a timeline that is advantageous for them rather than you. While many contracts and licenses can be managed perfectly fine this way, it remains better to track all the renewal dates internally.
One way to do this is to use your online calendar. The goal is to give the stakeholders early notification, and repeated reminders, so they have enough time to reconsider their use of the expiring service and negotiate any changes where needed.
Business calendar tools normally have a personal calendar for each staff member and shared calendars where groups can see the same calendar. The setup below will work better on a shared calendar otherwise the stakeholders will have to accept the event invitations, which some may not do, and then set up their own reminders, which defeats the advantage of managing it centrally
The steps for setting up the reminders are:
- Use a shared calendar.
- Create a separate calendar entry for each contract.
- Set the event date to the contract expiration date.
- Set up an email notification that triggers at the time the stakeholders deem necessary to deal with the negotiation, for example 2 months before. It should go to all the stakeholders.
- Set up periodic emails until the event date, for example every week. It should also go to all stakeholders.
- Make the event recurring.
If your calendar supports CSV import and export it may be easier to do the configuration with a spreadsheet and import that.
Things to consider
Tracking contract expirations with a calendar is a manual process which may require significant effort to set up. The effort also remains the same for each new contract added to the list. This may be aggravated by your specific calendar tool which may not have the capability to set up reminders exactly as you need them.
A calendar is not a great tool for tracking repetitive but infrequent events with multiple stakeholders who may need constant reminders. If yours does have all the necessary features and you only need to track a small number of SaaS licenses or contracts then the effort should not be too much and you don’t need another tool for the task.
When you do run into the limits of what calendars can provide or the time it wastes, consider using a dedicated subscription and contract renewal reminder service such as License Prompt.