Contract Management Trends for 2018

Business relationships have grown more complex in recent years, and thus contract management has had to evolve in order to keep up with the times. To understand how technology has affected contract management, you only have to notice how rare it is these days for contracts to be written on paper instead of electronically.

Larger technological developments will continue to change how contract management is practiced -- perhaps on a level as revolutionary as the paperless contract. Now that we're in a new year, it's a good time to reflect on what lies in store for contract management in the near future.

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Characteristics of a Good Contract Compliance Manager

Implementing a contract compliance program protects an organization against unintentional compliance breaches, which can carry serious penalties. Often, putting together an effective program involves hiring one or more contract compliance managers. Finding the right person to serve in this capacity is a top priority to address compliance effectively. Before determining the most important characteristics of an effective contract compliance manager, it makes sense to review the responsibilities of the role. Some aspects of the job will naturally vary from organization to organization, but compliance management typically involves the following:

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3 Tips to Improve Supplier Compliance

Most businesses will have to engage the services of outside vendors at some point in their existence. And, for many companies, contracting with external suppliers is a routine aspect of conducting business. After all, it is often necessary to source parts, obtain goods, or utilize the services of other firms in order for a company to operate in a timely, cost efficient manner. Unfortunately, relying on outside help may also bring about additional issues that can disrupt the very efficiency that was sought. To avoid production disruptions and cost overruns, it is important to establish and maintain good working relationships with reliable suppliers. One of the best ways to improve supplier compliance is by simply having a coherent plan of action in place. Here are three tips to improve supplier compliance:

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How to Perform a Contract Compliance Audit

Contracts are critical legal instruments for companies of all sizes in virtually every sector. Although sourcing, negotiating, and drafting contracts can be quite a tedious process, contracting does not end once the agreement is put to paper. In fact, the real work begins once all parties have signed the final documents. To ensure that the terms and conditions of a contract are being performed as stipulated, it is crucial to conduct periodic audits. This may be done at a micro level (i.e., by contract) or at a macro level (i.e., a review of the entire portfolio). Here are some of the key points to consider to perform a contract compliance audit:

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How Contract Management Can Impact Your Company's Financial Success

Contracting is a necessary facet of running a business, with many companies entering into multiple contracts on a daily basis. Of course, given that contracts are legally binding, enforceable agreements, they can carry some pretty significant consequences. Unfortunately, the management phase of the contracting cycle is often overlooked, as emphasis is placed more heavily on the front end of the contracting cycle, which involves negotiations and drafting. This is clearly an erroneous oversight because poor contract management will no doubt result in negative financial outcomes. Here are some key ways that inadequate contract management can impact a company’s financial success.

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The 5 Best Books About Compliance Management You Need to Read

Compliance is a tricky facet of running a business well and maintaining a robust contract portfolio. Understanding the many nuances will take time, and although attaining proficiency in the subject is certainly feasible, developing true expertise will require diligent research on many topics, as well as consistent involvement in the process over a fairly significant period of time.To help professionals get up to speed on the ins and outs of compliance management and understand what it will take to create the right corporate culture that will facilitate the creation and maintenance of an effective compliance program, here is a list of some books on the matter that are worth reading.

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The Ten Key Terms You Need to Know for Compliance Management

Compliance is a rather complicated albeit quite necessary facet of contracting. Of course, formal compliance procedures are not necessarily applicable in all contractual relationships, but it is highly relevant in the realm of government contracting and for the healthcare industry. Even if the nuances of compliance are not presently pertinent to your company’s contract portfolio, it is highly likely that they will be at some point. As a result, all contract management professionals must have a basic understanding of the process. Here are the key terms to know:

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Our Free, Compact Checklist for Contract Reviews and Audits

Companies engaged in high volume contracting will likely encounter a contract portfolio review and/or audit at some point. This may be an internal process conducted to analyze the contract management system in place, or an external party may conduct the review to verify compliance. In many cases, both internal and external reviews may have to occur, perhaps on an annual basis or only one time every few years. Regardless of the type and scope of review that must take place, there are certain steps the contract management team can take to ensure that they are prepared for any such process. Here is a general checklist that may come in handy:

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How to Use Healthcare Contract Management For Compliance

For the past few years, the healthcare industry has dealt with growing state and federal regulations by increasing compliance budgets and staffing. And as demands accrue for greater accuracy, privacy, and patient data security healthcare organizations are carefully considering ways to improve compliance.

One area of ongoing concern for healthcare organizations is contract management. Contracts are required for many aspects of business, but a Journal of Contract Management report found that over 70 percent of companies can't find 10 percent or more of their signed contracts. This alarming statistic should give any management team pause, but the issue is particularly sensitive for the healthcare industry. Lost contracts can lead to serious breaches of privacy, duplications and administrative errors resulting in penalties for the organization.

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5 Soft Skills for Contract Management Success

Successful management, both contract and otherwise, really boils down to cultivating solid working relationships. Obviously, the economics of a deal and the business operations of the parties involved are important facets of a smooth transaction. But, the knowledge and skills of the folks behind the scenes are equally important, if not more so. The team members’ soft skills are always relevant to how matters play out, especially when things go slightly awry, which is likely to happen in some form or fashion.

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