The Contract Management Category

Using Contract Management to Drive Cross-Functional Digital Transformation

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Contract management is a critical enabler to digital transformation. By digitizing a business’ contracts, procurement organizations can unlock numerous benefits, from spurring enterprise agility to reducing compliance risks to improving working capital metrics. But achieving such improvements won’t happen alone. Procurement will need to enlist its cross-functional partners in sales, legal and finance to expand a digital contract transformation from a confined functional capability to an enterprise-wide program.

How AI Forces Procurement to Change the Concept of Contract Management: A Q&A with Seal Software CEO Ulf Zetterberg

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Artificial intelligence (AI) may be the holy grail of procurement software capabilities, but few vendors have begun to distinguish the plain chalice of useful functionality from the jewel-encrusted goblet of empty marketing promises. This is especially true when it comes to contract management software, which claims numerous possible applications of AI yet few real-life case studies. To learn more about how the contract management software market has evolved in this context, we sat down with Ulf Zetterberg, founder and CEO of Seal Software, a provider of contract discovery, extraction and analytics solutions, to discuss how procurement organizations can tell if AI capabilities are the real deal, as well as how regulatory challenges from GDPR and increased M&A are changing the very concept of CLM.

Agiloft: What Makes It Great (Contract Lifecycle Management SolutionMap Analysis)

Contract management is among the most complex and multifaceted sectors within the procurement software market. In no other SolutionMap category is there a greater divergence between top standalone solutions and their broader suite counterparts.

Within this category, Agiloft, a contract lifecycle management (CLM) specialist, stands out from the crowd on numerous fronts. It is both one of the highest-performing contract management software vendors based on demonstrated technology capability in the Q2 2018 Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) SolutionMap and a customer favorite for multiple buying personas. Agiloft‘s SolutionMap performance provides compelling evidence that the company is a must-shortlist candidate for all contract management software buying scenarios.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

Beyond Greenwashing: How to Make CSR Clauses Truly Effective (Part 2)

Editor’s note: This is Part 2 in a two-part series covering EcoVadis’s recent study of CSR contractual practices among buyers and suppliers. Part 1 covered the limited effectiveness of today’s CSR clauses

Among buyers, inserting a corporate social responsibility (CSR) clause into their contracts with suppliers is a pretty common occurrence. According to EcoVadis’s 2018 study on CSR contractual practices, about 70% of buyers do so. The same study found, however, that more than 50% of suppliers say that they have come across CSR requirements that could not be met. But perhaps the greater problem is the fact that most CSR clauses are vague and ineffectual, providing for little enforceability and verifiability.

Are CSR Clauses Truly Effective in Improving Supply Chain Sustainability? (Part 1)

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) clauses are a common feature in contracts between buyers and suppliers. Yet the vague language of the majority of these clauses suggests limited effectiveness in actually bringing about sustainable practices, according to a recent study of more than 550 buyers and suppliers conducted by EcoVadis. Today, the adoption of CSR practices is quickly becoming the norm. According to the International Association of Contract and Commercial Managers (IACCM), nearly three-quarters of companies include a sustainability clause in their procurement contracts. Moreover, half also monitor their suppliers’ environmental and social performance.

SolutionMap: 40 Procurement Software Companies, Ranked (Q2 2018 Update)

procurement software

Spend Matters today released its Q2 2018 SolutionMap, ranking 40 procurement software companies across nine different solution categories, including E-Procurement, Sourcing, Spend Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management and Contract Lifecycle Management, in addition to end-to-end suites and their capabilities. So what's new this quarter? Read on to take a peek under the hood.

The 3 Contract Management Concepts that Will Enable Digital Transformation

As we explored in the first part of this series, a successful digital transformation is defined by certain characteristics. These characteristics touch the core processes of the business, which means that driving a digital transformation requires changing the core systems of commerce as well. And there’s no better way to start reforming core business processes than taking a digital approach to managing your contracts. With the strategy clear, the next step to enabling digital transformation is to understand the key aspects of a digital contract lifecycle management (CLM)system. Knowing these three key concepts will get you up to speed, and putting them to work will create the business and technical foundations you need for a successful digital transformation.

Q2 2018 SolutionMap Release Notes: Sourcing, Spend Analytics, SRM, CLM and Strategic Procurement Technology Suites

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the Q2 2018 SolutionMap release for Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, and Strategic Procurement Technologies Suite SolutionMaps, reviewing the process we follow and highlighting what has changed since the last release.

