Guest Author: Ian Foster

I’ve been in the engineering procurement construction (EPC) business for over 45 years and I’ve been involved in a variety of different industries ranging from oil and gas, chemical, petrochemical, power, and pharmaceutical.  I recently retired as a project director for a major EPC firm and managed many different projects throughout my career, many of which had multiple subcontracts.

Early in my career I was a senior contract administrator performing contract administration functions ranging from tender to award. I was given the responsibility to manage a mid-size project with 33 subcontracts across all disciplines.  Even though this project was executed over 30 years ago, I still remember many details of this daunting task. I had to develop bid lists, compile scopes of work, as well as all technical and commercial documents, manage technical and commercial queries, receive bids, award contracts, and manage change orders – and all on my own!  To make matters worse, review and approval requirements were still mandatory.

Fast forward to today’s technological environment where systems such as Coreworx Contract Managementhave allowed contract administrators and managers to completely automate their tasks into manageable and expedited functions, thereby reducing man-hours, shortening schedules, and reducing the risk of errors.  And after contract close-out, if you have the misfortune of litigation, an automated contract management system ensures all contract documents were properly filed, stored, and are easily retrieved – significantly reducing legal costs.

Thanks to automated functionality with built-in work flow processes – including review/approval status and managerial dashboards and reports – contract managers now have the ability to use full-flow automation, thereby managing and controlling every aspect of the contract process. Coreworx Contract Management  is a cradle-to-grave contract communications platform that supports the management and execution of all pre-award and post-award contract information and processes – from bidder pre-qualification to contract close-out. Powerful integration keeps everyone in the loop by enabling the exchange of information and contract data with scheduling, change managementrequest for information (RFI)deliverables managementdocument control, as well as financial/accounting systems.
Some of the other advanced features you get with Coreworx Contract Management include:

Pre-Award Features:

  • Bid List – Compile and validate potential bidders
  • Bid Package – Assemble and track bid documents and quantities
  • Bid Issue – Verify and issue invitations to tender
  • Bidder Portal – Submit intentions, clarifications and bids
  • Bid Evaluation – Control the bid evaluation process
  • Bid Award – Award a contract

Post-Award Features:

  • Deliverable Packages: Itemize and track contract deliverables
  • Contract Invoice Submittal (CIS) – Log invoices, obtain ok-to-pay authorization and track available contract funds
  • Request for Information (RFI) – Control and respond quickly to requests for information
  • Change Management – Identify, review, approve and track changes
  • Contract Close Out – Build punch lists and manage close out actions

Sometimes it’s fun to think of days gone by, but even today, many companies manage contracts with spreadsheets, emails, phone calls, meetings, and sometimes just by walking the halls to get what is needed. But companies really need to get with the times – when it comes to managing your project contracts and information, you don’t want to be left behind. I could have saved myself a lot of time, money, and headaches if I had access to an automated contract management system back then.  My recommendation to today’s contractors and owners is to automate your systems wherever you can in order to minimize budgets, shorten schedules, and reduce risk.

Guest Author: Ian Foster

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