Nice to see you again! Thanks for joining me for the second of my two part series where I reflect on the information shared by Mr. Tim Cummins, President and CEO of the IACCM, at our recent chapter meeting.
Corridor Company, the leading provider of Contract Management Software powered by the SharePoint and Microsoft Office 365 platforms, had the distinct pleasure of hosting the IACCM Boston Chapter Conference on Thursday, March 17, 2016 at Corridor Company’s Corporate Headquarters in Wakefield, Massachusetts. For those of you who are unaware, IACCM, also known as the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management, is the world’s leading professional organization and expert in Contract Management. Given IACCM’s industry status and the many companies in attendance, this was both an honor and pleasure for us at Corridor Company.
Recent headlines around Nestlé's confirmation that there is forced labor in its fishing supply chain will not come as a surprise to people in global procurement. Procurement professionals know that a key element of managing today's supply chain includes ensuring that the production of goods and services is not hampered by unethical or environmentally damaging practices. A consumer boycott or legal action in response to bad practices are as damaging as an earthquake or hurricane which takes a key supplier out of the chain.
Sales relies on momentum to succeed. When a customer shows buying signs or gives verbal confirmation of his or her intent to purchase, sales needs to seize the moment and guide the customer quickly – and carefully – through to the end of the funnel and the signing of the contract. Unnecessary delays introduce a variety of self-inflicted issues: budgets are reviewed and reduced, champions change positions, and new initiatives may trump a predecessor. The longer the closing process is, the greater the chances that a verbal confirmation will not move forward to actual closure.
As the CTO of Corridor Company, I’m frequently presented with the question, “Why SharePoint?" Having used a multitude of different technologies throughout my career as well as numerous content management systems, my response is immediate. Not only does SharePoint provide us with a world-class platform upon which we can build our product, it is one of the most flexible, user focused and prevalent products on the market.
Imagine this: you're negotiating a business deal, and things are going really well. Both sides agree on what is expected, and the relationship is off to a great start. But, then the contract negotiations begin, and questions arise around whose contract will be used.
One of Corridor’s most popular webinars this year was “Best Practices for a Contract Management RFP." In 45 minutes, we shared our experience with RFPs (as well as RFQs and RFIs, what we collectively refer to as RFx) in the contract lifecycle management space. We offered suggestions for determining scope, gathering quantitative data (numbers of contracts, addenda, attachments, reviews, approvals, system users, etc.), requesting (and providing) pertinent information to get an organization closer to a decision, and evaluating contract management vendors’ products and services. We provided examples of useful surveys and evaluation tools.
Most of today’s contract management system suppliers worth their salt have a collection of common features that allow them to qualify as legitimate contract management systems. This may include automated contract generation, contract approval, contract reporting, etc. The purpose of this blog is not to explore every aspect of a today’s contract management systems. Rather, this blog is all about the “un-contract" and why SharePoint is uniquely positioned to offer a unique value proposition that other CM platforms cannot. Coupled with Corridor’s Contract Management Business App for SharePoint -- CM[.app] -- an entirely new world opens up for applications which are adjacent or complementary to a contract process. We call these the “Un-Contracts."
It is safe to say that most commercial contracts have some form of obligations defined for your organization, the other organization, and/or for all organizations involved. The level of complexity, frequency, ownership and demonstrable success with these obligations will vary as widely as the performance related to the obligation. So, as a contract professional, you have a range of choices, from feigning complete ignorance to adopting a highly sophisticated obligation management strategy. Regardless of your choice, the decisions that you make will play a significant role in your contract risk portfolio.
In discussions of the ROI of a contract management system, the distinction is often made between efficiency and effectiveness. Getting more work done in less time, or at lower cost, is efficiency. When a contract management system reduces search time for contracts, allows standard language to be reviewed once instead of multiple times, and allows contract professionals to handle work that used to go to more skilled (and more costly) attorneys – that’s efficiency.