October 13 by Maria Pergolino
I’ve been at Apttus for 4 years. During that time I have learned from our customers – some of the most well respected general counsels and contract experts in the world – that contracts, both buy-side and sell-side, go much better together.
Why is this an issue? Many contract management systems either focus on helping sales with their contracts or focus on supporting procurement, but few are built to encompass all types of commitments created throughout the entire company. That’s a problem.
The Problems of Separate Buy-Side and Sell-Side Contracts
When you use different systems for sell-side and buy-side contracting, you miss-out on numerous benefits and take on extra administration. Specifically, with two systems you:
1) Lose a single executive view of your commitments – obstructing the executive team from truly understanding both buy-side and sell-side contracts.
2) Can’t align teams with shared data. For example: with unaligned systems, an increase in sales might fail to trigger the purchase of more materials.
3) Create double the administration and IT work. Double the systems means double the work, its as simple as that.
4) Create double the training time.
5) Can’t truly understand your relationships with your customers. With separate systems, information (such as one of your smaller customers being one of your largest materials providers) often slips through the cracks.
6) Make it harder to forecast purchases, since your separate systems are unable to see everything that has been sold in the past.
7) Cause additional integration costs. Even if you don’t integrate your contract systems, you may still need to integrate both systems into your ERP. Double the integrations can often mean double the costs. And what happens if your ERP can only integrate with one system?
8) Create duplicate data entries during vendor and customer creation – since in some cases these companies will be the same.
9) Take longer to see trends because you are separating the data contained throughout your contracts.
10) Make it difficult to standardize reporting and data entry across systems.
11) Make it difficult to leverage the potential of machine learning, as algorithms may only be able, or built, to use the information from past buy-side or sell-side contracts – not both.
Apttus is purpose-built for both sell-side and buy-side contracts, understanding that the true benefit of contract management systems can only be leveraged when used together. This is why we ranked as a leader in both buy-side and sell-side contracts by Forrester.