Managing procurement contracts within the federal government arena is a complex and often time-consuming process – but thanks to a partnership between CACI and the Oracle Corporation, it just got easier. The two companies have produced Oracle Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) for the Public Sector, which integrates acquisition, procurement, and associated financial transactions within one enterprise business system and is available as part of Oracle's commercial off-the-shelf E-Business Suite.
Federal contracting takes considerable time and effort, and federal agencies must abide by strict acquisition rules and regulations. The process is further complicated by the need for two software systems, one for financial data and one for contract data.
Val Lyons, Senior Vice President in CACI's Business System Solutions (BSS) group, explains, "In many cases, you have big ERP [Enterprise Resource Planning] packages that do financials, and separate software that does federal acquisitions. This can be both inefficient and ineffective."
According to Lyons, maintaining separate software systems reduces productivity and ultimately costs the government money. This increases the possibility of errors, redundancies, and diminished visibility across the enterprise. The new Oracle-based CLM solution alleviates these issues by seamlessly integrating procurements and the associated financial transactions within one enterprise business system.
"Now, when you engage in an end-to-end process of procuring something and paying for it, you're in one system," Lyons says. "You're not relying on interfaces that may or may not work. It is a revolution in bringing these two major business domains together."
The groundbreaking CLM solution takes users through every step of the acquisition and procurement process, from the purchase request through award and closeout. This includes all the steps in between, such as offer evaluations, which were traditionally housed in a separate system, and contract modifications. The result is that contracting professionals will be able to concentrate on the useful work of procurements, rather than getting mired down in data management.
Bill Compton, Senior Vice President in CACI's BSS group, says CLM will save government agencies time and money, allow employees to do their jobs better, increase data integrity, and even cut contract lifecycle times.
"Your technical footprint also gets radically simpler because all your needs are in one system," he notes.
And there's data to prove it. According to an EE Times article, a report by the Aberdeen Group shows that best-in-class CLM performers "shorten execution time for both procurement contracts (19.7 days versus 31.3 days on average) and sales contracts (16.6 days versus 22.2. days on average), and the revenue lost due to poor sales contract management is 74 percent lower than demonstrated by average or poor performing enterprises."
On top of allowing agencies to manage contracts in an enterprise fashion, the CLM system provides specialized contract writing features. "We'll have more functionality and capabilities to simplify the work of Federal Contracting Officers than any other system out of the box," Compton notes.
CACI expects the CLM to have a wide reach within the federal government. According to Lyons, "Any government agency, department or bureau that has to do contract writing and has an associated financial transaction should use CLM – and that covers most of them."
CLM is expected to replace CACI's Standard Procurement System (SPS), which is currently used by the Department of Defense and doesn't come with the same integration or functionality.
But the system won't just be confined to federal government use. Lyons speculates that state and local governments will find CLM useful as well. He notes that it could eventually be the best solution for the aerospace and defense companies that do business with the federal government.
CACI will continue to expand its business system solutions and government transformation offerings. In fact, with its acquisition of Advanced Programs Group in October 2011, CACI became one of the largest federal Oracle providers and the only Federal Shared Service Provider in both the financial and contract lifecycle management business areas.
CACI is now offering both Oracle EBS financials and CLM together via a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service delivery model that will be available anywhere, anytime through a secure environment. With CLM and financials integrated in a pre-configured solution, this unique offering gives customers more transparency and enables them to meet mandated requirements. Because this flexible model avoids long implementation and infrastructure costs, it's also less expensive for customers – making it a very robust solution.
For more information, contact Bill Compton at firstname.lastname@example.org.