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Proactive Renewals Management (June 2020)

With all businesses having a renewed focus on costs in 2020, the opportunities afforded by contract renewals are too important to neglect. 

In our latest webinar we took attendees through how to make the most of contract renewals and demonstrated how Gatekeeper makes the process simple and reliable.

Our webinar covered:

  • Why you need to act now on contract renewals
  • How to stay on top of them using Gatekeeper dashboards, reports and events
  • How to automate your processes using Gatekeeper's Kanban Workflow Engine
  • Q & A 

Webinar Q & A

Q: Can Gatekeeper handle negotiations with the vendor during the Contract renewal process?

A: Yes it can!

There are two solutions we provide for this, depending on the process you wish to perform:

  • Our native eNegotiate feature for contract version drafting & negotiations: See previous webinar.
  • Vendor Portal module which allows counterparty users to log into a restricted version of Gatekeeper and provide input on a workflow.

Q: Can we see total expenditure with a vendor/on a contract when renewing?

A: In The Vendor data view (which you can click to from a workflow form) you get summary information across the top of total contract values, as well as a Contracts data tab for a repository summary.

Also, our Spend Module users will get access to breakdowns here of total vs forecasted spend with a particular counterparty.

Q: Can we see the audit of previous renewals for a record in Gatekeeper?

A: In a contract’s Forms tab, you will see an audit trail of any workflows in which that contract was reviewed, meaning you can retroactively visit a ""Done"" workflow card to see who approved & actioned it.

In a standard contract's Forms history, what you would likely see is a “Contract Request” workflow entry with the who/when/why of the contract being added.

You may also then see one or many contract renewal reviews, depending on its length.

Q: Can we only use End Date for Renewal workflow triggers?

A: Not at all.

First, the 2 most common dates to use are End Date as we saw, or (for better time allowances for termination) Notice Period Date.

Second, and we touched on it briefly in the demo, but some of our clients store “Evergreen” contracts where there is no fixed end date, and for these we can configure triggers based on annual anniversaries of the start date so you still have that regular automated review.

And third, some of our clients capture multiple date fields as Custom Data using Gatekeeper’s customisable data model, and these bespoke dates can also be used to trigger workflows.

Q: Can Gatekeeper automatically update contracts based on dates?

A: At present, our users manage this using the “Auto-Archive” feature to maintain the admin of setting their records to expired in the repository when the end date passes.

Soon will be coming on workflows: Auto Actions which can automatically update metadata.

Q: Really like the set and forget, but our needs for the workflow are much less involved we really just need a notification to the contract owner. Can this be supported?

A: Absolutely! And we do find that for some our customers who don’t have such a formalised process, they only want Gatekeeper to manage the automated monitoring process, so their workflows are much shorter than the one we just saw.

Q: We have perpetual contacts but still want to review them every 12 months. How can this be done?

A: Yes, Gatekeeper allows workflows to utilise the Start Date anniversary as a trigger point so you can perform annual reviews of your evergreen contracts.

Q: We actually use AdobeSign, can we still use them with this workflow?

A: For sure, if it’s the case that you want to sign outside and then store your document in Gatekeeper, you can simply configure a workflow form to receive attachments as a form field and upload your adobe document here.

Obviously though, since eSign is native to Gatekeeper, we recommend using that in our application since it works more smoothly and allows for a better audit trail. All Gatekeeper plans come with unlimited eSign senders and signers. 

Q: How much do workflows cost?

A: In Gatekeeper, Workflows are included as standard in all plans, with the quota increasing as you move up in plan levels.

The setup of these workflows can be self-managed. However, we do configure workflows during onboarding and have options available post onboarding, so reach out to your Gatekeeper representative to discuss the options.

(Not available in ContractNow.)

Will there be in the future any automatic synchronisation between contact's end date and its status change from live to archived?

A: Yes, each contract has an auto-archive setting. When the flag is set to “yes” this will automatically change the status from Live to Archive and you can inform the Contract Owner X days before this happens. 

Q: Can you have multiple approvers?

A: We touched on this in his Workflow demonstration where you saw the option to configure conditional approvals based on contract information. In Events though, only one approver can be chosen.

Q: Is this functionality in ContractNow or only in the full Gatekeeper system?

A: Workflows are not included in our ContractNow offering but are included in all Gatekeeper Plans. 

How does this integrate with projects?

A: Currently, Projects are not able to be created or updated via workflows.

Top Tips For Contract Renewals 
Provided by Rod Linsley - Gatekeeper Contracts Expert

  1. Understand the contract well, whether it's theirs or yours, but in proportion to its criticality. This allows you to determine how well it was able to deal with situations encountered in the last 12 months and what you would like to see changed for it to perform better going forward. It also allows you to assess the suitability of any replacement or updated contract that the supplier might propose, or changes to your contract that the supplier might suggest.
  2. Understand how the supplier has performed over the last 12 months, both for your organisation in particular, and in the market place in general. This allows assessment of the level of internal satisfaction with the supplier's service delivery and relationship performance, and thus the desirability and the risks of renewal with the supplier. It can also provide negotiating leverage.
  3. Understand the supplier's competition. This allows assessment of viable alternative sources and can highlight the level of dependency on the supplier.
  4. Understand how your organisation has performed over the last 12 months with respect to contract compliance and spend expectations. This allows assessment of the risks of non-renewal by the supplier.
  5. Understand the current and projected economic and operational climate and both your organisation's and the supplier's ability to deal with it. This allows assessment of projected demand for the supplier's offerings and the consequent attractiveness of the organisation as a customer, and the organisation's comfort level with delivery expectations.
  6. Question everything. Don't take anything for granted.