Treat Contract Management as a Strategic Business Process
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 10:15:00 GMT-05:00
It is well accepted that contracts
are at the crux of every business, and the value delivered by
underlying contract management systems can have a direct impact on
an organization’s top-line revenues, costs and regulatory compliance
(see Brian Wick’s recent post,
Contract Center: The Hat-Trick
of Business Value ).
Yet organizations often treat
contracts simply as important legal documents that, once signed, are
saved away in shared folders or content repositories (or even in
filing cabinets) until a need arises to look for them. By the way,
studies show a not-so-small percentage of these “safely stored”
contracts are not found after they are stored.
Contract management really needs to
be looked at as a broader, end-to-end, strategic business process,
rather than solely being the activity of aggregating contract
documents within a content repository. And, like any organizational core
competency or strategic asset, this business process—also referred
to as the contract lifecycle—needs to be efficient, consistent,
flexible, and built on best practices. It needs to be monitored,
analyzed, and continuously improved.
But different departments are
concerned with their own types of contracts, and each one may have
their own policies which are often undocumented or inconsistent,
procedures which some may be manual or semi-automated, and people
which may be disconnected or disorganized for dealing with drafting,
negotiation, and renewal of contracts. A centralized and
collaborative platform to manage all contracts transparently is
desirable, but how could one fulfill the unique requirements
(policy, procedure, and people) of each type, while also ensuring
that every individual contract moves flawlessly from request through
execution, or from enforcement through renewal?
This is where a cutting-edge BPM
platform can play a critical role. The newly launched Contract Center application fully harnesses the power of
the OpenText Process Suite to orchestrate the contracting process,
automate related workflows, execute rules, assign tasks, send
reminders, enforce deadlines, track milestones, remove bottlenecks,
and implement best practices for all contract types.
Contractual terms and other
information entered or generated as part of a contracting process
can be used not only to build dashboards, reports, and integrations,
but also to drive and optimize the progression of this process
itself. Contract documents to be authored, negotiated, redlined, or
executed are contextually and seamlessly integrated into each stage
of the contract lifecycle, and securely governed in the OpenText
Content Server which provides best-in-class ECM
capabilities. So with Contract
Center, contract managers and legal staff can quickly locate (or be
alerted) and stay on top of their active or in-progress contracts at
all times, and can rest assured that no contract will ever go out of sight.
more information on Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) and OpenText
Contract Center, don’t forget to register for the
Three Pitfalls of Poor Contract Lifecycle Management—and How to
Overcome Them .