Archive for the ‘Contract Management’ Category

Contract Types

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

 

Today’s post is by Mike Figueroa, Manager of Customer Services at SafeSourcing

If you don’t like the pricing model of the contract you’re working within but didn’t know you had other options, here is a high-level overview of a few of the standard contract types being used today:

Cost Plus: An agreement wherein the seller agrees to charge based on cost of goods sold, plus whatever profit margin is required to make the project viable. One example is where a highly commoditized good is subject to price regulation or index pricing, and therefore will have their pricing fluctuate based on the market constraints. The only pricing the vendor has control over in this scenario, is their profit margin, which will be the only pricing variable the vendor can agree to discount during negotiations.

Guaranteed Maximum Price: Similar to a Cost Plus contract, a GMP agreement is where the contractor is reimbursed for their actual cost, but also is paid an agreed upon fee. This fee is not to be exceeded unless the scope of the project changes, for which a formal “change order” can be enacted.

Incentive Contracts: This agreement begins as a cost reimbursement model, but varies based on whether or not previously determined goals were met. The incentives can be positive or negative, such that a vendor can be rewarded for underrunning the estimated cost of the project, or penalized for being over-budget. Both scenarios still require timely delivery of finished project. One potential drawback though, is that it can be difficult to monitor quality of work/product meets standards, as this model can also incentivize vendors to cut corners.

Time and Material: This contract type is fairly self-explanatory, in that the basis for pricing is on the number of man-hours used, and any necessary materials to complete the work contracted. Profit is either baked into the hourly rate, or invoiced as an add-on. This contract type is most typically used in situations where it is difficult to forecast the number of hours needed to complete, and must be billed as needed.

Unit Price: In this contract type, the activity or good is grouped into a pre-defined unit. The vendor is then paid a fixed amount for each unit completed. Profit and overhead is typically included in the unit rate, and rate is determined in part by estimated total units contracted.

Lump Sum: A Lump Sum contract is typically enacted when a full scope of work is well defined, enabling the vendor to quote the exact amount required to complete the project. This contract type can be financially risky to a vendor who could later discover hidden costs to perform the project, and can be risky to the timeline of the principle, as the contract would not penalize or reward timeliness as would an Incentive Contract.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with this process or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

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What does a procurement department do?

Friday, June 24th, 2016

 

 

Today post was written by Ryan Melowic, Vice President of Customer Services at SafeSourcing.

According to Wikipedia, Procurement is the act of acquiring, buying goods, services or works from an external source. It is favorable that the goods, services or works are appropriate and that they are procured at the best possible cost to meet the needs of the acquirer in terms of quality and quantity, time, and location.

wiseGeek defines a procurement department as being responsible for managing the purchasing activity for the organization. There are two types of purchasing or procurement departments: centralized and decentralized. In a centralized model, all requests for materials or goods are center to this department. In a decentralized model, individual departments can process their own purchases.

SafeSourcing is an e-procurement company offering a complete procure-to-pay suite of applications under the SafeSourceIt™ banner which reduces costs, improves efficiency and extends the reach of your current procurement organization. The heart of our family of products is our eSourcing tools which includes our popular reverse auction technology. Our historic ROI is greater than 10x and in many cases companies receive an ROI on their subsequent roll-out during the pilot stage.

For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

 

 

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Can You See Your Desk?

Friday, January 15th, 2016

 

Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Executive Assistant at SafeSourcing.

Whether it is business or personal, it is important to keep essential files. As the tax season approaches, we are reminded that we must keep tax returns for several years. Just like taxes, there are other important documents each of us must keep, such as many financial statements, contracts, warranty paperwork, or even photographs. The problem is that many of us keep adding to the list of documents to keep, while the amount of items we can shred or recycle doesn’t go down as much. So, what options are available?

Traditionally, everything has been in paper form. Stacks of paperwork can be hard to sift through and even harder to organize. If a document is needed, it can take a grueling amount of time to obtain. Even if we can efficiently organize all the paperwork we need, it still takes up larger and larger amounts of space, likely creeping in to our work areas. Not only does all the extra paperwork hinder our efficiency and is aesthetically unwanted, but it can also be a fire hazard.

