The contracting stage is sometimes approached as an afterthought to the procurement process; yet it’s the only opportunity you have to formally document the legal terms of your business relationship and one of the most important activities you can undertake to mitigate risk.
ESTABLISHING CONTRACTUAL OWNERSHIP
The first step in the contracting process is determining who is ultimately going to own the contract. While this seems like an easy task in theory, it becomes complicated when the goods and services support multiple departments and figuring out who owns the contract is unclear.
Vendor Centric can help you establish a common set of standards you can follow for assigning contract ownership, and ‘clean up’ the ownership of old contracts to ensure there are clear roles and responsibilities for all of your important agreements.
NEGOTIATING TERMS AND CONDITIONS
While many business terms may have been agreed upon in principle as part of the procurement stage, it's unlikely they were defined with proper clarity for a contractual document. And it’s also unlikely other important terms like indemnification, limits of liability, service level agreements (SLAs) and work product ownership were even discussed.
Leverage our Certified Contract Management Professionals to provide advice during your contract negotiation process, or act as a third-party negotiator on your behalf. We have experience with a wide variety of contract types across a variety of industries, and we know the right questions to ask.
9 Contracting Clauses You Want to Get Right
Negotiating the right provisions in your vendor contracts is one of the most important things you can do to mitigate and manage risk.
Download our free checklist to check out some of the most important clauses and use it as a tool in your own contract review process.
DEVELOPING AND EXECUTING THE CONTRACT
Once terms and conditions have been agreed upon, you still need to ensure they are accurately and completely incorporated into the contractual agreement. This is where attention to detail is important. Many vendors want to use their own contracts, so it’s critical that you verify that what you’ve negotiated makes it into the final document.
Our independent audit of your contracts can ensure they capture all of the business terms you’ve negotiated, and comply with your contractual standards. We can also support you in developing standard contracting terms and conditions, templates and forms you can use again and again to ensure consistency and manage risk in your contracting process.
STORING AND MANAGING THE CONTRACT
The final step in the contracting stage is to store and maintain your contractual documents. All too often contracts reside in disparate systems, and are difficult to find much-less manage. Effective contract management requires you to maintain your agreements in a way they can be easily tracked, reported on and proactively managed by the contract owner.
Our cloud-based contract management software allows you to maintain all of your important vendor agreements in one place. Track term and termination dates, auto renewals, escalation clauses, service level agreements and other important contractual clauses. Get notified before contracts expire or auto-renew, and manage contractual risk through simple dashboards and reporting.