Building construction, janitorial works, special event catering, are just a few of the contracting services that public or private facilities engage.
Universities and colleges of all shapes and sizes hire thousands of such contract employees every year. And with every contract comes a mound of paperwork – easily lost or damaged. Dealing with reams of paper and a large number of digital documents are a drain on time and money for even the most cash-rich of institutions. To ensure that contract hiring processes run effectively, a proper contract management system is a must. Without one, schools run the risk of heavy costs, long- and short-term.
For over a decade, Ricoh has invested in analyzing Canada's education sector to understand the hurdles school administrators face in our ever-growing technology-based society. We're a top service provider for myriad cost-effective solutions to setting you on the right track when it comes to digitizing your contract management systems.
Paper Trail Blues
One of the biggest challenges we've seen in recent years is how universities and colleges contract with outside vendors – vendors who have moved much more quickly into the digitized era than public institutions. As leaders in the field, we hear the same problems over and over from both sides of the negotiating table:
- Possible corruption – Aside from hiring lower quality contractors, without a modernized system – utilizing digitized tracking mechanisms during the bidding process – schools run the risk of increased potential for collusion between different contracting companies (bid rigging) and between internal staff and external organizations.
- Projects fall off schedule – Without a user-friendly system to log a project's progress and time –particularly for projects requiring multiple contractors – misunderstandings can arise between staff and contractors, leading to costly and unnecessary delays.
- Limited Data – In the absence of digitized records, comparing and contrasting prior contract estimates and actual costs with new proposals can be a daunting task.
- Auditing troubles – Responding to audits in a timely manner is critical to maintaining regulatory compliance. If a university doesn't have a proper data logging system in place, it can be very difficult to provide auditors with requested information.
- Lawsuits – If legal issues arise over a disputed contract, all parties must provide documentation to the courts. Contractors may keep more detailed project notes than the school. Judges look unfavorably on an organization which cannot produce requested documentation in a timely manner. Without a digitized system, educational institutions run the risk of losing a legal case even if the contractor was in the wrong, merely because their filing systems were subpar. Lost revenue, lost time, and a tarnished reputation can be avoided with a digitized contracting system.
Digitizing Your Deals
With the right tools in place, even the smallest of colleges can excel at procuring top-rate contractors, whose projects conclude on or under budget in the agreed upon timeframe. Ricoh's enterprise content management (ECM) system offers your institution the customer relationship management (CRM) tools you need to manage your contracts effectively and efficiently:
- A comprehensive tracking system – Ricoh's secure system tracks contracts from beginning to end. Your team, with the assistance of a trained coordinator, can view when a contract was put to bid, when it was awarded, and review benchmarks toward completion – ensuring due diligence each step of the way.
- An intuitive interface for viewing data – All data are presented in an easily understood manner, so employees can spot obvious discrepancies before it's too late.
- Pattern-matching algorithms – Ricoh's system includes sophisticated algorithms, which check data regularly to highlight potential problems.
- Automated bid protocols – Transparency is key to the public bidding process. With Ricoh's CRM, all bids require authorization and approval by multiple employees before they are accepted. Our automated system logs which employees approved contracts throughout the procurement process.
With Ricoh You Get Experience and Commitment
Over a hundred post-secondary institutions across Canada have chosen Ricoh for a reason: we are an internationally recognized, award-winning company, which excels at customizing solutions to fit your unique needs. In addition to our software, we offer the best in customer care:
- We provide extensive technicalsupport, so that your IT departments can focus on other vital processes.
- We offer best practices for managing an effective transitionfrom your old system to our comprehensive solution.
- Our solutions integrate with your existing software and hardware, meaning no unnecessary hardware purchases.
- We are experts in delivering solutions for Canada's education sector: Our professional education staff has the know-how to adapt your systems to help you remain compliant with your province's or territory's regulations.
- We are committed to listening to your needs, analyzing your current systems, and developing a CRM that reflects your unique institution, be it a college, university, or trade school.
- We embrace sustainable and ethical business practices that protect our environment for future generations. In partnering with Ricoh, you're exemplifying to your staff, students, and the community that your institution makes decisions, which are not only good for the bottom line but also good for our planet.
Talk to a Ricoh representative today about how we can bring your educational institution into the 21st century with optimized digital processes that make managing outside contracts trouble-free.
Finally, please do keep in mind that Ricoh is not providing legal advice or ensuring legal compliance with any law, regulation, by-law or any other legislative requirement with respect to the content of this communication. It is the customer’s responsibility to obtain advice of competent legal counsel to ensure its compliance with such requirements.