Businesses of all sizes will be involved in contract management, perhaps even if they don’t know it. It’s a central part of business operation and dealing with suppliers, vendors and customers. However, it’s still something that many aren’t fully familiar with, despite it being important, and an excellent potential career opportunity. In this article, we’re going to take a brief look at what contract management is, the different elements it can involve, and how you can become, or train a member of staff to become, an effective contract manager.
In short, contract management is all about maintaining the contracts that enable people to do business. It’s a wide and varied part of business, but it’s essential where large contracts dictate the success of a company. Usually, there are three stages to contract management, and contract managers will have a hand in all of them. There’s the initial scoping out of what the two businesses might need, which is generally the sales stage. For example, this might be where a manufacturing company discusses raw materials with a supplier. Then, there’s creating and executing the contract, which would be where the contract is agreed on and put into place. Finally is the ongoing process of making sure that the contract is being maintained and fulfilled, which is where most contract managers will spend their time.
One of the things that many people don’t realise - particularly when considering a career in contract management - is that there are many different elements of contract management, and that people with such a title could potentially have very different roles. Here are some of the most common types of contract management and what the role generally involves:
As you can see from the above, there are many different types of contract manager, which means there isn’t necessarily a set route. Often, contact managers are promoted from within, and move from similar roles. Contract management courses are very popular as a result, and can help ensure individuals have a sound understanding of the role. Click here to find out about the Introduction to Contract Management course that we offer here at Virtual College.