In Defense of the Signed Document [PRO]
Many people refer to ERP systems (notably master data stored in them) as the â€śsystem of record,” which is interesting terminology. Think about supplier master data entered in the buyerâ€™s ERP system that immediately can become â€śstaleâ€ť the moment itâ€™s entered. Letâ€™s even take a better example of the penultimate document of record between the trading parties: the contract. A buying organization can use a contract lifecycle management solution that is fully integrated with an e-sourcing solution and even Microsoft Word documents that can be used as the user interface of sorts in contract authoring. Data is tracked at a detailed data element level and built up from low-level clause libraries. Yet when it comes time to seal the deal, the buyer and supplier print the contract and then start scurrying around for the final signatures, usually hand-written and faxed, only to then be stored and scanned so that the document image can be attached back to the CLM/ERP system. In today’s Spend Matters PRO research brief, Pierre Mitchell makes an argument for the need of systems to accommodate the data types and user types across the source-to-pay continuum.