How To Optimize Your Management of Vendor Contracts

08/25/21

CobbleStone Software explains how to optimize your management of vendor contracts.

Managing vendor contracts with manual and disparate processes can prove challenging.  Without a centralized electronic process, vendor contract management workflow bottlenecks can undermine productivity.  Fortunately, leading-edge contract management software can enhance your vendor management processes by expediting end-to-end vendor management workflow with optimal oversight.  Read on to learn how to optimize your vendor contract management processes.

 

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What Are Vendor Contracts?

Vendor contracts bind counterparties – including recipients of goods or services and vendors – to a formalized and signed agreement regarding vendor deliverables, payments, milestones, compliance standards, and other vital variables.  Without leveraging formalized and signed contracts with vendors, your organization can incur undue risk – stemming from unclear expectations that can obfuscate crucial objectives for vendor responsibility and accountability. 

Vendor Contract Requirements

Vendor contracts containing unclear requirements for deliverable expectations, compliance standards, security requirements, and other variables can leave your organization in a compromised position.  Vendor contracts require agreed-upon pricing, expected goods or services, compliance standards – which can include DBE certificate and COI tracking, signatures from necessary counterparties, milestone deliverables, renewal protocols, and other requirements as needed.

Vendor Contract Management System

Siloed vendor and contract management processes can prove unmanageable.  A centralized vendor contract management system can help you manage vendor contracts from requests to renewals – including contract drafting, milestone monitoring, compliance tracking, and budget adherence.  Vendor contract management software virtually ensures vendors, assets, and services comply with their agreed-upon expectations, including budget parameters, until vendor contracts require renewal.

Streamlined Vendor Collaboration & Registration

Vendor requests can be delayed by slow email response times, lengthy phone hold times, and other manual process inefficiencies.  You cannot afford to waste time and resources with such delays, especially when gathering pertinent information to ensure vendor collaboration security and optimizing your vendor’s supply chain turnaround.

 

Fortunately, vendor managers can leverage robust vendor management software to streamline vendor requests and registration.  Vendor management software can enable interactions with third-party vendors through a vendor collaboration portal that centralizes RFIs, RFPs, RFQs, bid advertisement, bid awards, configurable vendor response ratings and scorecards, bid tabulation reports, bid communications with the ability to attach virtually unlimited documents, and more.  You can award and correspond with vendors by integrated email via an integrated MS Outlook Plugin – expediting your communications.

 

Vendor management software can streamline your vendor registration processes by allowing you to simply share a link with your vendor so they may fill out all necessary information within their centralized vendor record - including vendor commodity codes - taking the onus off of you to save precious time.  Should a contract need to be drafted, negotiated, signed, and tracked, this can be seamlessly integrated within a vendor record.

 

Integrated Contract Lifecycle Management

 

When coordinating contractual elements separately from your vendor record, such as mailing paper-based documents with wet signatures and sending scanned documents via email, vendor management professionals can be frustrated by stakeholder miscommunications and purchasing delays.

 

Thankfully, vendor management software can help solve these issues by allowing contract creation directly from a vendor record, which can streamline and centralize the contract lifecycle management (CLM) process.  The entirety of contract lifecycle processes from requests to renewals can be seamlessly integrated within a vendor record – including rapid approvals and speedy eSignatures.  Watch the video below to learn how electronic signature software can streamline your vendor management signing processes.

 

With CLM integration, you can virtually ensure that their vendors comply until their contracts are up for renewal - in which case the configured vendor management system can notify necessary stakeholders and artificial intelligence can support contract renewal improvement areas with detailed reporting for increased overall ROI.

 

Mitigated Vendor Risk

 

Pulling vendor data from various platforms, including spreadsheets and paper-based files, can significantly delay your vendor risk management processes.  Without centralizing vendor information, you can increase unwarranted risk and overlook vendor compliance standards.

 

Luckily, a centralized vendor management dashboard can provide a holistic view of vendor data - including key dates and risk assessments concerning compliance standards.  Leading vendor management software can provide risk visualization by rating vendors against the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s (OFAC) national sanctions list and compliance standards with integrated OFAC search.  Other forms of risk and risk exposure can be comprehensively and easily managed with the help of an integrated artificial intelligence engine with machine learning.  Learn more about vendor contract management artificial intelligence by watching the video below.

 

Vendors and prospective vendors may be assessed and updated with a risk score in real-time.  Vendor management software can make OFAC search easy by allowing you to make more informed decisions when working with prospective vendors and holding current vendors accountable to contract compliance standards.

CobbleStone Software offers OFAC risk assessment mapping to help manage vendor risk.

 

Increased Vendor Transparency & Tracking

 

When relying on antiquated processes to track vendors with methods such as spreadsheets and non-trackable communications, you can incur increased risk - often stemming from human error.  When managing various vendors with ranging contracts, COIs, DBE certifications, and other pertinent documents, you cannot afford to place your organization at risk due to inadvertent compliance violations.

 

Fortunately, a leading vendor management software suite can track impending expirations for COIs, DBE certifications, contracts, and other documents.  To track vendors and important key dates, vendor managers can receive automated notifications to effectively communicate with stakeholders in a timely fashion. 

 

If you need to increase supplier diversity, vendor management software can trigger notifications to all necessary stakeholders to ensure approaching diversity certifications, including DBE and SWaM, are renewed upon or before their expiration dates.

 

Vendor management software can make COI tracking (Certificate of Insurance tracking) essentially effortless.  Rather than wasting time manually sifting through vendor records for Certificate of Insurance expiration dates, vendor management software can proffer COI tracking and automated alerts, including via email, to all necessary stakeholders – reducing organizational risk and virtually ensuring vendor compliance accountability.  Data within vendor records may be reported on, displayed in executive graphical dashboards, and exported into spreadsheet formats – for increased vendor tracking and transparency.  

 

Tackle Vendor Contracts With Cobblestone Vendor Management Software

 

Tackle your vendor processes with an end-to-end, seamlessly integrated vendor management software platform.  With such low friction and scalable functionalities, CobbleStone Vendor Management Software can grant you unparalleled vendor oversight – leaving you with more time to focus on your vendor management strategy.  Holistic vendor management oversight with integrated contract lifecycle management begins and ends with CobbleStone Vendor Management Software.

 

Discover why Forrester names CobbleStone a Leader in CLM Software in the video below.

CobbleStone’s trusted, award-winning, fully integrated vendor management software streamlines vendor processes with optimal governance, reduced friction, and high flexibility from general vendor management to integrated source-to-contract lifecycle management.  CobbleStone Software has been a visionary developer in vendor management and contract management software for over 20 years.  CobbleStone’s user-friendly, robust, and scalable solution seamlessly integrates with mission-critical applications for unified and seamless vendor management, supply chain contract management, and more.  CobbleStone is also SOC 1 and SOC 2 compliant to support highly secure vendor management processes.

 

Discover why thousands of vendor contract managers trust CobbleStone Software with their contract management needs.  To learn more about CobbleStone’s unparalleled vendor and contract management software, book a free demo with a CobbleStone Contract Insight expert today!

Are you interested in future-minded contract lifecycle management software tools? Learn how to leverage industry-leading CLM software tools for streamlined, user-friendly, and low-friction contract lifecycle management success in the video below!

 

To stay up to date on best practices, industry news, and CobbleStone Software updates, be sure to subscribe to our blog and YouTube Channel.

 

CobbleStone Software offers a complimentary download of Forrester's 2021 CLM software report.

Joshua Hansen

Written by Joshua Hansen

Joshua Hansen is a marketing coordinator at CobbleStone Software.

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