The need for configurable software applications in the large enterprises is becoming more and more of a necessity. Instead of customized solutions, which are essentially company specific, buyers are now demanding applications that evolve with ‘digitization’ best practices and are flexible enough to be altered easily as these practices are shared. Better still, many companies are in the midst of transforming processes and operations to improve overall efficiencies and productivity; however, it can require a lot of fine-tuning (and custom coding) to optimize the current environment when dealing with clunky legacy systems. Unfortunately, with a custom built tool or application, you just can’t get that flexibility and are stuck with the ‘as is’ or face costly change orders. Conversely, by providing configurable applications, developers are ensuring that these applications are easy to maintain, alter and scale as industry standards evolve, and company needs are harmonized and optimized. So, what is the process?
The configurable software application process is one designed to take the best of pre-configured software and customized software to create the perfect solution for any organization. Most industries have repeatable processes that mirror others and therein could benefit from implementing configurable applications, especially in a enterprise world where business is conducted virtually and globally.
The process involved in implementing a configurable software platform requires careful, in-depth analysis of your manual operation. And then thinking through how the process can be transformed to leverage automated workflows. Also, it's critical during this process is to track and capture benchmarking metrics for current processes – for example, when evaluating your contracting processes, you can baseline ‘timers’ such as how long on average does it take to assemble, approve, execute and search contracts… and ‘counters’ such as how many times was a key term or condition/clause changed. Once you have captured these ‘timers’ and ‘counters’ for your manual processes, you will then be able to use them as benchmarks to evaluate a successful implementation and usage of the “configurable application” (also, known as “Key Performance Indicators”). Beyond scoping the design of your workflows, you will also need to allocate the financial and human resources for the search, selection and implementation of your transformative application.
Here are some questions that should be answered – do you know how long your process takes? do you know the cost of contracting delays and mistakes? do you have an implementation strategy? do you have a list of must haves? do you have a list of potential vendors?
While it may seem daunting to consider the implementation of a configurable software application in your organization, rest assured that you won’t look back once you commit to the process. If you follow the steps above, you will see positive results.
ContractRoom is one such configurable software application that has transformed how decisions are made and deals get done in contract negotiations. ContractRoom’s sole aim is to help organizations agree more and faster! - spending less time on all the endless manual back and forth (internally and externally) involved with a very sequential process of email and MS Word doc hand-offs. Conversely, ContractRoom automates the end-to-end process of building agreement so that it can happen at least 10x faster with complete control for the greatest financial impact. ContractRoom packs a punch with its combination of document assembly, workflow management and contract lifecycle management in a singular, configurable application. P.S. Ask ContractRoom sales for a free RFP template to get you started on your search for a ‘smart’ contract lifecycle management platform.
This is the 3rd in a series of 3 blogs on ‘Configurable Software Applications’:
- The Need (blog 1)
- The Process (blog 2)
- The Benefits (blog 3)