The Strategy Behind Bringing Procurement and Contracting Closer Together

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Today, contracts can no longer be filed away, retrieved only to resolve disputes later. They need to become more dynamic and play an active role with other business processes to realize their full potential.

Why? Because the business landscape has been growing more complex for years now, with contracts at the center of every deal to ensure all parties deliver what’s promised. On both the buy – and sell-sides, businesses face increasingly complicated regulatory demands. Intricate supply chains may escalate risks and require solutions that can’t rely on outdated, siloed technologies.

We acquired IASTA last summer to further reinforce our desire to meet the growing demand for integrated systems, analytics, and holistic approaches to address business needs across departments. When organizations are able to connect the dots between buy- and sell-side relationships, they’ll benefit from increasing compliance, reducing risk and enjoying shorter business cycles.  With greater visibility, control and insight company-wide, executives will be able to make smarter decisions!

Spend Matters was one of many analyst groups that evaluated the acquisition. They noted many of the market drivers and conditions behind our strategic move. They also defined some potential scenarios that are enabled by bringing procurement and contracting closer together.

Here’s just a sampling of the many they came up with:

  • Better contract management with better control and visibility ensure that individual contract requirements are accurately mapped and that they fit not only with the overall needs and agreements of a company, but with trade and legislative bodies as well. By accurately mapping requirements and regulations from the get-go, businesses have the opportunity to identify non-traditional routes to more savings and reduced risk, from initial supplier engagement through the contracting process.
  • By bringing procurement and contracting closer together, the negotiation of contract clauses, such as indemnification, would be a key component of a sourcing event. This has the potential of implementing contracts much more quickly and efficiently. It would also allow procurement to work more closely with legal during the development of a contract to run through various clause alternatives and constraints that could help determine a supplier’s end cost.
  • Environmental, health and safety (EHS) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs could be fully integrated into procurement and supply chain processes via automatic population of required clauses during contracting and dashboards that show the true state of a supplier’s compliance. Bringing all of these often-scattered processes together could significantly reduce the risk of legal exposure and increase overall business compliance.

While all these scenarios are certainly exciting, our acquisition of IASTA is just part of the story. Last month we announced our intention to acquire b-pack, a Procure-to-Pay (P2P) provider. This addition to our suite of solutions tackles the P2P aspects of best practices in eCatalog, eProcurement, and Invoice Management, enabling us to deliver a comprehensive supplier relationship management solution that further allows our clients to integrate activities across departments and increase the ROI of their efforts.

Each of our solutions – IASTA, b-pack, and Selectica – offer powerful benefits and have established strong reputations in their respective areas of focus. Gartner Magic Quadrants have noted our leadership roles in the Strategic Sourcing Suites and Procure-to-Pay categories. We truly have the potential to go well beyond the basics of increased savings and efficiency. We look forward to working with our clients in the years ahead to bring them the combined power of integrated supply management and contract management solutions. The potential is nearly unlimited – get ready for an exciting and fulfilling journey!

To read more about Selectica news coverage and analysis, click here.

To lean more about procurement software solutions, watch our webinar featuring an in-depth discussion with Forrester analyst Duncan Jones on how technology will impact the strategic directions of source to pay, including eProcurement application strategy, supplier relationship management, and solutions for procurement and the enterprise. Online registration is available now.

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