The Challenges of Managing Contracts on a Global Scale, Part 1 of 2


Choosing the Right Contract Management Solution to Keep from Spinning Out of Orbit

In the spirit of the anniversary of the first moon landing 50 years ago, if a typical contract management solution implementation is “one small step” toward improving a company’s efficiency, then a global deployment is “one giant leap.”

In this two-part blog series, we’ll explore the mission control elements that are critical to ensuring that leap doesn’t end up lost in space.

Rolling out a contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution globally introduces a series of unique challenges:

  • Contracts need to conform to both corporate standards and local requirements
  • Organizations need to maintain visibility to key contract data required to effectively comply with internal mandates and governmental regulations while still optimizing revenues and minimizing costs

How does an organization even begin to roll out software on such a large scale?

Previously, when it came to contract management, vendors attempted to meet the challenges of the global environment (and “global” can mean anything from multiple offices to regional, national and worldwide locations) by simply implementing multiple, isolated instances of the contract software on separate hardware stacks at multiple data centers. While certainly a straightforward solution for the vendor, this approach does not address the challenges of a global CLM environment.

Isolated instances of applications cannot, for example, enable enterprise controls to be easily disseminated across all sites. Nor do they facilitate enterprise wide visibility. This type of approach to rolling out CLM ultimately complicates the process even more.

A truly effective global contract management solution is designed to empower end users to easily and quickly access any content, analytical tools and enterprise reports in the language of their choice, with the appropriate currency, and with the time/date formats required.

So, what should the global CLM solution “must-have” list include?

A global CLM solution should be feature rich. Global contract management should enable contract optimization, contract compliance, and effective risk management across multiple languages, multiple countries, and multiple regulatory and business environments. Additionally, a global solution should allow any authorized user throughout the enterprise to get a full view of repository data (and metadata) in any language, at any time, and from any location—without the need for any source code modifications.

As a baseline, a solution that can handle global contract management challenges should include:

  • Full support for legacy globalization, IT infrastructures, and replication solutions
  • Global visibility and reporting across all contract metadata in all languages and currencies
  • Controls for business practices, regulatory compliance, and maverick spending
  • Presentation of repository metadata in any language
  • Language-specific, end-user interfaces
  • Full support for all currencies and time/date formats
  • Fast and easy configuration of fields, autonomously
  • Seamless replication of data across multiple application instances and multiple databases
  • Department-level administration

As Kelly Barner explored in her blog about having an “outsider’s” perspective on solution implementation, the issues above are nearly universal to any type of solution, be it procure-to-pay, supplier management, sourcing or anything else. In Part Two of this series, we delve into some of the specifics around how contract management should meet corporate, performance and user expectations.

If you’d like to see the latest innovations in CLM and how they can help your organization get a firm global grasp on your contract needs, schedule a personalized demonstration of our latest iteration of modular Contract Management on the Corcentric Platform.