This is an extract from and old, but still very valid report written by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, called: Contract Management – control value and minimise costs.
If you are in the process of selecting a Contract Management software solution, make sure you benmark your selection criteria against these points.
Criteria for selecting an Enterprise Contract Management solution:
- Companies that have reported the most success are those which have started small with focused implementations covering complex spending categories like facilities or real-estate, complex service agreements, R&D contracts and intellectual property.
- Without modifications to the source code the system should, via configuration, be flexible enough to:
– Support all of your contracts and end-to-end processes be they contracts, agreements, terms and conditions, warranties, projects, deals, mortgages, loans, insurance policies, intellectual property rights licences, leases or assignments.
– Evolve with future requirements and expand with the enterprise
– Cope with development of new types of contracts and new regulations
- The repository is key. Make sure it is comprehensive:
– You need to be able to maintain complex relationships with all your contractual counterparties – including customers, suppliers, partners, intermediaries and advisors. This means support for hierarchies of contracts with multiple dependencies and many-to-many relationships with role-based participants.
– It should store not only documents but also e-mails and comments that are important to interpret the contract (they can also be binding).
– It should provide a comprehensive audit trail.
– Security means being able to limit access at a contract level.
- Ensure it can support you globally dealing in multi-lingual and multi-currency contracts.
- Check it complies with corporate IT objectives such as using an open scalable Internet architecture like Microsoft.NET or J2EE.
- Ease of use is critical. Key users such as legal and finance are not necessarily ‘IT savvy’. Ease of use is not just desirable, it is essential to the overall successful adoption of any system.
- Ensure that the software vendor has a relevant track record of success – and it is involved in the project alongside the systems integrator.