In our series to date we have recapped Sourcing today and taken a deep dive into the key requirements of the review, needs assessment, strategy selection, communication, analysis, and negotiation phases. In each of these six steps to date, we found that while some steps were critical for a sourcing professional to undertake, others, while necessary, were a complete waste of skilled talent time as the majority of the tasks could be automated. And while we’re still at the point where some tasks have to be done by humans whereas no matter what, we’re almost certain that this is true across the entire sourcing cycle, but until we complete our analysis, we can’t be 100%, so that is what we’re going to do today and tomorrow.
So in this final step, the contract step, we have these final sub-steps:
- Standard Terms and Conditions
- Modification & Risk Mitigation to Supplier & Country
- Key Metadata definition and obligation specification
- Contract Analytics
In the standard terms and conditions step, the buyer identifies all of the organizational standard terms and conditions that are relevant to the product and services in question. This involves reviewing the standard conditions proffered by legal, previous contracts, and standard contracts put forward by competitors and selecting those that are relevant.
In the modification and risk mitigation phase, the buyer identifies which standard terms and conditions, prior contracts, and suggested terms (defined during the early phases) need to be modified to address risk on a supplier and/or country basis and makes some suggestions as to what needs to be done.
In the key metadata definition and obligation specification phase, the buyer needs to define the metadata that needs to be tracked against the contract, how it needs to be tracked, where it needs to be used, and even how to generate value from the metadata.
Finally, the user needs to analyze the contract for risks, variances, and clauses that are non-standard, identify, catalog, and track them over time. Plus, the user needs to determine the relative risks, variances, and clauses relative to other contracts to determine overall priority.
This sounds pretty buyer intensive and strategic, right? Not much room for automation, right? Well, we’ll find out in our next part!