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5 reasons why sourcing and contract management software work hand-in-hand

March 2, 2020 | Emily Lambert

puzzle piece representing sourcing and contract management work coming together

Do your sourcing and contract management operate separately? It may be time to consider housing them in one software. 

At Bonfire, we’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of organizations that are passionate about finding the perfect sourcing software that will bring their processes online, reduce their environmental impact, align stakeholders, and improve consistency. But why not bring those benefits to your contract management, too? 

After all, sourcing and contract management are intrinsically connected; in one stage, you’re evaluating the best vendor. In the other, you’re tracking their performance and deciding whether it’s a relationship worth renewing.

At the end of the day, both have the same goal—to drive the most value for the goods or services you need. So why are you treating them as separate? 

On today’s blog, we’re exploring 5 reasons why managing your contracts in your sourcing software is a good idea. 

1. Automatically generate contracts from awarded proposals

You’ve spent a lot of time, energy, and resources to find the perfect candidate for your bid or RFP—now it’s time to create the contract. When your sourcing and contract management are hosted together, all the data you need to generate a new contract is already there for you to pull from.

For example, in Bonfire, you can save time and ensure consistency by creating templates that are pre-configured to include the default details, documents, and people for a given contract type. Since vendor information is already stored in Bonfire, you can create a contract record that automatically carries over relevant information (such as public files from the original project and the awarded vendor’s submission documents) from the sourcing project into the contract record. 

2. Evaluate vendor performance

Sourcing and contract management operate in a cycle; first, you have to evaluate bids or RFPs to find the best vendor, then you work with that vendor, then you evaluate their performance, then you have to decide whether you continue that relationship or go back out to the market for that contract when it’s up for renewal—and the cycle starts again. So it makes sense that you would want to manage vendor performance in the same place where you host your strategic sourcing activities. 

In Bonfire’s Contract and Performance Module, for instance, users can create surveys to measure vendor performance, add respondents that will receive the survey, view survey results and frequency, export survey results, and view trends from past surveys to track improvement. 

3. Track important milestones in your contract lifecycle management

Once you’ve evaluated the performance of your vendors, you’ll want to track important contract dates like lead time and end date so that you can prepare to renew contracts or go back to the market. 

In Bonfire, a calendar heatmap provides you with a high-level view of important upcoming dates. Dark-color days signify more contracts expiring for greater values, allowing you to prioritize your time accordingly. You can set reminders on the lead times of relevant contracts to you.

Additionally, by selecting an individual contract you get a visual timeline of various terms of the individual contract, important dates, and custom reminders that you set for yourself. 

4. Go green

Does your organization have a “digital transformation” or “go green” mandate that led you to invest in an eSourcing solution? You wouldn’t be alone; our friends at Ventura County transitioned from a paper-based procurement process to an eSourcing solution and saved 170,000 pages of paper in one year, reducing their environmental footprint (not to mention shredding costs!). 

Why stop at sourcing? With your contract management activities integrated into your sourcing software, you can view contract information on a central dashboard, filter contracts to locate the information you need, and export custom reports to Excel—no physical paper required. 

5. Share insights seamlessly

Many of us have invested in eSourcing solutions because we know the power that data and insights can have in making more proactive and strategic decisions. And the same goes for contract management!

In Bonfire’s Contract and Performance Module, all the information you need is in one place and easily exportable. You can also give other users in your organization access to contract details (to view or edit), so all contract stakeholders are on the same page. 

Learn more about how Bonfire’s sourcing and contract management work together on our Bonfire Contract and Performance Management page. Or, if you’re already a Bonfire client, contact your Client Experience Manager today. 

About the author

Bonfire Blog Author Emily Lambert

Emily Lambert | Bonfire Interactive

As the Content Marketing Strategist at Bonfire, Emily writes thought leadership for procurement teams in the public sector. Best practices content for procurement professionals doesn’t have to be a chore to get through—which is why Emily strives to strike the balance of writing educational yet engaging content that inspires sourcing experts and equips them to make the best purchasing decisions.