Practice Successful, Sustainable & Real Contract Management, Using These Three Levers
Earlier this month, PASA CEO Jonathan Dutton opened the Procurement Managers’ Summit with a reminder of the three levers we should be pulling to improve procurement capability across our businesses: people, process, and technology.
In a contractual setting, the benefits of relying on these levers can be just as significant, propelling your contract processes from reactive and administration-heavy, to proactive and strategic. And when you effectively harness all three so they complement each other, practicing successful, sustainable, and real contract management becomes far easier. Here’s what you can do to make this happen:
Make reports, data, and admin a by-product of you doing your job.
The time and effort spent searching through emails, spreadsheets, or separate systems to identify information crucial to your contracts – and then disseminate it as necessary – is time that could be far better spent focusing on the strategic aspects of the contract.
A contract management solution with depth and breadth will streamline this process by embedding crucial data into its system, so sourcing and collating relevant information doesn’t eat up your time unnecessarily. It will track data, ask you to complete each contractual activity, and then feed it back to you in the form of easily accessible, exportable analytics on the most important information relating to each contract.
With a system like this, developing and maintaining successful contract lifecycle strategies becomes far easier, leading to positive flow-on effects for your contract lifecycle and supply chain.
Embed solid supplier compliance strategies into your systems and processes…
…by safeguarding your contract lifecycle from supply chain risk with a solution that provides you with accessible, up-to-date information on suppliers, and their level of regulatory and contractual compliance.
Some SRM solutions – like Open Windows’ SRM Portal and Verified Supplier Network™ – exist in concert with comprehensive contract management systems, which means you won’t need to spend time jamming any moving parts together to ensure that important information is linked and in the right place.
…but don’t forget to focus on the bigger picture, by nurturing some of your most important external relationships.
To truly strengthen your contract management processes, you need to pull and extend those three levers I mentioned earlier – people, processes, technology – outwards, so others benefit from them too.
Your SRM solution should help to reduce administrative load on the client and supplier side, by granting suppliers the control to upload their own documents as they wish, submit pre-qualification questionnaires automatically, and communicate with you just as swiftly as you can communicate with them.
So, while supplier compliance forms a key piece of the real contract management puzzle, nurturing your supplier relationships and streamlining contractual processes where possible for both parties will facilitate supplier-led innovation and make contract renewals more attainable.
But for these factors to really fall into place, the capabilities of your SRM portal – and broader contract management system – must span the scope of the entire contract lifecycle and plumb the depths of each contract.
Take an approach that covers the breadth and depth of the contract lifecycle.
Theoretically, you can still roll out a contract if your approach possesses one of these characteristics but not the other. But if it doesn’t cover both, the chance of creating real value from your contracts will be slim to none.
Having a system on hand that mirrors the complexities of the contractual processes will enable you to maintain endurance as you keep pace with the contract from request to renewal, and equip you with the tools to traverse into its deep, occasionally rocky waters. What I’m referring to here, of course, is a system that facilitates management of the breadth and depth of the contract lifecycle.
Finding – and implementing – a solution that can offer you depth and breadth across the contract lifecycle certainly isn’t easy – you cannot develop something this comprehensive overnight.
Sourcing a vendor with years of experience behind them not only in IT and software development, but in contract management, will mean that they truly understand the complexities of the contract lifecycle, and can account for your organisation’s specific needs during deployment. Essentially, they have worked hard to refine and strengthen their own levers of people, process, and technology, and can help you pull yours forward, into a place where real contract management thrives.
Open Windows Software is Australia’s premium provider of contract management solutions. Our comprehensive system elevates visibility of the contract lifecycle and facilitates proactive management of tenders, suppliers, contracts, and capital projects. For 25 years, Open Windows has empowered hundreds of commercial and public-sector businesses to take control of their contracts, enhance their value, and build compliant, business-specific procurement processes which drive transformation.
The Open Windows Verified Supplier Network™ underpins our system and everything we stand for, driving continuous compliance, trust, and social sustainability for users.
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