\r\n If you were asked to identify the activities that a company (of any size) needs for it to do business, then why is it that functions such as accounting, sales, marketing, IT and many others would all immediately come to mind, but contract management would rarely feature? Yet whether you are a large, medium or small enterprise, involved in manufacturing, services, construction, utilities, health care or almost any other industry you will at some time use contracts; all of which need to be planned, awarded and managed. More and more companies are focusing on what they do best and buying-in goods and services that can be provided by outside sources quicker, at lower cost and better quality. However, the methods used to acquire goods and services at the best price and under the best terms needs to follow a structured process with careful planning and managed by experienced people. Yes, this does require investment from your company – and not just financial – but the cost of not doing it can far outweigh the cost of doing it right. This paper tries to help you identify some of the aspects you need to consider and some of the best practices to adopt to make contract management as normal a business activity as any of the more traditional business processes.
\r\n Philip Holt, ESI International
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