It's been an exciting year for us here at ContractWorks. We've learned a lot over the past twelve months and have used that knowledge to improve our product, improve our customer service, and improve the resources we provide for all people involved in the contract management process. In April, we launched our blog, and since then, we've posted around 75 posts on a wide variety of topics relevant to the world of contract management. Let's a take a look back at our five most popular contract management posts for 2015:
1. Managing Increasingly Complex Global Manufacturing Contracts
Manufacturing is complicated, especially as it often involves many different contracts with parties in different countries. This blog post, originally written in June, covers some of the basic components of manufacturing:
component sourcing, assembly, and packaging and shipping, and how to streamline those processes using contract management software. You can read the entire post here.
2. 5 Spreadsheet Blunders that Will Make You Think Twice
The ubiquitous spreadsheet. We love to hate them and in business, it seems we can't live with them and we can't live without them. This blog post, very popular on our social media channels, outlines some of the biggest spreadsheet failures in recent history. And let me tell you, these errors are whoppers. From the London Olympic organizing committee overselling ten thousand tickets to Barclays accidentally acquiring the wrong assets from Lehman Brothers, spreadsheet mistakes cost companies billions of dollars. You can find the article in it's entirety here. Hopefully, we'll learn from these mistakes so we're not doomed to repeat history.
3. How to Monitor the Performance of Executed Contracts
Much of the energy and attention regarding contacting is paid to the pre-award phase of the contract lifecycle- the negotiations, approval process, etc. However, most of the risk of contracting lies in the management phase of the lifecycle, which occurs after the deal has been signed. Contracts can be complicated and contain many parts, addendums, milestone dates, etc. A proper handover is critical for proper management, and once the contract has been handed over, the management team must critically monitor performance. After all, a contract that fails to deliver in the first six months of its life will likely experience a decreased ROI over the life of the contract. You can read the entire post here.
4. Effective Communication Strategies for Contract Managers
The contract manager's role has evolved over time, going from a largely administrative position to one that requires detailed analysis and strategy. Now, savvy contract managers focus on improving performance and utilizing contract data to anticipate potential issues, improve a company’s margins, and even secure business.
Unfortunately, for many companies, contract managers still struggle to have their work and input integrated into the company’s daily operations and overall strategy. Much of this stems from a simple lack of understanding of a contract manager’s role, as well as inadequate communication among departments. This blog post contains three strategies for contract managers to improve communication and better align a company’s contract portfolio with the business’s goals and objectives. You can read more of the post here.
5. Technology Forecast for Contract Managers: Clear Skies, Light Breeze
Finding simple-to-use software that helps the contract management process has been a significant problem in the contract management space until recently. In the past, contract managers had to choose between expensive, clunky, and impossible-to-implement systems or a manual process, likely involving Excel and Outlook (and we know from the blog post mentioned above what a problem Excel can be).
With the evolution of technology, and more specifically the evolution of SaaS (software as a service), contract managers are now experiencing the same options in simple, efficient technology that their counterparts in other departments have experienced in the past. The right software can lead to increased productivity and decreased risk and costs, so the forecast really is pleasant. You can read the entire post here.
As we move forward into 2016, we hope to continue to grow and learn more about how we can help our clients, our potential clients, and really anybody involved in contracting. Thank you for a wonderful 2015 and wishing you all a prosperous 2016!
-The ContractWorks Team