Contracts Admin is a title that does a sheer injustice to the inherent functionality of this application suite area of the business applications platform!

Within the main Contracts application suite your users will be able to completely manage suppliers, conduct supplier due diligence, measure suppliers compliance and manage the contracts that underwrite your business relationships with suppliers.

From an administrators perspective your focus will be on a series of dictionaries and a basic set of settings that support automation of the supplier and contracts management process.  This is exposed in 3 administrative areas. These are described below.

 

Dictionary

  • Cost Centres
    Allows you to define the cost centres and budget codes under which you manage your contracts
  • Categories
    Define your own contract categories and for each category the auto numbering sequence digits that should be used
  • Status of Contract
    Contracts exist in a wide variety of current statuses, from initial negotiation, to detailing, to review, redlining, commercial review, legal review, pending sign-off to in force and even expired. Manage your own set of statuses here
  • Type of Contract
    Define your own types of contracts, for example Utilities, Product Supply, Services Supply, Leasing, Rental etc
  • Renewal Options
    What are the various types of contract renewal options that are available to your business? You may have annual, annual with review, fixed term 1 year, rolling quarterly and so on
  • Service Level Agreement
    This is where you can set up your own Service Level priorities. With each priority by name that you create you can set its index of importance (from 1 to 10) and for each service level a Response Time and expected Fix Time from any point that issues or problems are raised. You may also set the default SLA for all contracts. Used effectively these SLA’s will assist you in managing the potential impact of liquidated damages or other penalities which you may incur through being in a ‘breach of contract’ in some form.
  • Contract Sourcing Process
    For each type of contract that your business manages you probably have a fixed schedule of stages involved in the process to establish that contractual relationship. For each type of Contract your business will use you may create your own sourcing processes. This assists your users in understanding what needs to be done next and where a contract is within its ‘process’ at any time. For each Process by name you may define as many sourcing process steps as you need to cover all typical flows and activity stages. Your processes may be very different when negotiating the supply of utilities to your business versus the contract activities necessary to source another professional services supplier to your partner ecosystem.
  • Compliance Matrix Questions

    When dealing with the compliance of a supplier and the contract to your business you may want to define a holistic suite of questions in multiple sections to assess their compliance with your needs. Use this compliance matrix questions dictionary to define your own compliance questionaires and add as many sections and questions as you need to satisfy your needs.

    Each section of the Questionaire has its own name and background colouring.When adding questions you may set the question as a free text option or as a date-picker option and whether or not the question/answer is a mandatory one

    The questionaire is designed to support your employees by prompting them to ask the new potential supplier all relevant questions across all relevant sections. When capturing the responses to the questionaire your employees score each answer for each sections ‘importance level’ to the contract and for each question what compliance risk the provided answer exhibits and any mitigating actions and ownership.

  • Data Ownership
    Use as a dictionary to hold entries that define who owns the underlying data in any contract that creates any form of intellectual property in the form of data. Examples could be Contractor, Contractee, 3rd party, 1st party, Mutual etc
  • Data Classification
    Use as a simple dictionary of data classifications, for example, Public, Classified, Confidential, Commercial in Confidence, Secret, Top Secret
  • PCI Requirements
    Sometimes your contracts will require the ability for a party or solution involved in the contract to be able to show that they are PCI Compliant (Payment Card Industry Compliant). Please use this dictionary to define the PCI Compliance levels required and used by your business. Each major credit card company has their own set of compliance levels with Visa, Mastercard and Discover now using the same or very similar compliance levels. Broadly they could be;
    * – Level 4 – fewer than 20,000 transaction per annum
    * – Level 3 – > 20k < 1 Million transactions per annum
    * – Level 2 – > 1M < 6 Million transactions per annum
    * – Level 1 – > 6M transactions per annum
    Or you may define what ever PCI compliance nomenclature you like

    Supplier Management

    • Supplier Tiers
      This is an arbitrary text based dictionary where you can define the list of supplier tiers that you want your users to use in the platform.
    Administration - Contracts Admin - Settings

    Settings

    • Auto Numbering Settings
      For each new contract created on the platform the solution is able to use elements of digits (numbers which are sequential) plus elements of the financial year, contract category and contract type to auto generate the next contract number in sequence. This makes it easy and intuitive to see what a contract is about, when it was conceived and its type at a glance. You can define the numbering scheme to be enterprise wide too; adding your own initial number/letter sequence to the start. Using the switches in the auto numbering settings panel set up how you’d like your contracts to be identified and numbered. You can also set the starting point for the sequential numeric elements of the numbering sequence too.
    • Compliance Matrix Help Desk Settings
      In order to use the help desk (Support Desk) functionality in the solution to underpin your supplier compliance questionaire completions you should create a service desk for this purpose and set its underlying template to ‘Compliance Helpdesk’. When established and enabled you can use this configuration area to automatically create a support desk ticket on succesful completion of a compliance questionaire; triggering the help desk notifications and follow ups as necessary. By adding members of the team to the help desk proper, or by adding them to the ‘notifications’ option your users involved in establishing new supplier contracted relationships will be automatically notified on the completion of new questionaires.

    Use Case Scenario and Guidelines

    HINT – before attempting to add a new contract or a new supplier anywhere in the main Contracts application you MUST have identified the CONTACT or the COMPANY as a supplier in the CRM application first.

    This is not JUST the Account TYPE field, but the radio-option button for ‘Is Supplier’! It must be ticked otherwise the company or contact cannot be selected as a target for any activities in Contracts Management.  Remember, a company may be listed in CRM as a Customer, but could also act as a SUPPLIER to your business on some occasions.  So, in those cases, leave the Account TYPE field set to ‘Customer’ and check the ‘Is Supplier’ tick box so that it enables the Company to be used in Contracts Manager as a target.

    — Place Holder —

    When using the main contract manager application you will generally follow the following order of activities;

    1. Make sure the intended target company or contact for any new contract is selected as a supplier (see above) in CRM
    2. Add a new contract, selecting the relevant target of the contract and set effective starting positions for status and contract type.  You can also link it directly to your Products, setup the information security overview and any other additional necessary information
    3. With a contract in place, even if its at a very early stage, for example ‘Initial Set Up’ and the contact saved and numbered you may then proceed to starting Supplier Due Diligence as this requires a supplier AND a contract to be applied against the due diligence phase
    4. Conduct what ever compliance forms are necessary to support the establishment of the contract and the supplier proper
    5. Once the contract is in place and has been initiated/is in force then you may proceed to formally adding this new supplier to the Supplier Manager side of Contracts Management.  Here  you manage each supplier and each associated contract under its own nomenclature
    6. In day to day use you may use the dashboard to provide you early warning of impending contract renewals or other pending tasks or workflows assigned to you.  You can also use the Reports section to provide you with snapshot views of contract expiries, a tracker of all in progress, a due diligence report and a contract signing summary.