An important part of any procurement process are legal considerations. There are four common legal topics that frequently come up during a contract negotiation for visibility solutions and SaaS products and services in general.
As is the case in any service agreement, responsibilities must be defined for each party. It’s as simple as drawing up a ‘RACI’ table illustrating who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted or Informed as well as specific provisions detailing the responsibility of each party. It’s very important from a project point of view to determine who is responsible for what, and to be very specific about it. As you can imagine, when you have a failure for specific obligations, you have to be able to determine who is in breach or not, and who will pay for the damages. Ensuring clear responsibilities upfront helps to avoid doubt later and ensures each party feels confident about their role within project deployment.
This is arguably one of the most important sections and certainly one that customers are highly concerned about. Data Privacy is very important, particularly in Europe since the GDPR came into effect. This involves the data processing agreement, and answering questions around which data is processed, who the data subjects are and where data is hosted. Data security is critically important for some clients more than others, as data breaches can come with not only financial penalties (infringements could result in a fine of up to €20 million, or 4% of the firm’s worldwide annual revenue) but also significant damage to a brand’s reputation. (See also: What the EU’s decision on the ‘Privacy Shield’ means for European transportation visibility)
These are linked to the previous two topics and particularly related to data security. Fair and reasonable caps on liability are agreed upon for any hypothetical contract breaches, which can include violating Service Level Agreements (SLAs). SLAs need to be based on something measurable, where criteria remains consistent over time. The agreement needs to outline how these would be applied and what would be the appropriate economic balance to ensure a fair outcome for all in the event of a breach.
All customers have their own specific needs and tailored solutions are often required. Large customers especially are used to having in-house teams providing highly customized IT services and expect similar levels of customization from their external providers. This could include specific modules or design options within the platform for example. The right balance must be found to ensure solutions meet customers’ needs while remaining sustainable for providers.
So how does Shippeo deal with each of these four areas? Shippeo’s customer approach centers around personalization, and contract negotiation processes are no different. This involves project management that is tailored and reactive to each client’s needs. It’s important that negotiations are conducted in the fairest and most transparent way possible, avoiding games and tactics, as our approach is to invest in long-lasting, genuine partnerships.
To discover more considerations for your visibility project, read our white paper: 'Choosing the right transportation visibility provider' or get in touch with our expert team today.
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