The strategic sourcing team at a well-known American Research University collaborates with 3000+ vendors using integrated systems for contract management. The contract administration team manages 5000-6000 active product and services contracts for the Lab research, IT, Admin/facilities, and other categories.
The Research University uses SAP for managing vendors, product catalogs, and a shopping cart for products and services procurement. Recently, they have launched the Procurement Service Portal built on ServiceNow to offer a single integrated point of contact to the Procurement team. The portal supports inquiries and requests only regarding SAP shopping carts, SAP purchase orders, PO-related invoices, or general inquiries. All matters regarding contracts, sourcing, travel, P-Card, non-PO invoices, etc. were handled through traditional channels. The Research University wanted to incorporate these matters into ServiceNow.
Contract Management Challenges
Typically, it was taking multiple emails back and forth between procurement, contract management, risk assessment, and all other stakeholders regarding contract requests, reviews, approvals, and signatures that slowed down contract turnaround time. As a result, many ad hoc purchase requisitions happened with no vendor contract in place.
Additionally, all contract requests and approvals were tracked manually or in spreadsheets and ad-hoc tools. Thus, the Research University had no real-time visibility on the status of contracts.
"With 5000-6000+ active contracts, it was easy to lose track of contract status, and frustrating for procurement teams, who were raring to go ahead with the agreement. The University needed an easy to use solution that can centralize contract management and integrates well with existing systems and procurement services portal on ServiceNow.
Aavenir met all our requirements and AI capabilities were true blessings. Moreover, automated reminders and notiﬁcations during each stage greatly reduces the contract turnaround time.”
-Director of Procurement Operations
The Solution: Aavenir Contract Lifecycle Management for Higher Education
A ServiceNow Champion at the University discovered Aavenir Contractflow, a certified CLM solution on ServiceNow. Aavenir’s clear domain expertise and solution features are nicely aligned with the University's overall Source-to-Pay strategy. Hence, despite Covid situation causing delays in budget allocation, the University implemented Contractﬂow on their existing ServiceNow, and here is what they achieved:
Centralized contract processing on ServiceNow
Using Contractﬂow, the University can handle 30+ different types of contracts (e.g. Master Agreements, NDAs, supplier contracts, research contracts, IT MSA, etc.). Within a few days, they could set up a clause library and 20-50 contract templates to enable self-service contracting on ServiceNow.
Artiﬁcial intelligence for 3rd party contracts
The University was pretty excited about the AI capabilities of Contractﬂow to automatically capture useful metadata from 3rd party contracts. The smart suggestion feature enhances self-service contracting and ensures that contract language complies with university policies and procedures, as well as applicable federal and state laws.
Frictionless contract approval workﬂow
Aavenir’s easy-to-use workﬂow interface enhanced collaboration between internal stakeholders and vendors while creating, reviewing, negotiating, and signing contracts. A rule-based customizable workﬂow orchestration and Microsoft-word-based redlining helped the University to minimize time spent in emails and managing contract versions.
Using dashboards and reports, the University can track deliverables, monitor KPIs of contract processes, identify contracts in approval or sent for signing. It takes seconds to access contract information using the google-like search or ﬁlter contracts by type.
The American Research University and Aavenir teams went through a series of sessions for successful implementation and adoption. And, it wasn’t long before they saw the beneﬁts of using Aavenir Contractﬂow.
Uniﬁed source-to-contract experience: Extended ServiceNow capabilities to centralize sourcing requests and contract lifecycle. This also increased ROI by leveraging existing subject matter experts, IT support, security, and other KPI’s from a ServiceNow perspective.
Better control of purchasing processes: The University is expecting signiﬁcant reduction, possibly eliminating hundreds of rogue purchases per year, ensuring contracts are in place, reducing exposure to risks, and providing better negotiating power.
Faster Contract Turnaround: Before Aavenir it would take weeks to internally review and negotiate contracts before both parties become comfortable to sign. With Aavenir, it has been reduced to under 10 days with fewer emails back and forth.