The Changing Role of the Senior Level Contract Manager
One important trend in the contract management industry is the shift in the role of the senior level contract manager from being just a senior level manager to being more of a senior level manager of a team of contract managers.
The technological advances, particularly in contract management software, in the last decade have set the stage for junior level contract managers to take that senior role of management because not only the first have the technological know-how but also the energy level to keep on top, and as much as possible ahead, of the latest industry trends.
The Importance of Collaboration
In the role of the senior level contract manager, one dynamic that often takes place is the pairing of younger contract managers with more experienced senior ones. This partnership happens naturally because both the young manager and the seasoned manager benefit from the collaboration. They both need each other.
For experienced contract managers, it used to be easy to pull rank due to their seniority but nowadays, technological advances have shattered that expectation. The logistics and contract management industries have such a constant inflow of new information that is becoming harder and harder to keep up with the questions from clients regarding new contract strategies and terminologies.
A special point of consideration is the need to adequately leverage your enterprise contract management system so that there are no information asymmetries. All departments and team members need to be on the same page and contract management systems have several features, such as dashboards, automate email reminders, and customizable contract processes, that enable this to become a reality.
No Longer Isolated
On the other hand, senior level contract managers used to be able to claim that they needed time to focus on their own portfolio of clients. This is no longer the case. All senior contract managers count on the junior managers to keep up with the latest trends, prepare education seminars for the team (e.g. training and certification programs from the IACCM), and point out specific changes that affect the industry. There is no room for isolated contract managers.
Also crucial for junior and senior managers is the opportunity to be mentored, which is something every contract manager should strive for. Constructive mentoring provides vital support and teaching that prepares any contract manger for a rewarding and ever-growing career. According to Kathryn Tyler from HR Magazine, professionals who have used a mentor earn between $5,610 to $22,450 more annually than those who didnt. In the contract management and logistics businesses, that difference is often much larger.
A cornerstone of any contract management team’s ability to grow its services is building real one-on-one relationships among team members, truly understanding and caring about their needs, and devising the best strategies for furthering their careers.
There needs to be someone to take the reins of the education side and someone that has been personally groomed meet the clients ongoing needs. The ultimate beneficiaries of this evolution of the role of the senior level contract manager are the clients, who are able to benefit from the quality service from the seasoned professional and the timely industry updates from the junior manager.