Trident Contract Management Blog


Vendor/Contract Management – The Underrated Value of Simple

Posted on by Todd Steiner

Perhaps my favorite thing about working at Trident is helping clients of all sizes and across all industries try and tackle an age-old issue – vendor/contract management.  Although the stories of prior failed attempts by our clients are vastly different in range and scope, they are all remarkably common in one area – they all became overly complicated.

Just because you can integrate 637 systems, track 781 data fields, and involve a stadium of people in the development process doesn’t mean you should.  Vendor/Contract Management should not require NASA’s command center involvement; don’t try and make it something that it isn’t.

Instead, try this approach – start simple and stay simple.

  1. Pretend you are only allowed to track five (5) data fields.
  2. Pretend you are only allowed to solve one (1) goal.
  3. Pretend you are the only person (1) responsible for the ongoing data entry efforts.

If you are just too pressed for time for “Pretend” games here is an example to get you started:

  1. Five (5) Fields
    1. Vendor Name
    2. Contract End Date – could be Lease, Warranty, Agreement, etc.
    3. Amount
    4. Contract Owner – who is responsible for review/renewal process
    5. Notification Date
  2. One (1) Goal
    1. Proactive vendor/contract management via automated notification reminders and reports
  3. One (1) Person
    1. Use fields that drive efficiency and consistency (look-up fields, pick lists, calendar fields, currency fields)

Viola!  You just created a vendor/contract management solution that is up and running in 10 minutes, can be maintained with minimal ongoing effort, and is built to last.  As you grow you can always add complexity; however, the first step of any worthy endeavor is often the most difficult.

Stay simple my friends, stay simple!

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