Manufacture a flawless contract management process

by Katie Cook 4 min read

Leverage contractual data to continually improve your manufacturing processes


Numerous players are involved in the process of manufacturing and bringing a product to the consumer.  These include:

  1. Producers of the raw materials;
  2. Suppliers of the raw materials;
  3. Producers of the product (manufacturers); and
  4. Logistical transporters such as freight or shipping carriers
  5. Retailers or wholesalers distributing the product.  

The relationships between each of these players need to be properly maintained through written contacts and this requires a strong contract management process.

As contract manager working in manufacturing your perpetual directives may include the following:

  1. Lowering production costs in the entire manufacturing process
  2. Increasing efficiencies in the process as a whole
  3. Improving profits
  4. Decreasing lead and delivery times
  5. Reducing inventory
  6. Boosting output
  7. Diminishing risks e.g. injury to workers, ensuring insurance policies are kept up to date and correct coverage
  8. Ensuring legal rights associated with the product or supply chain are maintained including protecting intellectual property
  9. Sparking innovations; and
  10. Improving the quality and reliability of the product

Effective contract lifecycle management software systems have data tracking and analytics capabilities that can be an enormous help in achieving optimal efficiencies in the manufacturing process.

Contract management software with data tracking and analytics capabilities provides opportunities to optimize price based on the collective intelligence of all your past and present colleagues i.e. leveraging data about what price has been paid in the past for similar products or services.  It also provides you with an opportunity to spend less time agreeing on price, as, where appropriate you can use this information to agree on a price more quickly with your counterpart.   Also this technology allows you to easily adjust all your contracts in a situation where the price of a commodity or commodity provider does change.  In these ways you will lower production costs, increase efficiencies and improve profits in the entire manufacturing process.  

What’s more, workflow automation capabilities in sound contract management software systems allow you to automate workflow processes to keep them efficient.  You may have a series of contracts in your manufacturing process where the commencement of one relies upon the signing and/or completion of the previous one.  Rather than relying on a manual process of your contract managers confirming when one contract has been completed in order to commence the next agreement you can automate this process so the second agreement is automatically sent to the relevant people at the appropriate time.  This saves time and in this way you could decrease lead and delivery times in your manufacturing process, reduce inventory and boost output.

Further, good contract software systems can decrease the risk of injury to workers within your organization and also assist in ensuring all insurance coverage is properly kept up to date. This is because workplace health and safety policies and insurance contracts can be maintained and updated on the contract management system.  You can have your workers read these policies from anywhere (as they are cloud-based), alert them to any changes to underlying  policies and have them sign off where appropriate.  In this way, it is easy to keep all your workers updated on standard operating procedures to ensure their safety.

In a similar fashion, where changes to insurance law or circumstances require you to update your insurance policies, you can make these changes in your system and have the relevant insurer accept them, or you can negotiate with them online from anywhere to adapt your coverage.  You may also have intellectual property that needs to be legally protected. Modern contract management software systems also allow you to easily keep legal documents protecting these interests up to date.  In these ways sophisticated contract lifecycle management systems can reduce your company’s level of risk and ensure legal rights associated with the product or supply chain are maintained.

So as you can see there are many ways that a good contract lifecycle management system can assist you in achieving your goals as a contract manager in manufacturing.  The next wave of negotiation and contracting process software should help you achieve these goals in an efficient and cost-saving manner.  With it you will have more time and money to work on ways to innovate your processes and improve the quality and reliability of the product

For example, you may like to spend this extra time working with a supplier to change their existing process which may be contributing to some lag time or consider aspects that are time consuming to see if you can modify these.  You will have more time as a contract manager to invest in building relationships with your clients.  Time spent with these customers may give you insights into how the product could be improved to enhance their user experience.  You will have more time to refer on these insights to appropriate product managers.

For a contract manager working in the manufacturing space, investing and demanding more from a contract lifecycle management software is a no brainer!

ContractRoom,, is the home of #PredictiveAgreementTM - to learn more about how you too can “negotiate less, agree more” schedule a live demo by clicking here: Let's Talk

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