Significant quantity of Contract Management is still being managed by in-house attorneys resulting in compromising the focus of customer differentiation and value generating activities!
Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) companies placed across Asia and Africa have robust practice in Contract Management with the increasing support of Information Technology. The service comprises of abstracting, analyzing, cataloguing, drafting, editing and reviewing of documents and contracts.
The higher value services need best practice inside the LPO companies to meet the demands of buyers. The contracting process can be analyzed using a six-phase model. These six phases are Procurement Planning, Solicitation Planning, Solicitation, Source Selection, Contract Administration and Contract Close-out. Each of these contract management phases provides critical planning, execution, and control of the overall contracting process and is integral to the success of the resultant contract and contractor performance.
The practices and solutions provided by the LPO companies in delivering competitive quality in contract management to the clients are as follows:
· Enterprise Contract management software solutions
· Quality Management Processes (Three tier review system)
· Change Management Processes
· End-to-end Contract Management Solutions, etc.
Gartner said that firms “focus too much on the operational level of outsourcing, and not enough on the strategic management of contracts; also many law firms focused on short-term savings rather than long-term business success when establishing outsourcing relationships – and that it’s costing them in the long run.”
The effective contract lifecycle management systems can pro-actively automate the sourcing process for organizations but the missing factors such asaccountability and audit of contracts can only be achieved through the Strategic Contract Management solutions.
Instead of focusing on low cost when choosing an outsourcing partner, buyers should look at the bigger picture, and scrutinize whether the company has the necessary resources and the ability to deliver the contracts with necessary quality on turn-around time.
 G A Garrett and R G Rendon (2005), Contract Management: Organizational Assessment Tools, National Contract Management Association.