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Would your business survive a £1.3 billion fine for non-compliance? Meta received this fine for poor data management but most businesses don’t have this amount of wealth to survive similar circumstances.

In an era of relentless data explosion and sweeping regulatory changes, your business may be forced to rethink its operations - and its vendors.

It’s no longer enough to focus on contract outcomes. The need for effective Vendor and Contract Lifecycle Management (VCLM) has never been more pronounced.

In this article, we will explore:

CEO Foreword

As the CEO of Gatekeeper, I'm acutely aware of the challenges businesses face in today's complex and fast-paced environment, especially when managing vendors and contracts. We often see organisations operating in silos, relying on spreadsheets, emails, and shared drives, which leads to struggles in tracking key dates,  vendor performance, obligation fulfilment and overall compliance across the supply chain.

To address these challenges head-on, Gatekeeper is pioneering a new category: Vendor and Contract Lifecycle Management (VCLM). VCLM is a holistic solution designed to bridge these gaps, transforming how organisations interact with their vendors and manage contracts. We aim to provide a more efficient, proactive, and comprehensive management approach by integrating these functions into a single, streamlined system. This innovation is not just about improving processes; it's about fundamentally changing how businesses handle external relationships and contracts, ensuring they are well-equipped to thrive in a dynamic business landscape." - Patrick O’Connor, CEO, Gatekeeper

Challenges of Traditional Vendor and Contract Lifecycle Management

Businesses increasingly experience catastrophic problems caused by unforeseen disruptions within their vendor relationships. A lack of foresight means a lack of mitigation - leading to financial, operational and reputational damages.

At Gatekeeper, we recognise this most in businesses that are:

  • Managing vendors and contracts in silos
  • Using a combination of spreadsheets, email and shared drives
  • Struggling to track key dates, including renewals and expiries
  • Responding reactively to change rather than proactively
  • Finding it difficult to track vendor performance and obligation fulfilment

These issues are caused by manual and disconnected vendor management and contract management processes - ways of working which are increasingly proving inadequate."

That’s because today’s businesses need to navigate:

  • An explosion of data: The exponential growth in systems, data, security, and reporting requirements presents a complex challenge. In a manual process, the sheer volume of data can lead to inefficiencies, errors, and oversights. It becomes increasingly difficult to track changes, ensure data accuracy, and maintain security. This can result in missed opportunities, compliance risks, and a lack of actionable insights from the available data.
  • Digital transformation: The shift towards decentralised ways of working, largely driven by digital transformation, means businesses must adapt their processes to be more flexible and responsive. Manual processes, which are often rigid and time-consuming, can hinder this adaptation. It becomes challenging to coordinate and manage vendors and contracts across different locations and platforms. Businesses may need help to integrate new digital tools and technologies effectively if they are still reliant on manual methods.
  • Sweeping regulatory changes: Deep and far-reaching regulatory changes require your business and its vendors to remain compliant. This can be particularly taxing with manual processes, as keeping up-to-date with the latest regulations and ensuring compliance is labour-intensive and prone to human error. A lack of visibility around vendor activity will also expose your business to risk. Non-compliance can lead to legal penalties, reputational damage, and financial losses.

    Reasons for digital transformation

So, how do businesses successfully steer these choppy waters?

By prioritising automated Vendor and Contract Lifecycle Management (VCLM).

What is VCLM?

Vendor and Contract Lifecycle Management (VCLM) is a holistic approach to managing your vendors and contracts. Gatekeeper treats vendors and contracts as two sides of the same coin, providing a platform that allows you to manage everything in a coordinated manner.

Vendor Management

This facet of VCLM focuses on overseeing and optimising interactions with vendors and third-parties. It involves processes such as vendor onboarding, performance monitoring, risk management, and relationship building.

Effective vendor management ensures that vendors meet or exceed their contractual obligations, provide value for money, and align with your business's strategic goals.

Gatekeeper's approach facilitates faster onboarding, enables performance tracking, and helps with safeguarding compliance throughout the entire supply chain.

