Icertis helps Ferring Pharmaceutical transform contract management (Image Credit: Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash)Ferring Pharmaceuticals has transformed its contract management process by using Icertis Contract Intelligence (ICI). The solution has impacted contract lifecycle management (CLM) processes worldwide. Ferring has seen a significant improvement in the way contracts are managed and a reduction in time and cost.

ICI has been deployed by Ferring across its three main sites. It will deploy to the rest of the business over time.

Sheila Dusseau, Head of Global Legal Operations, Ferring Pharmaceuticals (Image Credit: LinkedIn)
Sheila Dusseau, Head of Global Legal Operations, Ferring Pharmaceuticals

Sheila Dusseau, Head of Global Legal Operations, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, said, “Through a combination of a major overhaul of our contracting processes while implementing Icertis Contract Intelligence, Ferring has realized substantial efficiencies, such as streamlining our existing, piecemeal library of more than 200 templates to 36, covering 22 primary contract types. With ICI, users across regions and functions are creating contracts in our system, increasing agility and productivity, while also reducing risk.”

What benefits has Ferring seen?

As with all transformation exercises, the proof of success depends on what is being measured. For Ferring, the key here was to rationalise and standardise contract management. The company also has better compliance with corporate polices and, more importantly, is able to generate data that will improve the contract process.

This latter point is something that is often overlooked by organisations that operate across multiple regions. Gathering data from contracts in one region can often inform decision making in other countries. It can also help organisations identify global savings by identifying where contracts from the same supplier across different regions has different pricing.

In the announcement, Ferring identified four areas where it has seen significant improvement. These are:

  • A standardized, automated contracting process across multiple sites, enabling self-service creation of more than 50 percent of agreements
  • 80 percent reduction in the most commonly used contract templates
  • 30 percent decrease in buy-side contract turnaround timeframes
  • 70 percent increase in contracts executed via e-signature due to the integration of ICI with an e-signature tool

The e-signature tool mentioned in the latter point is Adobe Sign. It is already integrated with ICI, so there was no requirement to integrate with another e-signature tool.

Applying ICI across all core business apps

Using the ICI platform provides Ferring with the ability to use ICI across more than just its contract teams. It has integrated it into the CRM and ERP tools at Ferring. The first phase has seen it integrated with Coupa for vendor confirmation. The next phase will see back-end systems integration with Coupa.

There are good reasons for making sure that a CLM solution is integrated with these tools. It ensures that the tool can gather information about suppliers and customers. It can also provide early warnings over problems with contracts. For example, a supplier continually delivering late. If there are penalties in the contract or escalation processes, the CLM solution can feed that intelligence to the account manager for that supplier.

It can also identify where the company is likely to breach its contracts with customers and provide key data such as penalties and costs the company may be liable for. This allows decisions to be made to mitigate or manage those risks early.

Importantly, it means that legal teams are able to focus on contracts and not manage other business processes. Data is delivered to the right people at the right time for prompt decision-making.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean?

Organisations should always be looking at how to reduce their cost base without damaging the reputation of the business. One area that is often overlooked is CLM. Teams in different countries, even in different business units in the same country, often act in isolation when negotiating contracts. It often results in poor cost efficiencies and creates challenges in ensuring everything meets corporate compliance policies.

CLM solutions such as ICI change that. They provide a global view of all contracts allowing purchasing managers to negotiate better prices. They also allow legal teams to quickly identify risks to the business due to contracts breaching compliance requirements. With increasing attention being paid to reputation today, this is an area where companies need greater visibility to prevent risk to the business.

For Ferring, this deal is already delivering benefits that it is able to quantify, and that is good news. How much more will it gain when it rolls out to all its offices? That is something we will have to wait and see. The substantial benefits it has already seen are justification for this deal.

For Icertis, this is yet another good win and one that is already showing why organisations need platforms like ICI. Will this allow it a springboard to drive deeper into the pharmaceutical market using Ferring as a reference customer?


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