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Belling the Contract Monster at KPIT

KPIT shares that its contract management is now tighter and smoother than before, with less aberrations, a better audit tracking and contract turnaround times. An up-close look.

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Pratima Harigunani
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Pratima H

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PUNE, INDIA: When Icertis' Contract Management was deployed to automate KPIT's end-to-end contracting processes, including contracts based on the counterparty's templates, a lot was expected in terms of proactive alerts and notifications, with an escalation mechanism and dashboard to ensure compliance and tracking. It was claimed that the product's robust approval rules engine and comprehensive contract repository will enable, among other things, all contracts to pass through the right level of review and can be easily found, reviewed and approved anywhere, anytime and from any device.

Was it able to avert potential contracting risks and revenue delays? Did it deliver on bars like error-cautious, scalable, customized and well-configured? Did it empower the legal team or make their job a tad more complicated?

Let’s take a tab on how much and how deeply has the endeavour worked and what happened after ICM was integrated into KPIT's SAP ERP environment. Anil K. Patwardhan, Sr. VP & Head - Corporate Finance & Governance, KPIT takes us on a quick tour.

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What was the cue to go for a solution like this? Can you give us a peek into the evaluation phase before choosing ICM?

Being a large and growing organization with a network in over 15 countries, we were experiencing high business growth through M&A activities taking place globally, leading to a substantial rise in the number of contracts to be managed worldwide. Also, our contracts are spread globally, across various acquired entities using different contract terms, obligations and language. Hence, tracking and managing contract commitments, expiry-windows and milestones were becoming cumbersome tasks.

Consequently, this lead to potential contracting risks and revenue delays, particularly of third party contracts. We were looking for an efficient end-to-end, scalable solution, which can be configured and customized to suit our complex business needs. After careful evaluation of all the available products in the market, we chose the Icertis Contract Management (ICM) Solution owing to its ease of user-interface, flexibility to meet all our complex business requirements and seamless integration.

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What has caught your attention when it comes to chief, relevant features delivered?

Icertis Contract Management was configured and implemented to meet KPIT’s unique contract management challenges. The system covered most of the types of contracts across all business units globally. Some of the key solution features delivered to meet the business challenges were a searchable centralized contract repository; automation of end-to-end process for template based as well as third party contracts; centralized enforcement of critical clauses with a feature to modify localized template as required by the entities and an approval rules engine to ensure that the contracts get reviewed as per organizational policies. The system provided enterprise scale and flexibility to publish templates as required by all the business units, some of whom were acquired entities.

Did it sync well with overall picture and existing environment?

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Yes, there are strong alerts on and visibility into renewals with repeated reminders and escalations; there is scope for deviation tracking and routing for approvals based on the nature of deviation. The integration with SAP system for contract checks on invoicing as well as for project creation and dashboard reporting and monitoring is notable.

Has it rolled on from the erstwhile scenario smoothly without any major disruptions? Any process-level changes that this led to be re-engineered?

The transition was seamless with no major business disruptions during implementation. ICM, with an intuitive user interface and ease of use, enabled quick adoption with adequate training for our users.

As an ‘end to end’ contract management application, ICM caters to our unique business requirements and adapts to our existing business processes. ICM is also comprehensive and has the functional depth with best practices that was much needed for a growing organization such as ours, enabling standardization and governance.

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Can you share any foreseeable benefits or impact being felt so far?

Icertis Contract Management has streamlined KPIT’s contracting process to a considerable extent, enabling us to gain control and visibility while minimizing risks. We have achieved improvement in contract turnaround times, leading to substantial productivity improvements; 100 per cent visibility into the renewal of contracts; and standardized critical clauses across the group, enforced deviation approvals on all contracts, resulting in better contract risk management and control. Now the new scenario has also enabled a centralized contract repository with all supporting documentation to make the audit process much smoother and easier. ICM has significantly improved our legal team’s capability to manage contracts in a fast growing business environment by completely automating the process, enabling business self-service and providing proactive alerts and visibility to all stakeholders.

Anything else that you as a customer experienced and would like to talk about?

KPIT is a global company and is expanding rapidly across multiple countries, and we are glad to have partnered with Icertis to support our growth initiative. Icertis showed considerable organizational and system flexibility to accommodate our needs.

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