Luckily today, we are able to store most items electronically. Storing these on your own computer, however, can really slow down your computer. SafeSourcing can help your business or organization with this problem. The cloud-based storage programs, SafeDocument™ and SafeContract™, allow you to free up space on your device and securely store your important papers and contracts electronically. With these programs, you can access your items anytime anywhere and is exceptionally easy to use and easy to find what you need.

For more information on SafeSourcing’s cloud-based storage, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

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Where is that Contract?!?

Monday, January 11th, 2016

 

Today’s post is written by Heather Powell, Director of the Customer Focus Team & Project Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Recently, I was working with a client on creating a Request for Information for a project and was requested to include a particular supplier. When I inquired why they were to be included, the answer was because we have always done business with them. Ok.  When I asked for the latest copy of their contract, I was met with silence and then an unsure answer of IF there was a contract and WHERE the contact is.

pileoffolders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Within a few days I was sent a correspondence with an attachment.  The e-mail apologized for the delay in responding to my request and that the contract took days to find as it was in the computer of a past employee. Once it was found, the contract had expired in 2002!

All because they have “always done business with them” mentality:

  •  The contract became outdated.
  •  It was stored in one computer that no one had access – the employee no longer worked for the company and IT had to retrieve it from the hard drive.
  •  The supplier was charging them prices that had doubled and tripled over time.

Ask yourself and ask those you hold responsible:

  •  Where are my contracts?
  •  Are they current?
  •  How do I know when the contract is set to expire?
  •  Who has access to them?
  •  Are they electronic copies or paper copies?
  •  How do I avoid all of the issues above?

SafeSourcing has the solution for you!

SafeContract™ is a tool that companies can use to automate and improve their contract flow by electronically capturing their company’s contracts and contract details.

By implementing SafeContract™, companies can improve their contract cycles, standardize processes, reduce administrative costs, improve contract compliance, and increase the effectiveness of negotiations.

SafeContract™ provides financial, role, and organization security, as well as supporting regulatory compliance. It makes contract creation, contract activation, and contract compliance safe and easy to access and use.

SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your contract management procedures for your business or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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Are you monitoring your Contract Leakage? Can You?

Monday, October 12th, 2015

 

Todays post is by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

The answer is probably not or you would not have any and 80% of all companies not only have contract leakage, but because of it they often do not realize the hard earned savings the negotiated with their new e-procurement tools.

However congratulations are in order, you have used your new e-procurement tools effectively and awarded the business to a new supplier. You may have also offer a Letter of Intent or LOI to get things moving while the contract is being completed. With that assumption in place, how does your organization ensure that the award of business is implemented or delivered as awarded so that you indeed receive all of your savings?

This is probably the most difficult part of the entire procurement lifecycle. The first step is to understand your data and where it is kept, that includes understanding what constitutes contract leakage so that you know what you are looking for. This data needs to be looked at on a regular basis in order to insure leakage is not occurring. This should be at least monthly depending on specific contract language (Meta data). Most contract management systems have alerts that can be triggered as frequently as required against this data.

The following list although not all inclusive speaks too many of areas in which contract leakage can occur. This happens in all companies large and small. If you are aware of them, capture them and report on them regularly there is a good possibility of controlling them.

1.  Award Date
2.  LOI Date
3.  Contract Date
4.  Delivery Dates
5.  Quality specifications variances
6.  Making payments at a prices different from the contract
7.  SOW creep
8.  Rebate misses
9.  Escalator Misses
10.  Invoice discrepancies
11.  Missed volume discounts
12.  Insurance discrepancies
13.  Shipping discrepancies
14.  Expiration dates
15.  Expiration Notification Dates
16.  Auto Renewals & Evergreening

Don’t work hard to drive benefits from your procurement organization and then lose much of what you have gained to contract leakage. If you’d like to learn more about SaaS based Contract Management offerings, contact your SafeSourcing customer services representative and ask how they can help.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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Are You Still Printing And Filing Documents in Filing Cabinets?