Contract Management

This aspect of VCLM involves the strategic management of contracts between your business and its vendors. It covers the entire contract lifecycle from intake, creation, execution, and performance monitoring, renewal, or termination. 

Efficient contract management ensures that the terms and conditions are met, identifies opportunities for renegotiation, and mitigates legal and financial risks.

Gatekeeper's solution streamlines and automates this process, improving visibility and giving you more control.

Third-Party Risk Management

Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) is a strategic approach that focuses on identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks associated with your business’s external partnerships and vendor relationships.

TPRM strategies helps maintain the integrity of operations, protect against financial and reputational damage, and optimise the value derived from third-party relationships.

Gatekeeper’s Market IQ Suite provides risk intelligence feeds into finance, cyber security and ESG vendor information.

Holistic VCLM management

Proper alignment between these three areas can enhance vendor performance, foster smooth contractual relations, reduce risk exposure, and bolster financial stability. Gatekeeper's VCLM approach offers a holistic solution that ensures both vendors and contracts are managed in a coordinated manner.

Why is VCLM mission-critical for businesses?

Vendor and Contract Lifecycle Management (VCLM) through a dedicated platform is mission-critical for organisations, particularly when examined through the lens of Gatekeeper's three-pillar methodology: Restore Visibility, Take Control, and Safeguard Compliance.

Three pillar strategy for VCLM success

Restore Visibility

Gatekeeper's VCLM software provides comprehensive visibility into vendor and contract portfolios.

This visibility is essential for your organisation to fully understand its current vendor relationships and contractual commitments.

The software's capability to centralise and organise all vendor and contract data in one accessible repository allows for more informed decision-making - underpinned by accurate information. It also allows your business to automate processes and build an understanding of:

  • Vendor relationships and their performance
  • Opportunities around vendor consolidation for cost savings
  • Levels of risk created by each vendor for effective mitigation strategies

Take Control

Having control over vendor and contract management processes is critical for operational efficiency - such as creating streamlined processes, a more collaborative effort business-wide and speeding up time-to-contract.

Gatekeeper's VCLM platform empowers organisations to take control by automating workflows and provides tools for proactive management including a Vendor Portal and Contract Intake forms.

This level of control allows for better allocation of resources, ensuring that efforts are concentrated where they can deliver the most financial and strategic value. It also enables businesses to:

  • Manage vendor contracts more efficiently
  • Respond proactively to upcoming changes
  • Optimise vendor onboarding and performance tracking

Safeguard Compliance

Compliance is a key concern for organisations given the complex regulatory environment and the risks associated with non-compliance.

Gatekeeper’s Market IQ Suite provides tracking and reporting capabilities that assist in monitoring compliance statuses, alerting stakeholders to potential issues, and providing audit trails. This proactive approach to compliance reduces the risk of legal penalties, reputational damage, and financial losses.

Gatekeeper's software plays a vital role in helping businesses ensure all vendor interactions and contracts adhere to relevant laws, regulations, and internal policies, especially for customers within sectors like:

  • Biotech & Pharma
  • Healthcare
  • Finance & Banking

VCLM Customer Success Story

At Gatekeeper, we work with our customers to transform their processes. Our three-pillar approach to Vendor and Contract Lifecycle Management may be built on visibility, control and compliance - but we know that these lay the foundation for cost-savings and ROI. 

If you're considering the impact that VCLM could have throughout your organisation and want to bring your stakeholders onboard, it's best to create a business case

Final thoughts

Gatekeeper's VCLM software is mission-critical because it enables organisations to gain clear visibility into their vendor and contract landscape, take full control of their management processes, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

This holistic approach to vendor and contract lifecycle management is essential for maintaining operational excellence, mitigating risks, and driving strategic value from vendor relationships."

If you’re ready to find out more, speak to our experts today.

Shannon Smith
Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith bridges the gap between expert knowledge and practical VCLM application. Through her extensive writing, and years within the industry, she has become a trusted resource for Procurement and Legal professionals seeking to navigate the ever-changing landscape of vendor management, contract management and third-party risk management.


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