Contracts Manager jobs(Also known as Contracts administrator, Public sector manager, Private sector manager, Site manager)
A contracts manager is responsible for ensuring that a company honours its commitments to a customer after the contract negotiation stage has been completed. Once the contract is awarded by the service buyer, it is the contract manager who will oversee the day-to-day running and administration of the contract. When a company seeks to buy an ongoing service or the ongoing delivery of a product, there will be a “bid-and-offer” round. Interested suppliers will give the purchasing company their best price for the delivery of the goods or service, and the buyer within that company will select the most appropriate offer. A contract is then put in place between the two companies, which stipulates what the buyer is purchasing and at what cost. It will place demands on the seller in terms of what they need to do to fulfil the contract (“contract fulfilment”). The contracts manager is a person employed by the seller company who ensures that the terms of the contract are met (“service delivery”). Contracts can exist in both the public and private sectors, and the demands of the role are unique to both sectors. In the public sector, there are often limited margins within which the service provider must operate, but the contracts tend to run for a long time and are reasonably recession-proof. In the private sector, demand for results is equally high, but there is often less competitive choice for the buyer, and buyers will typically pay more for the service than would a public sector company. Some service providers will contract only to public sector buyers.
SalaryStarting salary is often around £14,000 to £17,000, rising to £20,000 after one year of employment. Promotion structure varies from company to company, but the next step is often as a regional manager, who will be in charge of several contract managers, and this role can attract anything from £20,000 up to £40,000 plus bonus. Salaries in the public and private sectors are comparable, although there is often an increased possibility of earning a bonus in the private sector. Many people enter a role as contracts manager by working their way up from lower roles. These “dirty hands” positions often begin at minimum wage, which is calculated hourly below;
- £7.20 for persons aged 22 and over.
- £6.95 for persons aged between 21 and 24
- £5.55 for persons aged between 18 and 20
- £4.00 and for persons under the age of 18
- £3.40 for apprentices
- Ensure that terms of the contract with the client are effectively adhered to, and that goods or services are delivered in line with client expectations.
- Duty of care to site staff directly under their supervision, including provision of equipment and keeping them safe from harm.
- Work with supply chain to keep administrative teams equipped and materials available (where the contract relates to the ongoing supply of a product).
- Overcome difficulties which may prevent total fulfilment, and subsequent contract breach. This can lead to a potential cancellation of the supply or provision contract.
- Regular reporting to regional managers on site/product/service performance and issues.
- May be involved with finding and appointing site staff or service staff to administer effective contract fulfilment.
- In some cases, may be responsible for some payroll duties. Most contract managers will look after their staff time sheets as a minimum.
QualificationsAlthough there are no formal academic barriers to entry, people wishing to join a company as contracts manager will be expected to have either a suitable qualification in a particular field, or 3-5 years' experience within that field. Because the contract could be for anything, different product or service markets have different requirements. This is both a blessing and a curse for candidates. The need for relevant experience prevents people from moving from industry to industry, but conversely allows a change of roles within a given industry. For example, somebody with 3 years of sales experience in office copier equipment could be a very suitable candidate for contracts manager within a copier contract rental organisation.
- A knowledge of the industry within which the candidate is aiming to work.
- Ability to manage their own schedule effectively, and cover a multitude of sites.
- Ability to understand terms and conditions and written disclaimers, if they are to handle administration of the account themselves.
- Awareness of health and safety issues relating to site visits, for both him or herself, and for staff under their immediate supervision.
- Ability to manage others under pressure, and work within constraints of time and budget.
- This role normally demands that the contracts manager has a driving licence.