Contract management—get lean for 2018!

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Look at commercial management with clear eyes and a simpler sense of reality.

Happy 2018! I hope you had a chance to relax and perhaps indulge. But after a period of heavy eating (and perhaps drinking!) we all need to return to a sense of normality and a little balance—so, too, in the world of contract management.

In 2017, we all got fat on hearing about all sorts of contract management technology that could change our lives, replace lawyers, solve GDPR with a single click and ensure all of our chains contained the right blocks. Blockchain, automation, robot monkeys, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (spot the difference!) were some of the biggest buzzwords of 2017. The more we heard them, the more we indulged, becoming carried away by the hype, until we became too bloated and full for the simple message behind the technology to sink in.

But now that we’re all back to work and eating healthy again (or at least rationalizing our eating because we’re hitting our steps), we have real targets and should get back to looking at legal processes and commercial management with clear eyes and a simpler sense of reality.

So here are three tips for getting lean in 2018 on contract and commercial management.

  • Technology in moderation—we’re all told that we’re on the edge of tomorrow, the cusp of amazing, the future is now… but know where you are. The technology in this space is amazing, but as Polonius would say: “To thine own self be true.” If your organization doesn’t know where your documents are (and you’re certainly not alone there!), it would be wise not to jump into smart contracting and blockchain. The reality in 2018 is that you need to use technology. But the most important question is: which technology? Take baby steps to get a good platform that does the basics. Don’t overreach, and don’t worry, as you’re sure to outgrow it.
  • Process—I love process. I’m a lawyer that was kidnapped by business process outsourcing (BPO) people long ago. But the truth is real. If you want to get it right in 2018, look at your process. I still run into companies where the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) review person is “Steve.” I love Steve, but he’s not a process. Sorry Steve!
  • People—look at what people are doing. If your governance library is Sarah (not Steve, he’s busy), then you’re not optimized. You don’t need me to tell you that, but please do take it to heart. I work with lots of companies and countries, and all of them are great. But if your answer to any question is person X, you’re not being efficient.

Let’s get this right from the start. In 2018, the buzzwords will still be there, but if you stick to a simple diet about what technology can do for your organization, you’ll be able to adopt the right process and approach for a successful transformation.

Who knows, in another six months we’ll all be talking about “cognitive orchestration”—whatever that is.

To learn more about how Capgemini can help you choose the right contract management tools for your business and diet through the buzzwords and hype in 2018, contact: craig.conte@capgemini.com

Click here to learn more about how Capgemini’s Contract Compliance & Optimization (CCO) solution provides a broader and deeper solution to your compliance, cost reduction and spend protection goals, from an often-overlooked area—the written contract.

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