What We Can Learn from Contract Management Innovation Award Winners

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Operational improvement leaders in contract management can teach a lot

Last year the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management or IACCM, an organization which describes itself as a “global forum for innovation in trading relationships and practices” conducted its annual Innovation Awards. The awards program which encourages innovation in both contract and commercial management best practices, recognizes individuals and teams who are raising the profile of contract and commercial capability within their organizations. There are three awards: Operational Improvement Award, Outstanding Service Provider Award and Personal Initiative Award, Program of Visionary Change Award, and Strategic Direction Award. The winner of the Operational Improvement Innovation Award was able to lead the category by being focused on “unlocking existing skills and capability within the organization to achieve contracting excellence.” But what did this actually mean? Well we have broken it down to learn what these leaders got right last year.

The first step to contract management operational excellence is taking a step back to access the current process and determine where there are gaps and if and where there is room for improvement. The 2015 Operational Improvement Innovation Award winning organization evaluated the status of contract management skill-sets, processes and systems. It discovered that these processes could be categorized as “basic” mostly due to a “siloed mentality” caused by several different business units operating independently from one another.

Once the root of the problem was discovered the winning organization went on create a Contract Management Excellence team or (CME) to establish overall guidelines and processes to improve contract management across the entire organization. Once the CME committee was established, the team implored each individual business unit to develop their own action plan that aligned with the CME objectives. Once each business unit developed an action plan, the CME committee provided support across the organization and helped to foster buy-in from each department.

Lastly, the CME developed strong strategies to help ensure contract management best practices including:

  1. Building a contract management curriculum to upskill all employees
  2. Developing a community that connected over 500 professionals involved in managing contracts
  3. Creating enterprise-wide tools and systems for contract workflow management and a central data repository to ensure standardization across the organization

To summarize, an organization can achieve contract management excellence by one – accessing current problems, two – choosing a dedicated team committed to contract management excellence and three – developing action-oriented strategies to support best practices across the organization.

ConvergePoint Contract Management Software can help in the third step of the contract management excellence effort. Our turnkey software is an effective tool to create and manage contract workflows and offers a central repository for contracts to be stored. Beyond these two award-winning practices, ConvergePoint’s Contract Lifecycle Management Software sends automated reminders for contract expiration and renewal dates, and offers real-time dashboards to track where in the lifecycle a contract stands. Learn more about how ConvergePoint can help your organization achieve operational excellence. Schedule a demo now.

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