5 Ways Better Contract Management Improves DBE Vendor Tracking

07/30/18

DBE Vendor Tracking

DBE supplier tracking becomes easier when the right tools are in place.

Whether you’re a local municipality, city, state, or federal agency, chances are you have a goal defined for awarding contracts to disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE). Government agencies operate on “good faith” that they will make the conscious effort to consider these businesses when awarding new contracts. The problem, like managing any other contract, is the work involved to ensure that all criteria is being met and certifications are processed.

Furthermore, with strict requirements already set for working with DBEs, mitigating risk becomes a top priority. For most agencies, making sure contracts are in good standing is left to the agency to monitor. Not everyone will work under the same standards or manage their contracts in the same way. This makes it difficult when it comes to DBE tracking, and establishing a streamlined process that helps keep everyone on the same page.

How can government agencies find relief in meeting DBE contracting goals and ensuring they’re taking the steps to mitigate compliance risk to their organization? Fully configurable contract management software may be the answer and can be an invaluable asset to your team.

If you’re new to using contract management software, here are 5 reasons why contract management can improve DBE tracking:

1. Defining Criteria
When looking to award a contract to a DBE vendor, it’s imperative to understand the guidelines your agency has put in place. Typically, most of those documents can have hundreds of terms and conditions, making it difficult for the average person to keep up with. With contract management software, you can set definitions and criteria easily which prompts the system to continually track these designations. Should a contract or supplier certification fall outside of the defined criteria, the system will alert you immediately so you can act quickly.

2. Managing Compliance
Like any other contract, one that is awarded to a DBE requires the same, if not more, monitoring when it comes to compliance. Awarding DBE contracts is no easy feat and not meeting your agency’s goal can come with consequences. Worse, you can award a contract to a DBE business who outsources the work to a subcontractor who is not a DBE themselves. This puts your organization at risk and affects your goal. With contract management software, along with setting hiring criteria, you can monitor compliance of the contract including what work is expected to be completed and by whom. This way, both you and the vendor are on the same page as to what is expected. This allows for more transparency in the vendor relationship and helps reduce risk.

3. Audit Log
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to managing contracts. Especially in the case of DBE contracts, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and miss a milestone. With hundreds of contracts, you don’t want to find yourself missing information when you need it the most. With contract management software, you no longer have to worry about manually tracking your steps. Everything you do within the system is tracked and easy to review when you need it down the line. With a comprehensive audit always occurring, you can also be on top of any issues within the DBE contract or overall program.

4. Centralized Repository
Any government organization should have the steps in place to practice good contract management. With a contract software solution to help maintain that, you can find that DBE tracking and any other contract becomes much easier to manage. With a centralized repository, agencies have a streamlined way to see all their contracts. Setting up key date alerts, reminders, and more, make managing contracts that much easier. It also means that everyone who is involved with the contract is working from one set standard. It becomes easier to track any revisions to the contract and have one stop for all supporting documentation as well.

5. Improved Overview
Probably the most important feature to having a contract management software is the ability to have a high-level overview of all your contracts. DBE tracking requires paying attention to details. You can create specific reports for DBE contracts for easier oversight of:

  • Status

  • Tasks due

  • Key dates

  • And more

It becomes easier to share updates with your team and leaves little room for interpreting what's going on. Having an overview also makes it easier to get new personnel assigned to the contract involved and can reduce learning curves.

Summary

Tracking DBE contracts is important to the overall goals set within your agency. It also carries some degree of risk if they are not properly managed and tracked. With the right contract management software in place, your agency can achieve better oversight on DBE contracts and feel confident in the contracts you're awarding. CobbleStone is a leader in contract management solutions since 1995 and has a history of helping agencies just like yours track their DBE contracts.

 

Download the 8 Critical Stages of Contract Management

Jamie Reedy

Written by Jamie Reedy

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