Within the individual areas covered in this brief, the following provider has been added to the Q2 2018 release: Bonfire. Additionally, providers such as EC Sourcing, Ivalua, and SynerTrade have received updated scoring following the submission and demonstration of new capabilities based on production releases of individual modules. (Non-GA capabilities are not considered in SolutionMap scoring.) Perhaps most important, over 100 new customer references were added in the Strategic Procurement Technology areas for Q2.

This SolutionMap Insider release note explores these and additional changes in the Q2 2018 SolutionMap release.

Icertis Finally Releases AI-Based Contract Analytics: Is The CLM Death Star Now Complete?

Pardon the “Star Wars” reference, but I’m excited about the new Han Solo movie. AI is one of the few critical differentiators within the CLM space, and there’s not a hotter CLM pure-play provider than Icertis. Eighteen months ago, we wrote a four-part series about AI in contract management that explained the various value propositions of AI in the CLM space. In the first installment, we mentioned Icertis, but had to add a caveat to the mention. As of Tuesday, however, we’re going to have to finally update that post, as Icertis has added two new AI-powered apps to its offering.

Want to Buy a Contract Management System? Here Are a Few Questions You Need to Ask [PRO]

Buying a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) application can seem daunting. There are so many stakeholders who touch contracts. We can’t imagine any more foundational commercial business application than contract management that affects so many stakeholders. And at the same time, there are so many market choices.

Trust us, we live these every day. We have over 50 functional requirements within our CLM SolutionMap evaluation database, and there are many requirements that are simply table stakes: version control, role-based access, contract renewal alerts, contract templates, and even basic clause libraries are becoming commodity functionality.

However, there are only a handful of decision points in the decision tree to get down to the few providers that will meet your needs.

First, you have to decide whether you need just pure buy-side capabilities or whether you also need sell-side capabilities and support for employee contracts as well (i.e., whether you really need truly enterprise-wide CLM). If you need strong sell-side functionality, then you’ll immediately be able to knock out some buy-side players, even some of the main procurement suite players.

Next, you’ll need to decide on whether to go with a broader suite or a “mini-suite” provider, or whether you only need just core CLM capabilities. A “mini-suite” can take many forms. Some providers combine CLM plus some sourcing functionality, and others combine CLM with supplier management capabilities (and some have even broader risk/compliance functionality). For practitioners that want to look at some custom combinations of providers, we now support custom SolutionMaps that cross multiple areas so that you can create a true custom SolutionMap rather than just our persona-based maps for various solution types. Contact me if you’d like to discuss this.

And there’s always the issue of whether your IT department prefers the solution to run on existing application infrastructure, whether it’s your ERP system or a SharePoint platform. Hopefully these aren’t hard constraints because there’s only so far that you’ll get with a document-centric approach! You can get to a certain level of capability by adding metadata to contract documents, but until you can model the contract data itself, you’re only going to get so far.

Finally, there’s a handful of unique detailed functionality that really separates the various players. Some of these areas will become more commoditized in the next few years, but others are not so easily solved by marching through the “Feature 500” list. Although the rest of this analysis is for Spend Matters PRO level members only, we welcome our Spend Matters Plus practitioner subscribers to contact us and we’ll send you a copy of this full analysis.

Healthcare’s Purchased Services Management Problems Expose Contract Management Deficits

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As a super-category of spend, purchased services continue to pose challenges that are felt across all industry. Although there’s a well-known playbook (i.e. get your data-act together; benchmark; rationalize suppliers and source better arrangements), what is it about purchased services that continues to confound our best efforts? Among healthcare providers — an industry that is just now learning to take control of its supply chains — it has been exposed as a huge problem.

Contract Expert and New LegalSifter Advisor Ken Adams on How AI Adoption is Changing Contracting

Earlier this month, LegalSifter added a renowned expert in contract language to its team. Ken Adams, who joined LegalSifter as an advisor, is the author of “A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting,” published by the American Bar Association, and has spent about 30 years in the legal profession. The legal profession is not particularly known for innovation, so what is it going to look like as AI increasingly comes into play? We posed some questions to Adams on the rise of AI and broader trends in contract management, as well as his work at LegalSifter.