Trident Contract Management Blog

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Your Never Ending Vendor/Contract Management Workday

Posted on by Todd Steiner

3_23_12_neverending_NickCholes_01resizedRemember the good old days when you had a full staff and at the end of the day the work was completed?  It was a golden age when you could start the day with sense of excitement, work hard, and end it with fulfillment. Part of this mythical time still exists but part is missing.  We may still start the day with a sense of excitement and work hard but never get to the fulfillment part.

There are more reasons than we can cover why this may be true for all of you but in the world of vendor/asset/contract management there is one primary culprit – the never ending work day. We may still be able to leave at 5:00pm each day (if you’re lucky) but it is always with the empty feeling that we didn’t get even close to everything that needed to be done that day and there will be more piling on tomorrow. Hiring freezes, newly accepted corporate cultures of “do more with less”, growing regulatory requirements, and increasing audits are just a few of the challenges that are all working against us. So what can you do?

Let’s start with a few of the “not-really-the best-ideas-for-your-career” ideas. Tantrums are attention getting but soon you will be ignored. Being a perennial “Debbie Downer” will earn you nothing but a seat in the lunch room by yourself.  And becoming Pavlov’s dog (merely reacting to a situation rather than using critical thinking) is a perfect way to make sure your career stalls.

Unfortunately, there is not one answer that will remedy all situations but there is one tried and true step we can all take – get proactive. The concept is founded on the age old principle of time management. Creating more time to gather requirements, to understand your options, and to negotiate to your position will create better business decisions. It will also allow you to spread your workload out so you are completing what needs to be done in a less reactive manner. The results will be immediate, significant, and long lasting. Ready to try?  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Prepare

Start by gathering every department’s vendor/contract management spreadsheets and a current budget report (and the previous years if it is available). You may not uncover every vendor but it is a good start.

Prioritize

Consolidate the information and place every vendor in a month when their contract is going to expire. Some contracts will be perpetual (no end date) agreements or have periodic review dates for long term leases. Place those agreements in a month you think is appropriate for an annual review.

Automate

Use technology to set notification reminders and auto generate reports that start your contract review process 90+ days prior to the expiration date or the required written notice cancellation date. There are inexpensive cloud-based contract management database options (like www.PoseidonCM.com) that work great!

Smile, you are on your way to fulfillment!

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