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If you’ve identified a need for a contract management system in your business, you’ve hopefully got a clear idea of the benefits that it will bring for you.

However, it can sometimes be tricky to articulate those benefits to your stakeholders.

One effective way we’ve found to help you do this is to pull together a comprehensive list of questions that you’ll be able to answer about your business once you have a system like Gatekeeper in place.

Simply read through the following questions and work out:

  1. Whether you can answer them today with your current method of contract management
  2. If not, whether knowing the answers to these questions would be of benefit to your business.

By working through each of these questions, you’ll build up a picture of the gaps in your current system and where a dedicated Contract or Vendor Management Solution will add value.

Quantitative


  • How many contracts do we have?
  • What’s the total value of those contracts?
  • How many of our suppliers account for 80% of spend?
  • Which are our key contracts by value/business unit/geography?
  • How much have we spent with Supplier A in the last year?
  • What’s our projected total spend for next year?
  • How many open risks do I have with Supplier B?
  • What is the current performance scope of Supplier C?

Responsibilities


  • Who’s the internal owner of every contract?
  • Who’s raised a request for a new contract or supplier?
  • When did they raise it?
  • Who needs to sign off particular contracts?
  • Are there any contracts currently outstanding to be signed off?
  • How long have they been in the process, and with who?
  • If someone leaves the business, who’s taking over responsibility for their contracts?
  • Have they been advised?
  • Who are the key contacts in your business for your highest profile contracts?
  • How often are they meeting with your suppliers?
  • What are the outcomes of those meetings?

Renewals


  • Which contracts are renewing in the next week/month/quarter/year?
  • Which processes need to kick in to make sure we’re ready for those renewals and by when?
  • Who needs to be involved?
  • Are we at risk of missing particular renewals?
  • Are any contracts currently overdue?
  • What’s the process for closing out a particular contract?

Access


  • Which contracts are confidential?
  • Who has access to view contracts?
  • When did they last access particular contracts?
  • Who has control over access to contracts?

Value for Money


  • Are we on track to realise all the agreed benefits from our contracts?
  • What are the specific obligations contained in each contract for both parties?
  • Are these obligations being met?
  • When was the last time Supplier D was reviewed?
  • When is the next scheduled meeting with Supplier D?
  • Do we have multiple suppliers providing the same goods or services at different prices?
  • When did we last run an RFP or renegotiate pricing?
  • Are we getting the correct levels of discount?

Compliance


  • Have all our suppliers signed our latest Terms?
  • Have our suppliers signed NDAs where necessary?
  • Are they compliant with our policies and any new legislation (eg GDPR)?
  • When was the last time this was checked?
  • Who is responsible for checking?
  • Have the necessary documents been received and stored correctly?
  • Do we have a record of Certificates of Insurance for all suppliers?

Implementing a Contract Management Solution and knowing the answers to these questions will help you to drive more value from your contracts and suppliers, minimise business risk and streamline your internal processes.

If you’ve established the need and internal interest in a Contract Management System, the next stage is to build your business case. Our dedicated article lays out how best to approach this to make sure you get the necessary buy-in.

For further information on Contract and Vendor Management, please also read these related articles:

Ian Bryce
Ian Bryce

Ian writes on a variety of topics, bringing together his own knowledge and experience with that of industry experts.

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