Government contracts teams support a broad array of both internal and external customers. It is critical for them to have the ability to provide accurate and timely data to support those customers' needs. They are the central resource for reporting on data requests based on contractual documents.
A contract management system can be a valuable tool, not just for the contracts team, but for the entire organization.
A recent CIOReview article, "The Decision for Enterprise Contract Management in a GovCon World," outlines some of the data requests made by various internal and external customers, such as:
- Backlog, funding data, or trend data for the CEO
- Client information or proposal information for business development
- Clauses that might put the company at risk for the CFO
- Information requests from government auditors
The business development team needs access to key data, such as clients, agency, funding, scope, team members, and past performance in order to respond to requests for proposals (RFPs), which are the lifeblood of the industry. In many cases, response times for proposals are short, adding to the pressure. Additionally, there is a need for calculating a variety of important metrics, such as internal budgets to indirect rates and bonus programs. The auditors in the government contracting space also expect prompt responses and access to an exorbitant amount of data to measure compliance.
This data is buried in contract documents, spreadsheets, and/or internally developed systems. Finding it requires a comprehensive review of paper or electronic contract documents and the ability to quickly target relevant language. This can be an unreasonable task with hundreds or even thousands of documents that may need to be considered.
Enterprise-level accounting, human resources, and business development systems have been standard fare for many years. According to the recent Baker Tilly Contract Management Benchmarks Report, "It's time for companies to recognize that contract management is a critical business function fundamental to the success of every federal contractor."
Why would a company not implement an enterprise contract management system? The cost of not funding a contracts system certainly outweighs the cost of implementing one. It enables the contracts team to meet the growing requirements of their internal and external customers while reducing overall company costs.
Some organizations may try to internally develop their own system, but the cost to maintain it is extensive and the system may not even integrate with accounting and other business systems. The key is to implement an integrated solution eliminating reentry, facilitating the setup of projects and ensuring consistent and accurate data in all systems. We would love to hear from you -- Please take our survey: How Does Contract Management Impact Your Entire Organization?