I have written a lot about the value of Contract and Commercial Management. Much of this is focused on the big, immediate return on investment items like invoice management, pre-award support or change order management. It is normal and natural that people want the quick return. But there is real value in the boring, disciplined approach as well. So what does this have to do with Contract Lifecycle Management? Well, for starters, from small things big things will come. There is tremendous value in these processes, but a company needs to put in the time on the little things to make the big rewards. Here are some concrete examples:
- Document Retention: I know it’s not exciting to have all your documents in one place. Neither is paying your taxes, but failure to do so can lead to real problems. The most basic building block of all contract lifecycle management is having a good grip on where your documents are. Without this, how can you protect yourself or squeeze value.
- Obligation Tracking: Imagine contracts are Christmas presents. Yes – it is important to know where they are. But isn’t it just as important to know what’s inside each present? Without a method to break down what’s in the contract, every contract is a gamble. Is it a really cool robot toy or is it socks? Without looking, you’ll never know.
Yes. Document retention and obligation tracking don’t lead to immediate gains. But without these activities, we could never get to pricing adjustments, rebate enforcement or scope protection. I know we all want “quick wins”. But believe it or not, you need to work out to get into shape. Running 5 miles once will make you tired. Running 5 miles every day will make you strong. And yes – sometimes you need to do the disciplined things to get to the wins.