The SAP Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution allows users to get the most out of their contracts by offering greater visibility, standardized processes, and contract compliance. CLM is offered to customers both On-Demand and On-Premise.
Building a contract repository is a very important first step in implementing CLM. The repository, which includes the contract data and documents, provides a single place of contract information for all of your organization’s legal agreements. The repository offers greater visibility into which suppliers you have contracts with, which suppliers address specific categories, what your obligations are for those contracts, and much more. Through the Global Search capabilities recently introduced in CLM 7.0 and the KM/TREX integration offered in earlier releases, the CLM contract repository can be easily and quickly searched on the data fields and related documentation.
Building a contract repository requires a fair amount of off-line preparation and document gathering. Contract data and documents must be collected from all relevant sources, often times including company databases, file shares, and even personal computers of contract managers. After collecting the data and all relevant documents, they need to be organized, and potentially cleansed. For example, the contract repository benefits greatly when consistent use of supplier names and information are used across contracts. Additionally, ensuring that contracts are appropriately organized is an important cleansing step. Using contract hierarchies to relate the contract data can improve the usage and compliance reporting of the contracts.
As a practical matter, most of the activities related to collecting and organizing the data and documents are manual. Once those activities are complete, the import tools provided with SAP CLM will allow you to quickly create a contract repository.
The latest release of CLM (7.0) introduces a streamlined capability for loading the legacy contract data into the system (earlier releases offered a capability as well, but significant improvements have been made in 7.0).
Specifically, the latest release of CLM offers these improvements to the contract load tools:
- Single CSV file that contains all of the data for the Agreement and Contract Document
- Option to upload the documents via a ZIP file
- Option to upload the documents using FTP
- Simulation mode to test the contents of the import files
- Periodic email notifications during the import processing
Use of these tools in the SAP CLM OnDemand environments has proven to be very successful. Our customers are able to take full control of the contract load process, without assistance by technical experts at SAP.
Stay tuned for my next post where I will describe in more detail some of the best practices for use of the updated contract import tools.