Improve your contract management with these extra tips

You understand the importance of good contract management and have contracts agreed with your suppliers; now, you need good contract management in place to maximise performance and business results. Here are five things to consider:

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1 Ongoing monitoring

Once you have a contract signed, dont just file it and forget about it; instead, implement a contract good management system. You cant just assume that the supplier will perform to the agreement. Keep an eye on them and review their performance regularly. If you are not monitoring them closely, you could miss underperformance and get poor results.

2 Good issue management

Sometimes things dont go as planned and a supplier may not be performing well. You need to deal with issues directly with the supplier and manage them through to a satisfactory resolution. You should ensure any action taken addresses and corrects the problem in an appropriate manner; alternatively, you may need to refer to your exit strategy.

3 Regular reviews

Keep the suppliers attention and focus by having regular reviews – if they never hear from you, how can you expect to be high on their list of priorities? These reviews should be structured and fully analyse both compliance with the agreement and performance levels. You should then develop any necessary action plans to address areas that need to be improved upon or changed.

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According to the National Audit Office, good contract management ensures value for money is obtained.

4 Manage this and other contracts

Remember that you may not be the only business with a contract with a particular supplier. If they have contracts with other clients, you want to gain an advantage over the others by effectively managing your relationship. Consider a contract management system from a specialist such as
5 Plan for expiry

Be prepared for the end – you dont want to be surprised when you suddenly realise a contract has ended and you are not prepared. To ensure you have maximum leverage and are in the best position to renegotiate terms, you need to have plenty of time on your side. Make sure you are reminded of the impending end date in good time so that you are in the best position to get a continuing arrangement agreed and in place nice and early.

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