As we enter the last month of 2020, Zycus would like to look back upon the various events that shook economies all over the world triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Inspite of the tumultuous beginning, enterprises have adjusted to the unforeseeable circumstances and adapted their workflows to suit this transformation’s needs by adopting AI-driven Contract Management.

In the twentieth century, we had World War 1, which changed the course of the century. Similarly, this pandemic will pave the way for a world where collaboration can help us deal with global problems like COVID, climate change, sustainable and circular procurement, and building more resilient supply chains. This was one of the interesting topics of discussions on the recently held virtual event by World Commerce and Contracting, “A Moment in Time – The Pandemic as a Catalyst to Change,” where David Chenier and Michelle Baker, the Chief Procurement Officers from ConocoPhillips and KPN respectively, and Mark Gregory, General Counsel from Rolls Royce explained how the pandemic acted as a catalyst for change in procurement and legal organizations.

With markets and the manufacturing sector slowly opening, the relationship between suppliers and buyers is fragile. To move forward, this relationship needs to be rebuilt and sustained through strong paperwork and resilient contracts.  Technologies like AI and machine learning will be increasingly be adopted by enterprises to build and service contracts for their growth trajectory.

When the pandemic hit, the priority of enterprises across the world was to –

  • Protect the business
  • Protect the health and well-being of their workforce
  • Mitigate the spread of COVID-19

The pandemic paved the way for accelerated adoption of emerging technologies. It opened the avenues for enterprises to evaluate new platforms that leverages the proven technologies and fast track automation capabilities. Many enterprises have moved towards replacing their enterprise resource planning systems. They have moved towards implementing multiple applications of technology to improve existing business processes. For example, increasing robotic process automation for automating repetitive tasks and data analytics for improved visibility of supplier performance.

It would be worthwhile for many enterprises to examine the several changes that some enterprises had made when they were averse to any big changes. Some of these thoughtful and interesting change aspects include –

  1. IntegrationBy integrating the global functions, enterprises can obtain better data and information, learnings, and opportunities. Actions can be quickly shared between the regional supply chain managers and the heads of the key functions with technology that encourages collaboration and transparency like AI-driven Contract Management.
  2. Review –Global production heads and project heads need to meet regularly to review performance and contracts and discuss sheer value-adding practices. The future is digital. Discussion about adopting newer AI-based technologies became a priority of many enterprises irrespective of their industries. Areas, where these technologies can be adopted were identified, and systems like CLM that support these technologies and purpose were implemented.
  3. Adapt – Adapting to change means introducing organizational changes. Setting up new legal tech teams or training the old ones to acquire new skills or handle new software became a prominent change across enterprises. This implies that the technology that is being chosen should be easy to incorporate into the company’s management practices or should be user friendly.

By better connectivity between different departments’ data and integrating it digitally, enterprises can be more effective, efficient, and safe. The global pandemic and market conditions have challenged enterprises. Still, by sticking to priorities and adapting to the changing circumstances, these bottlenecks can be averted, ties can be strengthened, and risk can be mitigated.

This is an opportunity to cast off outdated operations by making contracting models stronger. Zycus envisions a digital transformation on the horizon even as the market outlook remains uncertain. With AI-driven contract management, we focus on improving the way organizations work and not how they weather the storm.