Contract Lifecycle Management III: Do You Know Where it Came From?

In our first post, we introduced you to CLM, short for Contract Lifecycle Management, which is arguably one of the most uninspiring acronyms in the Supply Management space, but also one of the most important as it overlaps S2C, P2P, and, as a result, S2S/S2P as well as intersecting with risk management, performance management, change management, and supplier (relationship) management. In other words, as succinctly stated in our last post, CLM touches almost every aspect of Supply Management and is taking a central place in your Supply Management organization.

And, in our last post, we tried to define where CLM starts and ends, but, as per our first post, the key questions are: what exactly is CLM, why do you need it, and, most importantly, what defines the core CM (Contract Management) platform that powers CLM? And why?

As per our first post, to answer these questions in a standard, and open, manner that will allow for common, comparable, measurements across the vendor-base that will not change from quadrant to quadrant or wave to wave, Spend Matters and Sourcing Innovation have come together to create common definitions for critical Supply Management technologies, starting with CLM. This effort, led by the prophet, the maverick, and the doctor, has resulted in an initial, landmark, ten-part series on CLM over on Spend Matters Pro [membership required] that begins in Contract Lifecycle Management Part I: An introduction and that will continue until CLM is made clear.

In the first part of our ten-part series we defined what CLM is, discussed some critical requirements, and indicated future posts would detail what technological capabilities were required to support them. But before we can get to that, we have to understand where the solution space is today and why existing platforms, on their own, don’t meet all of an organization’s needs, and how what’s out there currently fits together. That’s why Contract Lifecycle Management Part III: The Solution Space examines the space and helps you understand where CLM fits.

While Contract Management solutions have been around for a while, they weren’t the first set of solutions in the Supply Management space, with e-Sourcing (and e-Auction) and e-Procurement (and e-Invoicing) solutions taking they lead. Early Contract Management solutions materialized in the Supply Management space as a result of gaps in process support left by the other solutions. But as Supply Management matured, many of these first generation systems showed gaps themselves, and Contract Management is now much more than just a contract authoring, signing, archiving, indexing, and searching platform that first generation vendors will make it out to be. And this starts to become clear when you examine the solution space as a whole and see where all the pieces fit, or don’t fit, together.

The reality is that the Supply Management space is big, the full CLM process is involved, and CLM knowledge gaps are very common — but they don’t have to be! Head on over to Spend Matters Pro [membership required], check out the latest piece by the prophet, the maverick, and the doctor, and understand how the The (Supply Management) Solution Space currently fits together. You won’t regret it.