SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

September 10, 2008 11:00 ET

Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM)

New Study Finds That Companies Realize Cost Savings and Higher Revenues From Effective Contract Management; Compliance Drives Performance and Operational Efficiencies

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 10, 2008) - Contracts can be both complex and dynamic, utilized by companies to mitigate risks, define the terms of business interactions, outline expected revenues and shorten sales cycles, control procurement costs and manage supplier interactions, establish service levels, and protect proprietary information, among other benefits. As a global economic slowdown looms, it is more important than ever to bolster top-line revenues and protect bottom-line results. Risk is unavoidable in business relationships and is identified by over 40% of companies as the top pressure driving focus on contract lifecycle management. According to a new study published by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), top-performing enterprises are leveraging key technologies in combination with developing critical organizational capabilities and strategies to improve compliance with corporate contracts and mitigate risk. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5156.

The "Contract Lifecycle Management" report finds that the bottom line of a company can be impacted significantly by more effectively managing those contracts, pre- and post-implementation, that directly affect the top and bottom lines: sales and procurement contracts. Lower cycle times and improved compliance can lead directly to better revenue capture and cost savings. Enterprises are therefore looking to technology to not only improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and drive visibility, but to also help better insulate the company from the risks of doing business.

By leveraging CLM technologies that store contracts in centralized, online, searchable repository, automate approval workflows, and enable reporting and analysis on contract development / creation / implementation processes and contract utilization, Best-in-Class enterprises have achieved outstanding results:

--  85% of sales orders and revenue recognition compliant with contracts
    
--  86% of purchasing transactions compliant with contracts
    
--  25% to 37% lower cycle times for the creation, negotiation, and
    implementation of sales and procurement contracts
    
--  Up to 74% incrementally lower rates of revenue leakage
    

"Contracts are critical for effectively managing all types of business relationships," said Bill Browning, Research Analyst, Aberdeen. "Bolstering CLM processes and automating the contract management lifecycle not only helps control costs and improves revenue capture, but also enables companies to better deal with business risks. Compliance is key, as Best-in-Class companies have realized."

To reach the level of performance of Best-in-Class organizations for effective contract lifecycle management, Aberdeen recommends that enterprises undertake the following actions:

--  Secure executive support for CLM initiatives
    
--  Centralize management and standardize processes
    
--  Utilize a central, electronic, searchable repository for contracts and
    related documents
    
--  Maintain focus on CLM as a risk management tool
    

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Selectica and SAP. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5156.

To access all of Aberdeen's complimentary research please visit http://research.aberdeen.com.

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.

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