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Webinar Notes: Collaborative Contract Management: Procurement’s Role in Enhancing Compliance and Mitigating Risk

Webinar Notes: Collaborative Contract Management: Procurement’s Role in Enhancing Compliance and Mitigating Risk

This week’s webinar notes are from a February 18th event presented by Selectica and featuring Ardent Partners‘ Andrew Bartolini. The event is available on demand on Selectica’s site.

When you combine the speaking points of Bartolini and Selectca’s VP of Strategy Bill DeMartino, you get a full how and why on collaborative contract management.

The first part of the webinar, presented by Bartolini, aimed at putting new approaches to contract management in the context of leading CPO’s plans for 2015. Savings targets have not diminished as a focus of procurement’s attention, but the pressure may be ebbing somewhat as overall effectiveness – namely better decision-making and execution – increases in importance.

Procurement needs to collaborate well with the CFO, the C-suite, and suppliers. And as Bartolini pointed out, in many cases, companies are now competing with each other throughout their entire supply or value chain rather than just as a single entity. When you drill down and look at the expected trends in 2015, contract management looms large as a representation of the commercial commitments made by supply partners.

Contracts are at the center of where procurement’s created value is delivered: where compliance is improved and risk is mitigated. The question is no longer how contracts are being stored but how they are being used throughout their entire lifecycle and the many internal processes they intersect with. We’ve gotten accustomed to talking about compliance, forgetting in some cases that this is casual shorthand for contract compliance. Remembering this increases the importance of contracts both before and after signature.

Automation efforts are important, but, as Bartolini stated, it is really about strategic (and potentially selective) standardization for the sake of scalability.

DiMartino took us through the ‘how’ of collaborative contract management. Most important is the notion that contract management is a cycle, not a linear process. Contracts are therefore located at the center of all efforts – as are other management efforts. Contract types and workflows need to be planned out and well matched.

While many in the webinar audience, myself included, were thinking about contract management as a procurement led effort, Selectica has also worked with finance, legal, and HR led efforts. (I am quite certain procurement would learn some interesting things be being a fly on the wall in those conversations.) The trend is towards contract management solutions that can support the needs of the enterprise – connecting sales and demand with procurement and supply, and all the steps and groups in between.

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