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.
We recently returned from our sixth IACCM Americas Forum which took place in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona. The conference had a few hundred contract professionals from many of the largest organizations in the world, and as is the case with prior IACCM conferences, the knowledge exchange among the attendees was of incredible value. Coupled with the attendee networking, the conference of course had multiple tracks with numerous contract related sessions. While I speak with bias as we are fans of IACCM, the IACCM conferences are the best professional association conferences I have attended.
Post by Dermot Whittaker, Sales Support Manager, Corridor Company
In our last blog, Contract Economics 101 | Focusing the Right Human Resources on the Right Business Problem, we reviewed the different roles professionals play in creating and managing contracts. While you may have the good fortune to have a team of attorneys in your employ, it might not make smart economic sense to dedicate them to standard contract reviews. Rather, it is best to ensure that those who can most economically and efficiently address the various aspects of contract lifecycle management do so.
Picking up where we left off, our first area of analysis for purposes of our Contract Economics discussion includes focusing the right human resources on the right business problems. When considering this in the realm of contract management, there are a variety of areas which need to be considered. How are contracts created and who has the ability to request or provide contracts? Who negotiates these contracts and approves the language changes or the spend? Once the contract is finalized, who signs the contract, where is it stored, and who is responsible for managing the contract to ensure that the obligations – whether those that the company has made to its clients or that its vendors have made to it – are fulfilled? And, who has to support these activities, both from a process and business perspective, as well as a technical (if applicable) standpoint?