Case Study: Complex Contracts

"If I went on holiday or was away, my team wouldn't know where I was up to with my contracts"

Contract Eagle brings crystal clear visibility to a complex contracting scenario in the public sector

The Paradise Valley School District’s purchasing team of seven looks after contracts for anything the 45 schools in the district might purchase: from building maintenance and staff training to sports programs and school equipment.

It’s a complex contract portfolio. Many of the district’s cooperative contracts have over 20 counterparties, and some have close to 50. Individual staff within the team may be managing 120 contracts or more.

Contract Eagle has streamlined our processes. We're all on the same page and that is a great benefit. I love that I can enter my contracts into the database, get rid of paper and rely on Contract Eagle.

Lina Ardizzone, Senior Buyer, Paradise Valley School District

Before Contract Eagle: lists, calendars, cheat sheets

Keeping track of all those contracts can be tricky, and over time each buyer had developed their own processes. Lina explains:

“It’s all been paper up until now. Even though we tried to do the same thing as far as our contract management was concerned, we each had our own way of maintaining our contracts and following up with change orders and extensions. This meant if I went on holiday or was away, my team wouldn't know where I was up to with my contracts and would have to go through the physical file. And I have a lot of contracts - at one point I was up to 117 contracts on my paper cheat sheet! - so it would have been very hard for the team to step in and keep track."

Other buyers used their calendar to manage contract dates and deadlines, and across the purchasing team "a lot of time was spent searching around, looking up where a contract was up to in terms of expiry or renewal."

Time for a change

Claudia Leon joined the team as Director of Purchasing and was keen to find a solution that would make contract management easier for her and her team:

"We had an Excel spreadsheet when I arrived. We didn't know when changes were made or who made them, or if we were looking at the most recent version. In a previous role I had an Access database of contracts and that was OK. But with seven of us in the office, we needed something a little more robust to keep everyone's contracts visible in one place. That's when I went off shopping!"

Claudia was looking for a combination of features in her ideal contract management solution, primarily "something that was easy to use, as well as meeting our functional needs", and Contract Eagle ticked all the boxes: “I liked how the system worked, how easy it was to use, its user friendliness.”

Another key differentiator was the system’s audit history. Changes in the database are date and time-stamped so that it is very clear what changes have been made and by whom. Being a public sector organization with strictly governed procurement practices, this level of transparency is a must.

And those complex contracts

One of Paradise Valley’s functionality needs was a solution that could manage cooperative contracts with dozens of counterparties. Contract Eagle was flexible enough to manage this out of the box, and to be tailored for the district’s needs without a complex implementation project.

Improved visibility across all contracts, lots of love for Contract Eagle!

With Contract Eagle, the whole purchasing team can now see all contracts and their status in a single location. A staff member on leave would previously have meant lots of time spent trying to understand the status of that person’s contracts. With Contract Eagle, that information is in the system and at everyone’s fingertips – it’s easy to provide cover and keep track.

“We’re even entering our suppliers' insurance certificates into Contract Eagle, so we can let them know when they are due to expire – I like that we can put the insurance in there.”

Lina still has over 100 contracts, but she makes use of the Contract Eagle dashboard most days to keep tabs on forthcoming events. She says: “I love the fact that I’m now able to start getting rid of some of that paper”.

But perhaps the final words should go to Director of Purchasing Claudia Leon:

“You know my feelings on the system. I’m very picky and I love it, love it, love it!”