SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

January 09, 2008 10:00 ET

Sell-Side Contract Management: Opportunity-to-Order Optimization

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 9, 2008) - The top factor driving enterprises to focus their efforts on Contract Life Management (CLM) for sales contracts is the reduction of revenue leakage (33%), according to a new benchmark report by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS). Revenue leakage occurs due to incorrect charges, missed deadlines and milestones, inconsistencies in pricing transactional errors, penalties, and more. This (and prior) research has found that enterprises believe approximately 5% to 9% of revenues are lost due to such causes; clearly not something to be ignored.

Enterprises have the ability to significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their opportunity-to-order cycle. This report, based on survey data from approximately 200 enterprises, details what Best-in-Class enterprises are able to achieve through various strategies and technology initiatives. Our research has found that respondents see value in linking contracts to order management and invoicing (74%), having the ability to create proposals (58%), view a portfolio of contracts (57%), and to analyze individual terms and conditions (56%).

Some characteristics of Best-in-Class enterprises include the following:

--  Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Best-in-Class enterprises currently have
    a central contracts repository
--  Fifty-two percent (52%) of Best-in-Class enterprises have already
    initiated strategies to reduce cycle times for the creation and approval of
    contracts
--  Best-in-Class enterprises create contracts covering standard or
    multiple products/services on average 65% faster than the average
    

Aberdeen research recommends that enterprises consider the following to improve their Opportunity-to-Order cycle:

--  Move away from paper-based and largely-manual contracting methods
--  Review contract management policies and procedures; align them with
    technology solutions
--  Track commitments and obligations to customers as stated in the
    contracts by making contract data available to relevant stakeholders
--  Integrate the contract management system with the financial and
    transactional systems
--  Utilize reporting and analytical capabilities regularly to measure
    contract performance
    

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Ecteon, I-many and Selectica. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4175

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2008 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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