Outdated supply chain management processes can prevent organisations like yours from navigating the supply chain contract lifecycle easily.  When you rely upon processes that become inefficient as they evolve and grow, your business may face various challenges and risks that bog you down and prevent growth, efficiency, a strong reputation and increased ROI.  Don’t let obsolete supply chain contract management processes hinder your organisation’s evolution.

The 1st sign – unintegrated contract management, procurement and eSourcing

A process that doesn’t unify contract management, procurement, and sourcing can leave your business disorganised – potentially leading to:

  • missed key dates and milestones
  • contract lifecycle bottlenecks
  • issues with tracking deliverables
  • duplicate orders
  • failure to place orders
  • missed payments, and much more.

Luckily, leading contract management software provides integration for contract management, contract authoring, eProcurement, and eSourcing processes – delivering a one-stop resource to help organisations to meet their supply chain agreements and other source-to-contract management needs.  You can integrate supplier management with contract management, purchase requisitions, rules-based approvals, eSourcing, automated bid advertising, electronic signatures, item management, supplier tracking, searching and reporting, inventory and fulfillment tracking, and more for a unified supply chain contract management process.

The 2nd sign – ineffectual requests and bid advertisement

Manual request document generation and bid advertisement performed without the help of contract management software can leave you scrambling for a way to streamline bids.

Luckily, with trusted source-to-contract management software, you can create and manage templates and versions with a pre-approved clause library that allows for merging with request record data fields.  From there, your contract management team can quickly generate documents for requests and easily export them into standard file formats such as MS Word and PDF.  When a request record is complete, you can publicly advertise bids or advertise by invite-only, expediting the process of finding a supplier.

The 3rd sign – unclear criteria for supplier evaluation

It can be difficult to award the most appropriate suppliers for an organisation’s needs.  With an insufficient process for establishing criteria, assigning weight to some criteria over others, and rating prospective suppliers, you can be met with a misaligned supplier selection and, in turn, wasted revenue and compromised reputation.

With reputable supply chain management software, however, you can promote proper supplier selection.  Supplier scorecards and response ratings can help you select the most capable supplier for their specific needs.  With the help of bid rating weight control, organisations can establish the weight of particular supplier response criteria over others when they are scoring supplier bids.  Thus promoting a process that reduces compliance and regulatory issues, helps you manage your budgets effectively and virtually ensures the selection of the proper supplier.

The 4th sign – lack of unified contract storage

Company-wide contract awareness and collaboration is needed in contract management.  However, when a contract is stored within various file paths, emails, and filing cabinets, you leave yourself at risk of losing contracts and contract versions as well as missing notifications, alerts, and more.  Overall, your departments and teams w ill lack unification and transparency, and various tasks involved in contract management across departments become confusing.

The remedy to this outdated practice is a secure contract repository with easy-to-use contract management software.  Your teams can organise, track, and store supply chain contracts and documents, maintain version control, quickly locate legacy contracts, track approval statuses, undergo internal and external collaboration, and much more.  Additionally, authorised users can receive contract management reports for improved contract oversight and contract analytics.

The 5th sign – missed key dates and milestones

Timing and promptness on key dates are critical for effective purchasing, sourcing, and delivery of goods.  Staying abreast of timelines is vital for a healthy supply chain.  Processes reliant on manually emailed and written date reminders may lead to delays and bottlenecks with potentially disastrous consequences that damage reputation and contract performance.

An easy way to this fallout is to handle supply chain management key dates and milestones with automated alerts.  Leading-edge contract management software can help your business set up email reminders and configure who receives those reminders so that necessary tasks can be completed promptly.

Furthermore, workflow bottlenecks can be avoided with task escalation if an employee does not perform their task on time.  This task escalation feature includes multiple fail-safes to virtually ensure task completion.  If you take the opportunity to leverage a powerful contract lifecycle management software platform you can promote an organisational culture that values key date awareness, accountability and timely task completion.  All these tools can shorten supply chain contract lifecycles and better supply chain management processes from requests through renewals.

The 6th sign – weak and error-prone financials tracking

The transparency of financial data for tracking, management, and analytics is crucial for a healthy budget, comparison of purchases performed to the terms and conditions of a contract, and the elimination of unnecessary supply chain spending.  A financials tracking procedure that forces your teams to manually set thresholds, track budget changes in spreadsheets, and store financials documents in unsecured locations can lead to:

  • data leakage
  • financials tracking errors
  • a lack of context for financials as they relate to past contracts
  • unnecessary spending etc.

Thankfully, robust contract management software allows your business to sync contract budget records with related purchase order records.  The integration unifies supply chain purchasing and promotes data transparency for better financials tracking and reporting.

As line items are added to purchase order records, purchase order amounts will change accordingly.  Then, scalable contract management software provides percentages of total budgets that a specific purchase order represents.  This helpful tool allows you to compare purchases performed to the terms of a contract effortlessly, tracking user activity and budget changes.

Software system administrators can set thresholds for requestor and approver spending.  This tool allows your administrators to determine the budget percentage employees have used and what the budget amount has been spent on.  Admins in charge of supply chain contract financials are consequently empowered with governance and oversight over employee spending permissions.  Once an employee user hits their budget limit, they are unable to add or approve subsequent purchase orders.  So you can quickly decrease unauthorised supply chain spending at the individual level.

The 7th sign – risk-prone compliance management

Proper compliance management is so important when it comes to maintaining an positive organisational reputation.  Managing various compliances and regulations without reporting metrics, an easy way to adhere to key dates, or any insight into the way contracts interrelate, can leave you at legal, reputational, financial and contractual risk.

Fortunately, advanced contract management software gives you a diverse expanse of tools for supply chain compliance.  Reporting transparency offers important visibility into contractual relationships thanks to robust audit trails that detail changes made to a contract.

Industry-specific compliances and regulations, such as anti-corruption and code of conduct compliance, can be managed with advanced reporting and alerts for key date, milestone and renewal opportunity requirements.  Users can configure the way they imbibe essential information with an online report designer.

So you can sustain your reputation and be confident in your adherence to laws and standards with supply chain contract management software.

Embrace growth with supply chain contract management software

Now that you have outgrown tired and antiquated supply chain management methods, it’s time to employ the right source-to-contract solution for your needs!  That solution is Contract Insight® from Four Business Solutions.

Contract Insight from Four

Contract Insight is a cloud-hosted (SaaS) or deployed (on-premise) contract management solution.  The acclaimed platform is trusted by thousands of professionals for their contract management, legal document management, procurement and sourcing needs.  Used by many Fortune 500 companies, Contract Insight gives you real time visibility into your contracts. It doesn’t just shore up your security; it will help you meet contract compliance regulations, centralise your contract management and improve your overall contract administration process.

For more information, contact John O’Brien, CEO at Four Business Solutions, global business consultants and software integrators providing business processes improvements in Finance, Supply Chain and Operations, across a broad range of industries.