Robert Bonavito, CEOEnterprise Contract Management (ECM) plays a critical role in our globally networked economy; from authoring to execution of contracts and the visibility of a central repository,” informs Robert Bonavito, SciQuest’s CEO as he gives a quick update on the issues piling up in this domain, impacting most companies’ CIOs dearly. “Many organizations still create and manage contracts manually—a process that sets them up for inaccuracies, noncompliance, unnecessary risk, and legal issues. Industry analysts estimate that standardizing and automating the process could save these organizations up to 5 percent of their total annual costs by automating their contracts,” he adds. Bonavito’s belief supports the idea that a myriad of pitfalls across the ECM arena could be averted with the help of right contracting tools. SciQuest, a company founded in 1995 aims to address the quandaries involved in manual contract management processes with cloud-based business automation software.
SciQuest was the brainchild of four graduate students working on an entrepreneurial class project and ventured to become a provider of efficient contract automation tools that accurately notify firms about the contract expiration and milestone dates and also eliminate the unnecessary searching of paper-based contracts in file cabinets, saving both valuable time and money. SciQuest’s TCM (Total Contract Manager)—an integration of the enhanced Contract Director solution acquired from Upside Software is a complete source-to-settle CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management) platform with an easy-to-use, intuitive UI (User Interface). “TCM sits on the same platform as our strategic sourcing, e-procurement, invoicing, supplier management, and analytics solutions,” says Bonavito. This integration helps customers achieve full contract compliance in procurement and seamlessly includes contract management as part of SciQuest’s complete sourcing process.
“After a contract has been executed, TCM allows organizations to stay informed with key contract dates and events,” says Bonavito. Firms can set general alerts and reminders for effective, expiration, review, and renewal dates. Also, reporting is a critical component of TCM, which supports contract analysis on new savings, risk identifications, and new efficiency opportunities. Several pre-defined reports are delivered as part of the TCM solution, including Cycle Time Reporting.
After a contract has been executed, TCM allows organizations to stay informed with key contract dates and events
TCM also consists of a Central Contract Repository to create a “single source of truth” for each contract as it goes from authoring through approvals and compliance tracking. The solution also has a native editing feature with a CLM Office Store App. Users can edit with MS word without having to use exports, imports, or even plug-ins. Additionally, TCM has a seamless SalesForce. com (SFDC) integration that creates contracts directly from SFDC sales opportunities, with full two-way synchronization.
Once, SciQuest’s TCM assisted the NC (North Carolina) A&T State University during its contract management crisis. NC A&T used a manual CMS (Contract Management System), which provided little or no visibility on contracts, and took over 15 days to execute a contract. Also, with third party vendors involved in contract executions, NC A&T struggled to get a signed agreement back from a supplier, and never had a fully executed contract. However, when the contracts did come back, there was no repository to store and find the paper-based contracts. With TCM, NC A&T eliminated paper contracts, reduced contract execution time from 15 plus days to 5 days, and received 100 percent fully executed contracts, with signatures from both parties.
The client success stories add credence to SciQuest’s vision—to enable its customers to manage the entire spend, contract, and supplier performance management lifecycle in a single, easy to use, and high performance mobile platform. In the near future, the company plans to add more types of spend management solutions as well as offer exception and KPI based reporting tools.