Leading vendor of tender and contract management solutions, Open Windows, has just released CONTRACTS 6.8 which includes the new CONTRACTS Portal. The update also delivers further enhancements to support better supplier & contractor relationship management and provides real cost savings and process efficiency.

The Open Windows CONTRACTS Portal is the new release of the previous SUPPLIER Portal, originally released by Open Windows in 2012 to manage contractor payments for large infrastructure projects and lower the compliance burden for buyers by facilitating self-compliance by contractors and suppliers. The new release extends the functionality to project communication and is already managing hundreds of millions of dollars in claims and payments every month.

The external facing web portal supports self-managed document compliance, enabling easy access for suppliers to update insurances and contact information, and streamlines the process for payment certification. Contractors are able to lodge claims for payments and variations online with requests electronically routed to the principal or prime contractor for approval.

The new CONTRACTS Portal introduces further functionality to manage and communicate with suppliers. A new communication feature provides real time communication between the contractor and contract manager, generating an audit trail and avoiding the black hole of traditional email.

“The financial risk of over-certification or late certification under Security of Payments legislation is real, and there have been several high profile examples where certification has not been made in time to avoid huge erroneous contractor pay-outs and typically large associated legal bills,” Open Windows Founder and CEO Adam McInnes says.

“Simply managing the load of variation claims and minor works can be overwhelming on large projects without good systems.”

The CONTRACTS Portal is designed to empower the contractor, centralise communication, and automate the numerous largely manual tasks involved in making payments.

In addition, the recent update introduces a Schedule of Rates, allowing contractors to view the list of contracted schedule of items and submit claims against each item directly via the portal improving visibility across outstanding payments.

All information generated through the CONTRACTS Portal is integrated with Open Windows CONTRACTS for ongoing contract management.

One of Australia’s leading resources companies recently implemented Open Windows CONTRACTS and CONTRACTS Portal to eliminate duplication of effort and create greater visibility. “One of the business drivers was to have a single source of information, where we would know all costs including potential costs through unrecognised Site Instructions and claims,” stated a representative.

“Enabling contractors to download and update claims for payment and submit these through the portal for assessment and approval by contract managers resulted in a more streamlined approval process and improved contractor relationships.”

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