Contracts professionals face countless demands that require them to fill many roles and overcome numerous challenges. The contracts department is key to providing enterprise-wide value because of its cross-functional nature. A great contract professional is an indispensable member of the team.
To excel in an organization, contracts leaders must work effectively with executives and colleagues across departments. Contract managers must be armed with the right attitude, drive and willing to put in a lot of effort into the competition of their tasks. Having a proper contract management program in place can take some pressure off of the contracts department and make your life easier.
Below are a few ways in which you can revitalize your approach and make the coming year much less stressful:
- Be a planner and make sure you have a plan in place ahead of time. Having a process in place to address any and all potential issues can help you easily deflect those challenges when they arise. Make sure that you have identified the appropriate contacts for escalation and have a list of responsible parties for each area that touches the contracts realm.
- Be organized. Leverage any little moment of downtime to load old data into online repositories. Paper is in the past, but when the auditors come calling, they want historical data…and they want it NOW. Avoid a last minute scramble and prepare for this ahead of time by staying organized.
- Be a team player and try to avoid staying siloed in your department by collaborating with other departments. One of the biggest sources of errors is when systems don’t sync, and there are multiple data entry points. If you can integrate your existing systems, that would be ideal, but if not, at least make sure there is cross-departmental sharing of exact data that can be input the same way. At times you will need to solve problems as a team as well so it is important to speak out and be open to collaborating across departments.
- Be prepared to support business development and your proposal team. Make sure you have a central repository for all past performance data that is easily accessible and can be shared with your proposal teams on a moment’s notice.
- Be a resource. A top contract manger will have strong attention to detail and a throughout understanding of agreements. Make sure to articulate correctly because if you don’t you can completely change the meaning of a clause. Make sure you have a good understanding of your organization’s standard clauses, critical terms and policies.
- Be knowledgeable. Learning the ins and outs of both your industry and your company’s contracting process will be beneficial as well.
- Incorporating the tips above, as well as investing in contract management software, will mitigate the majority of your daily work stresses. See for yourself how Unison CLM saves you and your team time and takes the pain out of seasonal spikes and audits. Unison CLM provides contracts professionals an intuitive, efficient, integrated approach to accurately, promptly answer data calls and fully comply with FAR/DFARS and agency-specific regulations. Unison CLM is quick to deploy and easy to use. See what Unison can do for your business by requesting a demo below.