Many authors and contract management ‘experts’ write frequently that one efficient way of managing, executing and monitoring contracts can be achieved by automation. But the real truth is that the software available (in hundreds) claiming that they can handle contracts seamlessly and earn money for the organizations by savings of manpower as well as from the contracts themselves, do need human intervention on regular basis to monitor the performance of software, tailoring and calibrating them to suit the exact requirements of their organizations, debugging of automatic pitfalls due to unobserved automatic execution of contract terms, and handling and reviewing unsolicited warnings generated by software.
No two organizations in the world have the same DNA, and a generic software should not be considered can handle the contract management of all the organizations with entire satisfaction due to their inherent generic nature without human intervention. We all know that so called estimation or quantity surveying software need many hours of data input and calibrating to suit any particular organization’s needs which undoubtedly consume many expensive manhours. I have seen personally, that some organizations spend thousands of dollars to purchase a special software, train their relevant personnel, purchasing supplementary equipment, allocating dedicated space, ultimately to find that the software is not suitable for the particular needs, or incompatible with the organization’s philosophy and working structure, and then finally get rid of it and revert back to the much understood and controllable previous ways of doing business. I can recon one such organization who spent more than $ 10 million to understand and get rid of such a software package.
Having said that, I do not say that automation by some special software is always bad, but that the selection of the right software must be done with proper and lengthy studies and review of the software, and preferably having worked with such software for some time to understand its behaviour, compatibility and the use for a particular organization. The bottom line is that no software vendor will allow an organization to use their software, train their personnel, spend many hours setting up .. etc., without signing a contract for using the software for a finite period of time for a substantial amount. With the exception of those multimillion dollar organizations, only a few organizations could spend such amount of money just for trying a particular software which is costing to the tune of many thousand (or even millions) of dollars and the truth is that it would have been much easier, cheaper and convenient to employ a software developer to tailor make the special software needs of a normal organization by using generic, much economical, easily obtainable and common software packages available in the market.