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

 

Today’s post is written by Heather Powell, Director of the Customer Focus Team & Project Manager at SafeSourcing Inc

paperstacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My co-worker once asked me how many trees I planned on killing one day when I printed a hard copy of a Request for Proposal I had written. I suppose I am “old school” to have paper in hand and make my edits in red pen, then make my revisions to the electronic document, and save those edits in our document management system. Now I have a hard copy in a filing cabinet that, more than likely, no one will ever see and eventually be shredded.

We are a Green company, and I am becoming more cognizant of that by limiting what I print, and save more trees. By utilizing the document management system, the original drafts, as well as all of the edited copies are saved, anyone from our company, at any point and time, can visit those documents and follow the train of thought from beginning to end. It saves time and paper to have those documents accessible.

From our website: www.safesourcing.com

SafeDocument™

SafeDocument™ is a document repository that allows companies to collaborate on documents through an online tool that is a cloud-based SaaS offering available through simple internet access. This tool Provides document sharing and collaboration options where users can organize, edit, protect, and track their documents.

SafeDocument™ includes safety features and controls that enable users to safely share large files across their organization, including the ability to save and recall multiple versions of a document and a notification system that alerts users when changes to the document have occurred.

Implementing SafeDocument™ provides companies with a cost-effective alternative to enterprise content management solutions that is safe and easy to use.

To learn more about SafeDocument™ SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your document management procedures for your business or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

 

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Paper or Electronic – The Future of Your Documents

Friday, August 14th, 2015

 

Today’s post is from the  SafeSourcing Archive.

Faxes, letters, catalogs, whitepapers, newspapers, and books are all things that are in the process of becoming extinct or have been converted to a newer electronic version of what used to be.  The world has been electronic for decades and will continue to move in a direction where nothing gets printed on paper any more.  Whether you support or fight this trend, it is clear that the management of corporate documents is becoming a top priority as file cabinets become empty and hard drives get full.  Today we will look at some of the key points to developing a strategy for managing your digital documents and some details to keep in mind when looking for third party suppliers who can provide assistance to help you with the task.

Establish the starting point – One of first strategic decisions you will make in managing your documents electronically will be to decide how far back you are going to go in getting old documents converted to digital format.  Historical contracts, agreements, and other legal documents will likely need to be managed in this process but will not always have an electronic format.  Some strategic partners will recommend starting with all documents right now moving forward and develop a phase II strategy of converting historical documents later.  The strategic partner you select may also have a staff of employees and solutions that will allow for an easier conversion path as well.

Storage Location– Where you store your electronic versions of documents is the most important decision you will make for the security and protection of your company.  Your IT department will likely have input to lend on this matter and a corporate policy on sensitive documents will also come into play here as well.  Whether they are stored digitally in a database, as files in a folder structure, on computers within your company or  by a 3rd party, the location of your files and the backup procedures to ensure they are safe are important pieces that will dictate the solution, process or partner you choose.

Workflow integration – Document storage and management are one piece of this process, the other piece will be how those solutions/processes integrate with the productivity tools you are using today.  Many document management systems have links into the major office suites of tools like Microsoft Office that will allow for links into the document management system within the tool you are using.  This makes checking out and editing files by multiple people much easier.  Worklflow aspects of a document management system are very important as the majority of documents will have multiple people all working together on them and the capability for a system to allow this without overwriting existing edits is critical.

Version Control & Audit Trail – Along with workflow integration the capability of a document management system to allow users to lock files for changes, create new versions and to provide audit trails for all edits should be one that is required in any implementation.  Being able to track and rollout back to previous versions of a document is an important aspect to protecting companies in situations that arise years after an activity was conducted.  Automated alerts and change subscription features are other aspects to link directly to version control and should be investigated in any solution you review.

Managing corporate documents should be a top priority for every company and the keys above should be considered when evaluating current processes and new vendors to help with the process.  For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team in sourcing Document Management Solutions or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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You can’t own the sun

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

 

Today’s post is by Michael Figueroa, Project Manager at SafeSourcing

Maria Duran, of Spain, has been selling “plots” of the sun on eBay since 20131 . She created documents laying claim to our solar system’s only star and had them notarized, and auctioned off these plots with notarized certificates. When Ebay shut down her online store, she sued (Can anyone who’s ever been sunburnt sue her?) However crazy her claims may sound, how is it any different than from any other ownership claim? How does a person or organization make claim to land, goods, oceans, or ideas, and prove or disprove “ownership” other than to say “that’s mine!”? There are two basic concepts at the heart of every ownership claim:

Ownership as an agreed-upon standard within a society:
In most civilized societies, ownership standards are established that “legitimize” a claim. These claims are only functional because of the compliance of the society as a whole with this standard. This is very similar in concept to money: It’s only as good as what people agree to trade you for it. There are places in the world where claims to ownership of even human beings are commonly made. This is why having agreed upon standards within that society are so important; Allowing ownership of people, life or shared life-giving resources (like water or the sun) can have (and have had) disastrous outcomes for societies.

