Need of the figure of the Contract Manager
In Spain, the Industrial sector and the infrastructure sector have had for decades mechanisms where the figure of the Contract Manager was not considered as an independent, specific and strategic position within the management of the project, and even today is not known or applied habitually.
The massive outflow of Spanish companies has made them face a new way of managing projects on the part of customers, where the contract is a fundamental element in interpreting any discrepancies that may arise. On the contrary in Spain generally we did not pay attention to him unless our claims were not taken care of or the client decided to act against us.
Thus in our usual practice it is normal that when we act in dispute resolution in Spain (litigation or arbitration) that the figure of the Contract Manager does not exist and that the monitoring and control performed by the company during the execution of the contract has not been adequate.
It is true that the international client usually has external monitoring equipment, usually Anglo-Saxon, highly professionalised where contractual management is always present and where the control and monitoring mechanisms that apply allow you to protect against future problems.
How many times have companies wondered what would have happened if they had implemented the proper mechanisms and roles to perform a correct contractual management?
- How often do companies avoid filing a claim against customers or suppliers for reasons such as: commercial policy, lack of resources, lack of documentation, lack of follow-up actions, etc.?
- How often are companies unprotected against complaints from customers and suppliers because they do not have the necessary monitoring and control mechanisms?
- How many times have companies failed to have accurate information about the scope of a contract, the risks it entails, how does the progress of the project affect its clauses?
- How often would companies have managed a project better if they had had a contract manual / guide that included the most important parts of the contract, how to approach and interpret them, how to protect themselves from claims, how to be proactive in their claims and how to treat them in terms of documentation, etc. Including templates and examples for the most common procedures?
Although the question that should be asked is: how many times more?
CONTRACT MANAGER SERVICES
The answer to these and similar questions is the figure of the Contract Manger, which enables a greater bargaining power of the company minimizing the risks and maximizing the yields that a contract can bring.
Thus the Contract Manager, as a service, is the group of people who work to ensure that the contractual position of the company in a project is always as protected as possible, addressing and solving the difficulties that may arise during its development.
For this it is essential to take into account that:
Its work extends throughout all phases of a project
- Competition phase. Advising in all the technical and commercial aspects of the elaboration and negotiation of contracts. Preparing and setting the bases of the offer focused on its subsequent contractual follow-up.
- Execution Phase. Assisting during the development of the project with the procedures provided in the contract, such as notifications, claims, etc … Managing the implementation of control systems necessary to document and control the project team together with the project team.
- Dispute Resolution. Advising both on specific points of a claim and fully developing the support of the same.
It is necessary to have the right people and tools so that:
- The contract is properly analyzed and interpreted
- Compliance with the contract is adequately monitored
- Be alerted in time and manner of any breach or incident
In this way the function of the “Contract Manager” must be horizontal, interacting with the entire internal organization of a project, and must be vertical, participating in the entire life cycle of the project.
In this context it is necessary that the figure and services of Contrract Manager are performed by people outside the teams of companies because:
- We can count on highly experienced professionals and companies in this area
- It will be possible to have multidisciplinary teams of technicians and lawyers, adapting their participation in function of the phases and necessities of the project
- Have a more objective view
- In case of having to develop a claim or litigation, the external technical and legal team that has to prepare this type of actions will have been linked to the life of the project and will have a thorough knowledge and documentation.
Therefore, the necessary implementation of Contract Manager teams will prevent problems from being oversized, minimizing the risks that any contract entails.