Reducing manual processes and using IT to consolidate contract terms with the bid documentation.
Curtis Fitch managed the process with GKN Legal from conceptualisation to implementation, moving away from a paper based process to the online negotiation of GKN supplier contracts.
GKN have now changed the way they negotiate contract terms with their supply base, reducing manual processes and using IT to consolidate contract terms with the bid documentation. This way of working has reduced unnecessary paper trails, missed dialogue and the pinging of emails. Ultimately it’s given both legal teams and suppliers more time.
CF Contracts is used across a variety of industries supporting our customers with their Contract Lifecycle Management. We caught up with Robbie Payne, Divisional General Counsel from GKN Aerospace who discusses the impact of implementing CF Contracts across their legal team.
Since implementing the Curtis Fitch Contracting System we are starting to achieve benefits in our procurement processes. We have been able to present a very well considered and robust system to our supply base, reducing manual processes and using IT to consolidate contract terms with the bid documentation. The system presents our terms and removes unnecessary dialogue, – freeing up time for both parties. The ways in which we trade are now locked into the system; if you want to do business with us then the terms are clear and accessible, and any submitted mark up is registered on the system as part of the bid package from a particular supplier. There is therefore one place we have to access to analyse and score the various bids and this one stop shop ensures that the legal terms do not get de-coupled from the commercial terms in such analysis.
We have also seen a reduced workload across our team. The system removes the need for a manual paper trail. The end user tracks the negotiation on the system from the outset and is allowed visibility of the returned marks-up, which also remain stored on the system for future reference. Approval requirements can also be set up in the system. From a lawyer’s perspective, having this level of transparency and governance that’s locked into the system gives our business the control it requires over the process and, ultimately, makes the process easier and slicker.
We created a ‘centre of excellence’ to oversee the project, made up of a handful of senior procurement personnel who now know the system inside out. This has proven to be a successful way of working and, as such, has supported the way in which we have engaged with Curtis Fitch. Having completed implementation here in the UK we’re now promoting use of the system globally to our other procurement teams around the world.
We have had a seamless, continuing dialogue with Antonia and her team to move us from conceptualisation to implementation. As you would expect, we experienced some initial resistance from end users. Change is always unsettling- moving from an overly flexible negotiation process to a more controlled system driven approach required some adjustment. However we have been able to accommodate a number of changes to appease some of the requests from end users. One of the traits of the Curtis Fitch support team is that they have had great patience with us as we have moved through the various stages of the project, shadowing us as we realign and rework the system to our requirements (which have also evolved over the course of the project).
For example, we created an option for a multi customer / multi supplier contract along the way. The requirement for this change was realised after the implementation had started. Curtis Fitch, however, with their usual ‘can do attitude’ simply worked with us and adapted the system again to accommodate this change. It is this very attitude and their willingness to adapt which has made the experience so smooth. They have become ‘one of the team’- dedicated to getting the project over the line.
Robbie Payne, Divisional General Counsel, GKN Aerospace Legal