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6 Most Common Flaws in Contract Management

contract common flawsProper contract management is essential to any business. Regardless of your industry, a large bulk of transactions are tied to a contract, which provide key detail, such as what are the standards for deliverables, how your enterprise gets paid, and what are steps in case of breach of contract.

This is why contract management determines how sustainable is your practice. More than just a necessary evil, contract management has a direct effect on your company operations. In this article, we will review the 6 most common flaws in contract management.


The Importance of Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance in Contract Management

sarbanes oxley complianceThe Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was written after the aftermath from the Enron and WorldCom financial disasters. While there had been serious bankruptcies before, what happened with those two companies had severe repercussions in the U.S. stock market. Congressman Oxley estimates a loss of $8 trillion during 5 years for loss of investor confidence in the U.S. stock market.

The main objective of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was to restore the investor confidence that was lost due to financial scandals. However, the Act also had the effect of increasing record keeping costs for companies of all sizes.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of compliance of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in contract management.


Filtering Out the Noise in Contract Management

filer out noise in contract managementThe digital revolution brings with it easy access to a mind-boggling amount of information. The New York Times reports that we now consume three times as much information as we did 50 years ago.

There is of course great value to a contract manager of having this instant access to a wealth of data, because good information drives our industry. But there’s also a downside. All this information can be overwhelming, and the truly important information can easily be lost in all the incoming “noise.”


4 Tips to Streamline Contract Management Processes

contract management efficienciesTime is money.

This is why we strive to run lean, mean operations that are both efficient and effective. Figuring out how to streamline contract management processes can often be challenging because you may have become too comfortable with how thing are. It’s easier to go with the flow than to try to come up with a new process.

However, inefficient and dysfunctional contract management processes lead to unhappy customers, stressed colleagues, missed deadlines, and increased costs. Here are 4 suggestions that you may have not tried before to streamline your contract management processes.


The Importance of Delegation in Contract Management

delegating contract managementEffective client management is a critical element of any contract lifecycle.  One of the top reasons why clients defect is that they feel that they are just one of several dozens of clients. And they may be right about that. To win a client we put on our best suits and prepare our best Power Points, but once the client is in, our commitment to quality seems to go downhill.

While it is true that you need several clients to maintain your operation sustainable and create opportunities for growth, it is also true that you cannot let the quality of client service slip. This is when delegation comes. A survey found that about half of companies are concerned with the delegation skills of their employees. Because you need to lead by example, here are 3 tips to use delegation effectively to improve your level of client service.


How to Boost Fourth Quarter Contract Management

fourth quarter contract managementAs we are entering the fourth quarter, your contract management team still has time to meet your 2014 goals and start preparing for 2015.

Here are 5 ways to boost your contract management processes during the fourth quarter.

1. Put on the Good Word for Your Clients

The most sure-fire way to secure your job is by securing that of your clients. As we get towards the end of the year, it is very likely that managers and executives are gearing up for their performance reviews. Now it is it time to work on improving your client management.


Why Email is not a Replacement for Contract Management Software

email contract managementIf you have ever walked out of a staff meeting with the IT department feeling completely clueless about what just happened, you’re not alone. According to a 2014 Fortune poll, 31% of senior managers feel that in-house IT staff explain tech trends “not very thoroughly” or “not clearly at all, and 29% of them admit to “still have a lot of questions”.

This uncertainty about available technologies is the main reason why so many contract managers still rely purely on email. This is not only a suboptimal tool for contract management, but also one that exposes your company to unnecessary risk. Here are the 4 reasons why email is not a replacement for a contract management system.


How Contract Structure Should Reflect Business

general contract unique contractThe President and founder of the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM), Tim Cummins points out that contract structure is an important topic. “Not only to ensure the structure actually reflects the nature of the deal or relationship, but also to improve the ease of reviewing and understanding the contract”, Cummins says. “Having the wrong contract structure is actually one of the issues that frequently leads to claims or disputes”, he adds.

For example, in the oil and gas business the contract structure is pretty much standard. While each customer has it own structure for numbering, the contract is structured into section or exhibits. At the other end of complexity are the contracts from the construction industry, even more those that are funded by local, state or federal government monies. Under the latter scenario, costs and associated data needs to flow seamlessly and correctly for project,contract, billing, and financial management.


How to Create Quality Contracts

quality contractFounded in 1999 with support from British Telecom, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lucent Technologies, Marconi Communications, and Siemens, the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) stands as one the global forums for innovation in trading relationships and practices. The IACCM is a useful resource for contract managers around the world and its blog has some articles that have even reached almost 30,000 unique readers. As of 2012, the third most popular article is on what is the purpose of a contract and what are the quality indicators for a contract. The article surveys members of the IACCM and tries to define what ‘quality’ means in terms of a contract.

Here are some of the findings on how to create quality contracts.


The Importance of Integrity in Contract Management

integrity in contract managementIntegrity in business is a more complex topic than it might at first appear. Integrity could be summed as a list of “Don’ts”—don’t lie, don’t mislead, don’t conceal, don’t steal, don’t break professional ethics codes, and so on. Seen in this way, integrity in business is simply about doing the right thing—as individuals and enterprises.

But there’s another perspective—integrity is also integrally tied to business success. There are of course exceptions—many of which get highly publicized—but generally speaking, the way to get ahead in business, as an individual and an organization, is through integrity.