I would suggest using the system generated Contract ID to reference your contracts, avoiding the issues that occur when trying to search on a free text field (such as the title). From our expierence users consistently use the incorrect naming convention for project titles. To make searching on this field accurate requires too much time monitoring and editing project titles.
To make the transition to Contract ID easier, I would suggest recording this number on the physical copy of the contract/file.
Ken's answer is certainly logical and lends itself well to linking the physical and virtual copies. If keyword/title search is important, another option could be Supplier.Commodity.Year of Execution - "Ariba.SourcingServices.2014". I'm also interested to hear how others handle this.
We are also struggling with the best way to set up a naming convention so all who need to access contracts are able to do so. Currently, we are using the following: Customer Name, contract type, execution year, product category. We are a supplier not a buyer. I'm not sure I understand how Ken's solution would help in the search function since you would have to know the contract id in order to search. I too would like to hear what others have found successful.
We have been struggling with this for a while and after careful considerations, we have adopted the following methodology:
[Product or services covered by the contract] - [country or region] - [year of effective date] - [optional description]
I have chosen this method based on the following logic: 1) we needed a naming to support the search engine best 2) no unnecessary or very few 'duplicate facts' from the actual meta data. Hence previously a lot of end user added e.g. the supplier name to the title of a contract workspace, but why do this when there is a dedicated meta data field for this, that can be used in the search filters? The same goes for Ken's suggestion of adding the CW number to the title - what is the logic behind that? You are able to search on the CW number in a field dedicated to that.
I hope that this helps you in deciding on a naming convention that will suit your company best.
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All suggestions are good and valid suggestions.It is a good idea to have some naming conventions setup for your team. Contract ID will always be unique and easiest way to search. That said in the upcoming 14s Sourcing release we are redoing the search architecture and along with an incredible performance increase we are also changing keyword search to be a generic search box that will search all fields and all documents based on the data input into the fields.
This will be release in the first half of 2015.