One of the biggest challenges for any business is controlling costs—primarily supply costs, which are usually an organization’s second-largest expense (behind employee compensation). Luckily for Lawson customers, the solution’s Contract Management module is designed to minimize supply costs by simplifying contract creation and management.
What is Contract Management?
Contract management covers all the actions in managing written agreements, like business partnerships, employment, and sales. The process includes negotiation, execution, drafting, and analysis of contracts and making contract modifications if needed.
To improve an organization’s operational and financial performance, contract management should be optimized and automated. Otherwise, managing contract information turns into a very manual process that consumes time and risk for error.
Overview of Infor Lawson Contract Management
As part of the Lawson S3 Supply Chain Management Suite, you can get standardized, auditable processes for contract creation and better visibility into the supplies and services your organization has under contract. This information helps purchasing managers negotiate vendor discounts with insights into supply usage trends, and also cut costs by enforcing compliance with vendor contracts.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits (and best practices) of using Lawson Contract Management.
Contract Management Challenges
Organizations struggle with a wide range of issues when it comes to contract management. You’re likely dealing with a few, if not all, of these problems at your organization:
- Lack of visibility
- Legal and compliance issues
- Manual, error-prone processes for managing the contract lifecycle
- Disparate systems
- Complex contracts that require lots of managing
- Missed contract requirements, rebates, and renewals
- Reliance on suppliers and partners for contract information
Many of those challenges can be addressed by implementing Contract Management. Here are some of the top features and benefits customers discover with Contract Management.
Features and Benefits of Contract Management
Lawson’s Contract Management tool gives you more visibility around the entire contract lifecycle. One way it does this is by reporting on contract performance, so you don’t miss those critical milestones and deliverables, giving you a better way to track rebates and when to renew contracts. Contract Management can also store corporate and other non-purchasing contracts to ensure you have a more comprehensive view of these documents.
Contract Management also provides better integrations with 832s through Electronic Data Interchange. For those who don’t know, an EDI 832 is a catalog price file used to request or provide prices and product information of goods electronically. It replaces the paper catalog and also includes the seller’s name and contact information. Contract Management is also compatible with Lawson Business Intelligence to help organizations create unlimited types of reports. In addition, the tools integrate heavily with the Procurement S3 module to give you better visibility into contract generation and compliance.
Contract Management supports flexible pricing scenarios like complex tiered pricing and management of rebates. So if you’d like to manage agreements and automate enforcement of terms to save money and keep projects on task, we’ve got good news for you.
Gain Business Insight
Infor solutions also help your organization gain business insights so you can make smarter decisions. Keep everyone up to speed with standard reports and analysis, including:
- Contract compliance
- Contract rebate tracking
- Spend analysis
- Item cost variance
- Purchase order history
- Projected rebate distributions
- Rebates by the due date
Best Practices for Setting Up Contract Management Like a Pro
One of the first steps in implementing Contract Management is preparing your data. For example, if you have an item master list with thousands of items because you kept adding specials, deactivate them. Next, set those items up in Contract Management as a special. Having the cleanest data possible will help you achieve a successful implementation.
Now consider your design considerations. You’ll want to outline your current setup and find ways to optimize the process with the new solution. We find that setting up a workshop with key stakeholders to go over different contract scenarios is a great way to build the right process.
Training and Testing
It’s also essential to invest in training. You may have an outstanding system, but if nobody knows how to use it, it’s not going to do you much good, is it? Get a few of your users the right training and you’ll implement it with ease and get more out of your investment in the long run. Additionally, don’t forget to keep testing in mind as you train users on how to best use Contract Management. It’s important to test out all the different contract types and approval flows. (And don’t forget to document the process.)
Find the Right Partners
If you’re considering implementing Contract Management or are ready to get started, you’ll want to partner with the experts to help you succeed. From designing your process to testing and support, our senior-level Infor Lawson consultants have the experience to help you take advantage of this powerful tool and will be with you every step of the journey.
To help you learn a little more about what our consulting services can do for you, we’ve included a sample profile of one of our Infor Contract Management consultants.
Surety Senior Infor Contract Management Consultant
- 20+ Years Healthcare experience
- 15 years of Lawson SCM experience
- Comfortable with IC, Vendor Master, RQC, etc.
- Contract Mgmt both with S3 and Cloudsuite
- Built Infor Landmark Contract Management, Strategic Sourcing, and Supplier Portal
- MHC, OnBase, EDI, MSCM experience
Contact us today to get started.