Unpopular opinion: auto-renewals make contract management easier.
It’s easy to see why for your customer contracts. The onus is on your customers to opt out and you don’t need to sign a new contract every year. Nothing controversial there.
However, it’s also true on the customer’s side. People get stung with unwanted renewal terms for products they wanted to cancel. This understandably makes them wary of auto-renewals.
If you’re on top of all of your renewals (which you would be with a good contract database…) then auto-renewals are your friend.
You now have negotiation power over your supplier whose dependency on auto-renewals has made them soft.
In any case, most of your auto-renewing purchases are also ones you will let renew. The administrative burden of cancelling a few each year is much smaller than if you had to sign a new order for all of your renewing products. You’ll still need to talk to the suppliers you’re cancelling and you open yourself up to bigger price increases if you’re signing new orders each year.
Your procurement function will have a lot less work to do.