15 Years ‘under construction’

September 9, 2020
September 9, 2020

It seems like a long time ago when contract management pioneers Gert-Jan Vlasveld and Jan van Beckum started out on their venture to make their work easier. Both where responsible for managing large outsourced contracts and both came to the conclusion that there was no framework. There were no real standards and a real vision on managing a contract in a uniform way lacked. So, they gradually developed the methodology Contract Management with CATS CM® and set out on a journey to grow experiences and start molding to build a reliable standard. A journey that started out in the Netherlands, but soon crossed country borders.

From IT contracts to any contract

So many employees within many companies were trained on the subject matter and adopted the methodology as a standard. With this first major milestone in developing the ultimate contract management methodology, the first steps were taken to put the method further out there. In the next phase CATS CM® expanded to non-IT contracts and evolved as a scalable and flexible approach. After reaching this leading maturity level, the methodology was perpetuated in a first book in 2009.

Growing community

In 2010 strategist Arjen van Berkum joined the company as founder Jan van Beckum became very ill and eventually passed away. In his honor the Contract Management Thesis Prize was launched. This yearly award is assigned to the student with the best and most innovative thesis on the topic of contract management.

Over the years more successes were celebrated. A big step forward was taken in 2013 when Linda Tonkes joined the movement and brought valuable experience from the risk and finance domain into the methodology. The next big step forward happened in 2015; the first year we trained over 150 people in a single year on the core curriculum.

The steady growth of the CATS CM® methodology resulted in a large community with over 10.000 people educated in the methodology over the last fifteen years. Early 2020 the fourth, renewed and fully refined version of the book ‘Contract Management with CATS CM® version 4’. Year on year the book ranks in the management literature list in the Netherlands and meanwhile four universities have adopted CATS CM® into their courses. We are very proud that we are able to show the world how contract management should be approached to become successful and what the significant benefits are of managing your contract ecosystem based on a framework bring.

Leading Dutch conference

This year we will host the 12th (!) Dutch National Contract Management Conference on the usage of CATS CM®. This annual gathering for contract professionals yearly welcomes over 250 visitors to talk on the topic. The highly positive reviews and number of returning visitors show us the added value of sharing insights.


Contract management is about the realization of intended contract objectives in order to achieve the organization’s goals. CATS CM® enables organizations to proactively manage and execute contracts, with focus on versatility and change needs in the contract objectives. While engaging with our clients, seeking feedback on the usage, the methodology is now recognized as a complete, scalable, flexible and business-oriented approach to get in control of your contracts. With CATS CM® implementations currently underway in multiple countries we dare to say that we are setting the standard in turning organizations into winners in contract management.

With a lively online community on social media, and a growing attention to the field of contract management, CATS CM® is continuously developing as learning never stops. New insights are created daily by our daily practice and the online community. This framework is growing and continues to win over management and leaders around the globe with its very thorough focus on delivering value to all partners.