Why you need a contract management software for railroads
Creating, implementing, and maintaining an efficient contract management system that saves time and resources is a challenge that railroad professionals face on a day-to-day basis. With multiple contracts in various stages of the Contract Management Lifecycle (CML) being managed at the same time, having a rail contract management software — and a partner in place to help you purchase, implement, and utilize it — takes you several steps ahead towards remaining innovative and efficient.
A digital, contract management (CM) system empowers your railroad to increase contract velocity while remaining agile and proactively managing entitlements. In addition, you’ll be able to leverage commercial insights and intelligence. At the end of the day, a successful CM system will evaluate all the needs of your railway and provide capabilities to tackle the unique challenges related to contract management.
Let’s dive into how a digital, contract management system can address your railway company’s needs, what value it offers rail transportation, and what are the next steps you can take towards modernizing your railroad’s contract management system.
The need for contract management for railroads
Contracts are not a new concept within the railroad industry. In fact, they are at the foundation of business relationships and transactions for railroad companies. For example, functions like industrial track maintenance, rail crossing agreements, haulage, and real estate are all made possible through the creation and maintenance of contracts. They address volume commitments, rate stability, accessorial applicability, as well as detention, demurrage, and dispute resolution.
Challenges in railroad contract management
In working with Class 1 and short-line railroad companies in North America, we’ve identified some of the major challenges faced by railroads in navigating contract management.
- Locating rates across various contracts in disparate forms, and then calculating a total shipment cost based on the contract terms.
- Accounting for necessary items that aren’t fixed in the contract, like fuel adjustment factors that can change daily.
- Determining all available routes under contract and comparing the costs.
- Maintaining current amendments plus rate changes.
- Time payments to meet agreed-upon terms, which can vary by carrier.
- Maintaining visibility into invoices that are received when no contract rate is on file.
- Gaining visibility into the use of non-contracted carriers.
- Adapting to changing business scenarios by easily creating new clauses or modify existing contracts associated with changes in regulatory requirements
When you have an aging system and tools, your employees are bogged down, and efficiency decreases. That’s why you want to find a solution that optimizes employee and operational efficiencies, as well as business outcomes.
What can CloudMoyo Rail Contract Management do for your railroad?
Transforming your company into a modern railroad requires that you integrate digital solutions that allow you to work more efficiently. The reality is, it’s time-consuming and tedious to manage contracts manually.
CloudMoyo Rail Contract Management (CRCM) approaches the need for a cloud-based contract management solution for railroads, transforming contractual relationships with customers, partners, suppliers, labor unions, and regulatory bodies. CRCM simplifies processes, accelerates commerce, mitigates risk, improve compliance, and also exercise complete control over contract operations, maximizing ROI for the following areas:
A successful contract management solution will ensure that your railroad remains compliant with FRA regulations, AAR regulations, labor union clauses and agreements, and mandates from industry bodies like ASLRRA, and the APTA.
CRCM steps in by leveraging a robust clause and template library to ensure standardization of your contracts. All phases of the contract management process — from approval to editing, execution, and storage — are conducted in one location.
You can easily create variations in the workflow, rules, clauses, and templates based on regional needs, as well as track commitments, milestones, expiries, deviations, deliverables, and other contract obligations, all within the CRCM platform. Pre-approved templates enable rapid contract authoring for business users, while rich clause libraries can be used for contract customizations.
You want to make sure that agreement terms are enforced, as well as pricing and obligations. With CRCM, you can gain enhanced visibility into global spend data. And best of all, you can manage each stage of the Contract Life Cycle (CLC): contract creation, contract renewal, contract expiration, and penalties.
Within CRCM, you can monitor the speed and efficiency of the supplier contract process with insights on cycle times, deviations, as well as risk and procurement metrics like expiry, renewal, and pending. This streamlines your lease and procurement process with full visibility into applicable events like proposals and bids so that you can ensure full compliance and minimize procurement risk.
And if you’re a national or multi-national railroad company, you’ll be able to manage contracts across multiple geographies with comprehensive multilingual support and easily customized variations in the workflow.
Sales are yet another complex operation within railroads that can benefit from a contract management software. Just think about how you’re currently navigating rate price management, revenue sharing under the Interline Settlement System (ISS), and handling complicated freight invoices.
With CRCM, you’ll be able to comply with RATE EDI Network mandates. The Rate EDI Network (REN) provides an electronic, web interface that allows North American interline railroads or carriers to publish, broker, and negotiate their own rates for rail freight movement of commodities. These rates are shared with all parties involved in the route or who participate in the rate.
Within this system, you can enjoy a convenient, error-free exchange of electronic freight rates, divisions, and shipment codes, as well as receive assistance in the application of rates to a shipment that is divided among participating carriers.
Are you ready to gain proactive visibility into efficiency, risk, obligations, and effectiveness? With CRCM, sales and business operations staff in your railroad company can move deals forward without the hassle of delays by using configurable proposal creation rules and templates, self-service contract wizards, and adaptable approval workflows.
You can also track contract performance, making you sure that the solution is working well for you. You’ll get to manage risk and obligations with actual information about each contract. Customizable alerts and notifications will help you avoid penalties and take advantage of potential rebates or incentives. And with a cloud-based repository, you can store, access, and retrieve all contracts (historic, paper-based, and digital) across the organization, increasing contract velocity, automating contract processes, and safeguard the business during litigations and negotiations with immediate access to contractual data.
Another bonus to the CRCM system is that you can experience enhanced visibility into interchange rates, and car hires, plus systemize freight audits. All these functionalities live within a single system that you can utilize to manage any contract: buy-side, corporate, NDA, MSA, SOW, employment, or MoUs.
Integrating a modern contract management system in your railway
Implementation is crucial to the success of a digital, CM system. Ideally, you want a partner who holds 360-degree ownership of implementation, utilizing their domain expertise and drive system configuration plus adoption activities.
The next step is to create your contract templates and conduct clause analyses. Using the templates that you already have, CloudMoyo can work with you to identify how we can optimize them best. Keeping contract clauses concise and clean involves identifying common clauses in the templates, consolidating them, and removing redundancy in the language.
You can’t have a contract management solution without a way to access contract analytics. We’re making this process more user-friendly for you, allowing you to create custom graphs and build charts for easy visualization – all using an interactive Power BI.
The goal here is to be swift and ensure an error-free migration of your contracts to the CRCM platform. We’ll start by using historical data to get ready, then use our time-tested methods to migrate the legacy data over.
How can we work together to modernize your contract management system?
Don’t be intimidated by this complex network of contracts! CloudMoyo is here to optimize and help your railroad get the best ROI on your contract management software – no matter if your railroad is a Class 1 railroad, interline, or short line railway.
Are you ready to modernize your contract management system, making digital rail your focus this year? Let’s chat. You can reach us here and we’ll explore a solution that works for you.