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When we first started working with a major retailer, 70% of their spend with suppliers was not contracted for. Worse still, only a third of the supplier contracts they did have were based on their preferred terms. The retailer was choosing to take on risk rather than disrupt its supply chain with legal delays.

What was our solution? Using our matter tracker software, we captured the key data about each transaction. Then we worked with the business to build them a document automation system. We also built a playbook of the client’s preferred contract positions, automatically generating a risk note to indicate how, if at all, each contract deviated from the preferred terms.

Senior managers also wanted to be able to examine and approve each supplier contract before signature. We worked with them to integrate our processes with their IT systems so that the approval process became significantly smoother while retaining the all-important oversight.

By introducing SmartDelivery in this way, we helped our client move from contracting for 30% of its spend to contracting for 95%. And 85% of these contracts were done on their preferred standard terms. Time to contract was reduced from more than 10 weeks to less than 4.

The same client also wanted to reduce the number of employee disputes in its significant workforce. Disputes were time consuming, costly and caused significant brand damage.

Another wanted to see why its construction projects were being delayed by claims up and down its supply chain.

Our case management technology gathered key data about the disputes and their causes. It revealed patterns across the business that the commercial managers had never been able to analyse before. Strategic reviews identified common trends and we worked with the clients to take pre-emptive steps, such as targeted training, changes to contracts and policies and supply chain reallocation.

By offering creative costs models, such as fixed fees which reduce each year whatever the number of disputes, we shared with the client the challenge of solving the problems.

The results? Causes of problems were identified, and fixed. Claims and legal costs went down, and employee and supply chain satisfaction went up.

The business got on with business.

And stopped fighting fires.


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