Commitment Matters

If you are a professional in Contract & Commercial Management, committed to achieving the best possible outcomes from negotiations with all your trading relationships, then ‘Commitment Matters’ is the perfect source of regular articles and posts dedicated to helping you achieve that goal.

Tim Cummins, President of IACCM, Professor, Leeds University School of Law; Chair, International Commercial & Contract Management

Recent Posts

Adding value through contract management

Posted by Tim Cummins, President of IACCM, Professor, Leeds University School of Law; Chair, International Commercial & Contract Management

Dec 6, 2019 3:55:19 AM

For 20 years, IACCM has been at the forefront in identifying and quantifying the impact of good contract management on business results. Value is achieved in several ways - for example, reducing contract value erosion, supporting contract growth, contributing to reputation and ensuring ethical practices.
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Topics: contract /commercial management, contract management, IACCM, organizaton, contract value, IACCM Research Forum

Is technology destroying contract performance?

Posted by Tim Cummins, President of IACCM, Professor, Leeds University School of Law; Chair, International Commercial & Contract Management

Dec 4, 2019 3:10:06 AM

We have all witnessed it. Whether it’s our kids and their obsession with computer games and mobile phones, or the way that email has come to dominate our working day, or the extent to which physical meetings have been replaced by conference calls and webinars ... technology continues to transform communications and the nature of human interactions. And that has very real consequences for the quality of life and the value that is generated from relationships.
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Topics: negotiation, contract /commercial management, procurement, relationship management, communication, IACCM, technology and contracts

Trends in Payment Terms

Posted by Tim Cummins, President of IACCM, Professor, Leeds University School of Law; Chair, International Commercial & Contract Management

Nov 18, 2019 6:51:04 PM

IACCM has today issued the results of its latest survey into payment terms. This multi-jurisdictional, cross-industry study attracted input from 393 organizations and gathered data from the buyer community, therefore reflecting terms and policies in business-to-business transactions.
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Topics: contract /commercial management, procurement, IACCM, contract benchmarks, payment terms, supply chain finance

Contract & Commercial Management – facing a talent crisis?

Posted by Tim Cummins, President of IACCM, Professor, Leeds University School of Law; Chair, International Commercial & Contract Management

Nov 14, 2019 12:33:45 PM

Contract and Commercial Management - it’s a great job, but is it a great career?
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A new approach to contracts: finding the right balance

Posted by Tim Cummins, President of IACCM, Professor, Leeds University School of Law; Chair, International Commercial & Contract Management

Nov 13, 2019 2:57:20 PM

A recent article in Harvard Business Review added to the long running debate on ‘relational contracting’ and advocated ‘a new approach to contracts’.

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Contract Management Automation: Making Progress?

Posted by Tim Cummins, President of IACCM, Professor, Leeds University School of Law; Chair, International Commercial & Contract Management

Nov 12, 2019 10:14:08 PM

Back in 2017, IACCM published a report on the state of contract management software. Since then, its findings have been much cited by analysts and consultants. This is what we said:
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Topics: contract /commercial management, technology, IACCM, contract lifecycle management, which CLM, Do contract management systems work?, contract automation

Commercial & Contract Management 2020

Posted by Tim Cummins, President of IACCM, Professor, Leeds University School of Law; Chair, International Commercial & Contract Management

Oct 30, 2019 8:27:51 PM

A new decade is almost upon us. It’s the decade of RRP - Relationship Resource Planning - when a great wave of efficiency and cost reduction will be achieved through streamlining the management of external relationships.
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Topics: contract /commercial management, relationship management, commercial management, technology, communication, IACCM, RRP, commercial analysis

Value for money presents challenges

Posted by Tim Cummins, President of IACCM, Professor, Leeds University School of Law; Chair, International Commercial & Contract Management

Oct 28, 2019 2:55:00 PM

A shift in procurement practices from awards based on price to awards based on value is much discussed and, for most people, long overdue. All the evidence suggests that many organizations continue to struggle with making the change.

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Contract Management is more important than Procurement

Posted by Tim Cummins, President of IACCM, Professor, Leeds University School of Law; Chair, International Commercial & Contract Management

Oct 8, 2019 2:51:00 PM

This quote, taken from the latest edition of Supply Management magazine, will be welcomed by many as recognition that it’s actually the results of an acquisition that matter. For too long, they will say, Procurement has been happy to oversee inputs, ignoring the fact that it is contract management that oversees outputs and the actual delivery of value.

I have never forgotten the words of one very senior executive who recognized this issue when he observed that “organizations frequently undertake a perfect procurement and achieve completely the wrong outcome”. He understood that ‘procurement’ is actually just one element of a much bigger process.

Many contribute to disappointing results

There can be little question that traditional procurement practices are increasingly misaligned with business interests and have not adjusted to the realities of today’s markets. However, it would not be fair to heap the blame for that onto Procurement functions. They do what they are told and trained to do. Well-managed procurements are frequently let down by others – for example, Legal providing inappropriate templates, the CFO demanding draconian savings, the business unit failing to manage supplier performance. If Procurement has failed, it is a failure of its leadership to challenge and be adequately vocal in pushing for change. In this, they have often been let down by external experts – the consultants, advisory firms and training organizations that should be assisting in preparing their teams and processes for the future but instead have focused on issues like compliance, commoditization and category management. Procurement has been led down far too many blind alleys.

Where IACCM enters the picture

The International Association for Contract & Commercial Management was founded precisely because of these chronic issues. Procurement – like Sales – is just one of many specialist disciplines. ‘Contracting’ is an overarching competence and capability. It needs ownership. When it’s left to chance, things go wrong. Often badly wrong.

For 20 years, IACCM has worked to overcome entrenched attitudes and innate resistance to change. During this time, it has directly engaged with and trained over 200,000 people who understood there must be a better way. Its research, training and advisory services have enabled massive progress for the organizations which have grasped the fundamental truth that customers and suppliers depend on each other for success and are working to develop open, cooperative relationships, founded on honesty and integrity. IACCM espouses collaboration and believes in inclusive behaviors that generate mutual, shared benefits for customers and their suppliers.

In the end, does this mean that contract management is ‘more important’ than Procurement? No, it doesn’t. They are different disciplines and they must complement each other. What is true – and the real issue here – is that both are subservient to the overarching ‘contracting process’ and must align with commercial goals and strategies. Unless there is focus on holistic development of commercial capability, simply changing names or expanding the Procurement remit delivers at best marginal improvements and could even make things worse.

IACCM’s recent benchmarking report provides insight to the current state of contract and commercial management organization and performance, highlighting also the leading practises that generate improved results.

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Are you really a negotiator?

Posted by Tim Cummins, President of IACCM, Professor, Leeds University School of Law; Chair, International Commercial & Contract Management

Oct 7, 2019 2:49:00 PM

Most business-to-business negotiations are destroying potential value. Rather than engendering trust, they sow the seeds for discord.

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Does Commitment Matter To You?

Commitment Matters is the personal blog of Tim Cummins, the Founder and CEO of IACCM. If you are a committed contracting professional and want to develop your skills and network, take a look at what IACCM has to offer.
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