Ownership as control that cannot be overcome:
The other standard of ownership stems from simply exerting control over an object that no-one else has the power to oppose. Ownership claims of territory by governments are in place all over the world, enforced by the threat of exerting control through the military. Ideally force is used only to protect the more peaceful standard of agreed-upon societal ownership standards.

There are costs and benefits associated with ownership. In purchasing, WHEN transfer of ownership takes place is critically important. Concerns arising from point-of-ownership include:

·  Who pays for freight?
·  Who pays for damaged goods?
·  Who is responsible for temperature control?
·  What happens if product is not up to spec?
·  How do I verify transfer of ownership happened?

[1] “The curious case of the woman suing eBay over ownership …” 2015. 16 Jun. 2015 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/06/04/the-curious-case-of-the-woman-suing-ebay-over-ownership-of-the-sun/>

Understanding the agreed upon FOB point is crucial to call out in your documentation. Because as Maria Duran can tell you, ownership disputes can be difficult to sort out.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with this process or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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Business as Usual? We Should Hope Not When It Comes to Contracts!

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

 

Today’s post is written by Heather Powell, Director of the Customer Focus Team & Project Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

'In conclusion; our major contract expires tomorrow, we have no idea what we want, and no knowledge of the market,  It is time to pass this across to the Procurement Team,,,'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a contract expiring soon? Or are you working from a contract that already expired months or years ago and have not done anything with it?

Now is the time to act, do not let your contract go on any further until you know for sure it is beneficial to your company.

How do you go about making that assurance? By doing a lot of research and homework first and foremost, and asking those who need the goods and services on the contract if there are any changes, modification, recommendations that they would like to see. Many times goods are purchased through the supplier you have always worked with…or why rock the boat when it has always worked great for your company in the past.

In either circumstance, it is great you have confidence in your supplier or their product; but are they offering you the best product, warranty, certifications, services, pricing, and even net terms?

By running a RFI to gather information from your supplier’s competition, you can determine who’s who in the category. By running a RFP you can see if they can implement the same, or better pricing, or net terms.  Running a RFQ with all the suppliers, including your supplier or incumbent, you can be sure they are competitive in their pricing, terms, and goods.

It is never good business practice to let a contract expire or work from an expired contract. SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your business or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments

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What are you doing about your Contract Management Needs?.

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

 

Todays post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

If you want to insure against contract leakage that can be as much as 5% per year and also protect the savings from your hard fought eNegotiations, it may be time to take a look at your contract management needs.

Most contract management systems have relatively short ROI periods. In fact a company might even be lucky enough as they go through their data collection process to find a single contract that when analyzed might pay for the entire system.

There are all sorts of benefits associated with using contract management software. Probably the most important and least recognized of which is finally having all spend data in one location enabling more effective negotiations. If you have ever run an e-procurement event and tried to assemble a simple specification or incumbent supplier data you already understand the time involved. Administrative costs alone can be reduced by 25-30%.  That’s a huge number in today’s world of insufficient staff.

If you want to get started, here are some basics that a system should be able to provide.

  1. Create contracts
  2. Maintain contracts
  3. Control contracts
  4. Track user access to contracts
  5. Track and monitor the status of contract Meta data
     a. Award date
     b. Contract begin date
     c. Contract end date
     d. Begin delivery date
     e. Escalator language
     f. Notification clauses
     g. Termination Clauses
  6. Automatically alert buyers and management of required actions
  7. Custom Reporting
  8. Supplier Scorecards

If you want to get started tomorrow, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager and ask about SafeContract™.

We look forward to and appreciate you comments

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