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How to Modernize Contract Management in State and Local Government

Ken Valle, Solutions Success Manager
June 14, 2023

For state and local governments, procurement is an essential function for acquiring the goods and services needed to serve constituencies effectively. However, the procurement process is complex and involves numerous legal, financial, and administrative considerations, making it difficult to manage. 

Contract writing in particular presents a significant challenge as it involves drafting and executing legally binding agreements with vendors. Major hurdles at many government departments include:

  • Reliance on manual processes, shared drives, and spreadsheets. This can be time-consuming, error-prone, and result in missed milestones, as well as expensive bridge contracts to cover gaps between contracts when deadlines are missed.

  • Complexity. A lack of standardization in government regulations between jurisdictions requires specialized knowledge and regulatory expertise to ensure that contracts are legally binding and compliant. 

  • Lack of visibility into contract data. This prevents government officials from making informed decisions about procurement planning and tracking, which can lead to additional inefficiencies and waste. 

  • The sheer volume of contracts. This can overwhelm government staff without the proper tools and resources.

Inefficiencies in contract management waste resources and increase taxpayer costs. To address these issues, state and local governments must invest in modernizing their procurement and contract management processes, to ensure greater efficiency, transparency, and accountability in their operations.

What to look for in a government contract management system.

A modern contract management solution gives state and local agencies the power to manage all contract award processes, activities, and data in a compliant, consistent, and reportable way and quickly customize the solution to their specific needs. Crucial capabilities include: 

  • A unified dashboard. This allows you to manage procurements more strategically, with a centralized view of all contracts so you can quickly identify periods of performance, know when contracts are set to expire, and prioritize accordingly. Your dashboard should provide real-time reporting and analytics for tracking department performance, monitoring all procurement activities, and prioritizing or reassigning projects based on backlog and workload.

  • Proactive alerts. Notification on key milestones such as renewals, recompetes, and upcoming award expirations enable you to manage contracts proactively and meet your deadlines. 

  • Integration with other systems. A solution that links to other enterprise systems like your ERP, financial software, and vendor management applications enables you to view all data in a single place, increasing efficiency and transparency.

  • Collaboration tools. Enabling stakeholders from different departments—from policy and legal to program offices and competition advocates—to work on documents like solicitations, awards, and option-to-exercise notices in the same view eliminates back and forth and streamlines the editing and review process.

  • Contract portfolio management. Your system should be flexible enough to track groups of contracts that support strategic agency initiatives and programs.

  • A rules engine. Being able to determine workflows and change them in real time ensures ongoing compliance with department and regulatory requirements.

Meet the leading contract management solution for state and local government.

Appian Contract Management guides staff through the procurement lifecycle with automated processes that seamlessly link departments, stakeholders, and systems, helping your staff meet every deadline and proactively manage funding, spending, contract dates, and other activities.

The Appian solution is designed for compliance with applicable state or local rules and regulations. Alerts and notifications keep deliverables and activities on schedule for more timely and cost-effective procurements.

Built-in robotic process automation (RPA) helps procurement teams automate data retrieval and vendor research, intelligent document processing (IDP) automatically fills in documentation based on previously entered data, and artificial intelligence (AI) provides seamless data access and workflow optimization. You can easily incorporate templates into the process to help save time and ensure consistency. 

Appian Government Cloud is StateRAMP-certified. Elite data security and 24x7x365 monitoring protect the most sensitive data across cloud and mobile apps. 

Contact us to learn more about how Appian Contract Management can increase your productivity, reduce your costs, and improve the employee experience.