A little over a week ago, we asked you - Exchange Community - was is your primary driver for automating your contract management function.  Keep those votes coming (http://exchange.ariba.com/community/solutions/contractmanagement) as we plan to leverage this information in future research and analysis.  While the early returns are not overly surprising, your perspectives raise a number of discussion points that I'll touch on here only briefly.

 

First, savings compliance was the primary lever cited by half of responders thus far.  Again, not all that surprising given the large number of Exchange participants who are buy-side focused (note: don't feel left out folks on the sell-side...we're happy to report your numbers are increasing daily).  The point should be reiterated, however, that this goal cannot be achieved solely with any stand-alone contract management solution.  Savings compliance requires a suite approach including integrated sourcing, contracting, and procurement processes that provide visibility, process standardization, and most importantly - timely feedback when non-compliance occurs.

 

Besides savings compliance, a number of other business case drivers have received attention illustrating yet again, that contract management - maybe more than any other business function - is a cross-functional exercise requiring buy-in and input from numerous folks throughout the enterprise.

 

Ariba is planning to publish new and fresh findings on the "state of contract management" both on the procurement as well as sales sides of the house in early 2011 with the help of some strategic partners.  Stay tuned here for more info and keep those votes, thoughts, and perspectives coming.