At the IACCM Europe conference last July, two out of three participants said that their companies lacked a clear, consistent workflow for contracting. Meanwhile, there was wide variation among business units in how workflow was defined. Organizations with effective contract workflow management, however, are achieving superior business results, while those without it too often lose revenue and valuable cycle time during the contracting process.
The IACCM has outlined some of the pitfalls that can arise when contracting workflow isn’t well-defined or managed. Primary among these is a lack of clarity about the scope and goals of a contract, which can lead to wasted time, increased risk and, at worst, legal disputes. Combine this with the competitive exposure of protracted negotiations and the poor handling of post-award contract lifecycle management, and your contracts could lose an average 9.2% in value.
Today, with contracts increasingly complex and specialized, the risk of potential damage from oversights and errors is higher than ever. As more businesses recognize that an effective workflow is absolutely critical to avoid value loss, they are looking to implement an efficient solution to successfully manage the contracting process.
SmartContracts® contract lifecycle management solutions can streamline and automate the process–from sourcing to procurement and contract management. Features such as process automation, configurable clause libraries and templates, secure e-signatures, and a built-in “chain of command” take the contract through clearly defined stages as it is negotiated, executed, and managed.
Effective contract workflow requires setting up clear, consistent steps across departments that don’t allow a contract to go forward unless the right people have seen and approved it. Far too often the right people aren’t involved in the contracting process at the right time. When stakeholders aren’t fully engaged in the process, their interests may be misaligned. Therefore, stakeholder engagement is critical for ensuring that the contract meets the needs of all parties.
In addition, all contract management software solutions that automate business processes must be completely integrated to keep things, such as contract renewals, from falling through the cracks, and be fully configurable to the organization’s unique situation.
Our webinar on contract workflow is now on demand. It is an invaluable resource for further in-depth exploration of contract management. Feel free to contact us with any questions about how improved workflow can reduce risk and revenue loss for your business.
*You can learn more about Enterprise Contract Lifecycle Management (ECLM) from Selectica CEO Patrick Stakenas and Gartner Research Analyst Nigel Montgomery by viewing their discussion here. Or read this white paper about contract collaboration and procurement’s role in decreasing risk, ensuring compliance, and increasing savings.