Contract Management Automation: Does It Make A Difference?
IACCM has been a strong proponent of automation and has undertaken a variety of studies over the years. Unlike the analysts – who often see things only in terms of theoretical process – IACCM has a more in-depth understanding of this field and recognizes that many practical obstacles that stand in the way of automation. Among these is the fact that few organizations view contract management as a well-defined or structured process and, more importantly, there are no clear owners or champions for improvement.
However, automation has become more prevalent and many contracts groups now have some software support. But the nature of that support is highly variable, both in its nature and in its scope. That is one of the main reasons that contracts professionals commonly complain about the amount of ‘administrative work’ that they must do. Yet many have also been firmly resistant to automation, which they somehow see as threatening – rather than enriching – their job.
In a current survey, IACCM is exploring the extent to which automation makes a difference to the effectiveness and efficiency of the contracts or commercial organization. Early results show that it has a potentially significant effect, increasing speed, user satisfaction, the quality of communication and improved handling of risk. The results of the study also reveal that the scope and nature of the solution makes a marked difference to the value it provides.
There are many competing candidates for contract management software, ranging from in-house developments to comprehensive third party solutions. One option is Sharepoint and IACCM member Corridor Consulting has produced a white paper (first in a series) to answer the most common questions posed by organizations that are considering using SharePoint natively for Contract Management. Native in this context refers to using SharePoint without any product add-ons or programmatic customizations—in essence, to leverage as many out of the box capabilities as possible. For a more complete and detailed analysis of the factors to consider if selecting this option, you can access the white paper by clicking on this link.