How To Overcome Covid Supply Chain Challenges with Rod Wade

Contract Heroes
Contract Heroes
How To Overcome Covid Supply Chain Challenges with Rod Wade

Show notes

Contract Heroes
Contract Heroes
How To Overcome Covid Supply Chain Challenges with Rod Wade

In this special episode of Contract Heroes, we sat down with Rod Wade, Vice President of Contract Management at MedImpact Healthcare Systems, Inc. to discuss coping with the changes that the global pandemic has required for contract management and legal-tech over the past year. This September marks Rod’s 30th year in the healthcare contracting space. As Vice President of Contract Management, he handles contracts from various types of clients, especially in the pharmaceutical field. Recently, MedImpact has been focused on helping clients procure vaccines and carry out the testing of these vaccines in pharmacy settings. 

CLM in the Healthcare Industry

We kicked off the show by asking Rod for his insight and personal experience with how contract lifecycle management can be critical when dealing with all the elements included in the healthcare industry’s intricate contracting process. 

Especially in the wake of COVID-19, companies need assistance more than ever with ensuring that their contracts are in order so they can focus energy on testing and distributing vaccines. 

From a contractual perspective, Rod explained that supporting clients throughout the process was key. By identifying compatible suppliers in the market and supporting the engagement between them contractually to either resolve existing contractual issues or establish new contractual terms, they were able to ensure that clients received the services they needed in order to move into the crucial phase of vaccine distribution.

Privacy and data protection are crucial to the healthcare space

Many clients have personal health information on file that needs to be kept private. This is a huge factor to consider when setting up contract management processes and looking for tools to match them. 

In Rod’s experience, it has been helpful to create a hierarchy of vendors, with those who require the longest checklists or the most detailed terms and conditions situated at the top of the hierarchy. 

These first tier subcontractors need contract data in order to demonstrate that they are checking all their boxes, as these organizations are often subject to audit. 

CLM tools help to ensure all contracts for these vendors have the necessary terms and conditions while also providing proof in the case of auditing. 

For his own company, Rod is currently on the lookout for an A.I. tool that can both find gaps in contracts and assess new vendors to quickly place them in the hierarchy and turn their contracts into documents that check all their boxes.

Working Remotely with CLM

Adapting to a remote workspace certainly has its challenges in every industry, so we wanted to know how Rod and his team have been taking steps to ease their transition. 

Firstly, Rod noted a particular challenge that he noticed in the way of lacking engagement. 

Despite the undeniable convenience and connectivity of a remote workspace thanks to email and phones, there is still an element of face-to-face interpersonal relations that is just not the same as compared to a traditional office environment. 

With everyone spaced out, sometimes even all the way across the country, you need to put in extra effort to reach out and connect to people. 

Strategic discussions and human dynamics suffer without peer-to-peer engagement, which means that team leaders have an added responsibility to check in on employees and make sure they are coping with the new environment. 

Having connective technology in place allows you to focus more time on ensuring those connections are still there.

Establishing working relationships between departments allows you to relay information and resolve issues quickly. 

This type of engagement is a key aspect of the CLM process. 

Once you have those interdepartmental relationships established, and you are clear on your role in terms of negotiating with clients, then you can start codifying your process. 

Write out your policies and procedures and make them available company-wide via Internet pages that explain both your regulations and how to work with any tools you have in place. This will smooth out your contracting process and reduce closure delays.

Rod also provided us with some important CLM metrics to keep in mind as you adapt to a remote workspace. In terms of inputs, you should always have an idea of what employees are working on at any given time. 

Essentially, you want to monitor which contracts are currently being written or revised and which ones are out in the field being reviewed by clients. 

For outputs, it is necessary to track the closure of contracts, specifically with new accounts. Of course, each contract is unique, with some taking 8 months while others merely require a few minutes of attention, so keeping track of individualized data for each helps to draw inferences about the amount of time certain types of documents need to process. 

Daily, weekly, and monthly averages on closure times are all excellent metrics to report regularly.

For more exclusive chats with expert guests and valuable legal-tech advice, check out past installments of Contract Heroes and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! If you have any questions for our guest, Rod Wade, you can find him on LinkedIn or through the World Commerce and Contracting Association.