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.

Fads that destroy value

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

May 2, 2014 12:02:17 AM

"Supplier relationship management is about people, not technology" is the title of a short article by Professor Rob Handfield. He was citing a recent presentation by former CPO Lowell Hoffman, which had tracked the various trends impacting procurement over the last 25 years.

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Topics: procurement, sourcing

Are you in an adversarial industry? Insights for contract negotiators and managers.

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

Apr 23, 2014 6:45:18 AM

Given their business significance, it is interesting how little research has been done on claims and disputes. They impact reputation, trust and bottom-line results, but most organizations have very little insight to the frequency, causes or costs of claims and disputes. As a result, little is done to reduce or eliminate them.

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Topics: negotiation, contract /commercial management, sourcing, relationship management, risk management, legal

Are Public Sector Contracts Doomed To Fail?

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

Apr 14, 2014 7:31:06 AM

The issues that forced the resignation of US Health Secretary Mary Sebelius are just one example of the complex challenges facing those in the health service today. Spiralling costs, driven by ever-rising social expectations, are forcing a major re-think in the structuring and delivery of services. While the specific challenges may vary between countries, this is a global phenomenon – and not restricted to the health sector.

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Topics: contract /commercial management, procurement, sourcing, international, technology

Will regulation eliminate the need for contract negotiation?

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

Apr 8, 2014 1:12:29 AM

Take a look at this article describing the terms that are now impacted by regulation in the financial services industry. The list is so extensive that the scope for meaningful negotiation appears severely reduced. Already, we are seeing pressure for the creation of industry standards (and indeed, IACCM is working with a large group of international corporations on exactly this topic).

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Topics: negotiation, contract /commercial management, procurement, sourcing, international, risk management, legal, organization & people, supply chain management

Change management in a time of chaos

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

Mar 31, 2014 3:43:51 AM

In previous blogs, I have highlighted the challenge of managing change in today's contracts. The frequency of change has increased, the causes of change are more varied, yet the mechanisms through which change requirements are identified and managed have failed to keep pace.

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Topics: contract /commercial management, sourcing, international, supply chain management

Supplier Relationship Management ... does it have a future?

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

Mar 24, 2014 11:08:55 AM

Partnerships, collaboration, mutual success. Increasingly these are the words used by executive management when they describe how their business will work with trading partners. Yet without fundamental change to policies and processes, these words remain little more than sentiments.

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Topics: procurement, sourcing, relationship management, organization & people, supply chain management

Dealing with uncertainty

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

Mar 12, 2014 2:59:35 AM

Smart organizations exploit uncertainty to create value. They do this by implementing approaches that allow them to manage uncertainty and - as Ian Heptinstall commented in response to my last blog - this is not achieved simply by shifting risk to the other party.

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Topics: negotiation, contract /commercial management, procurement, sourcing, risk management

The changing world of public procurement

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

Feb 26, 2014 11:42:04 PM

Public procurement is undergoing significant change. The pressures on Government to eliminate waste and ensure more effective use of public money have resulted in a growing focus on commercial skills and judgment, with the expectation that procurement policies and practices must change.
In my third blog drawing from the recent World Bank Conference in Washington D.C., I am drawing from a presentation delivered by Dan Gordon. Dan is Associate Dean for Government procurement law at George Washington law school, but prior to that post he was President Obama's Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy. He offered his views on eight current trends in public procurement that are causing issues or potential challenges (Dan will shortly be covering these topics in more detail on an IACCM 'Ask the Expert' interview).
  1. Growing use – and potential misuse – of e-procurement, including electronic reverse auctions
  2. A more inclusive assessment of price, attempting to look at overall 'cost of ownership'
  3. The use of non-price factors in evaluation, especially qualitative value judgments
  4. Framework agreements – and in particular, who gets the business when there are multiple suppliers under a single framework?
  5. Complaint mechanisms for vendors – are they effective, do they inspire trust?
  6. Process for exclusion of bidders – on what grounds and how discretionary?
  7. Negotiations with vendors – how extensive can and should these be; what constitutes 'negotiation'?
  8. Domestic preferences and preferences for (domestic) SMEs – the extent and economic desirability of such policies
These topics are clearly of broad interest to both public sector employees and also to suppliers who wish to benefit from Government business. Many of them reflect the increasingly complicated business environment and growing concerns over the quality and integrity of outcomes, rather than simply compliance with a process. Issues such as the method of acquisition, the negotiability of terms, the selection criteria for suppliers, the move towards value judgment are all direct examples of the shifting needs of Government in a fast-changing economy.
I am looking forward to Dan's up-coming webinar – and meantime, please post your comments and suggestions on these topics so we can perhaps include them in the interview.
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Topics: negotiation, contract /commercial management, procurement, sourcing, legal

Does Procurement deliver any measurable value?

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

Feb 21, 2014 1:10:02 AM

According to Jeanmarie Meyer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, economists cannot identify any significant value associated with today's Procurement function.

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Topics: procurement, sourcing, international, organization & people

The future for Procurement

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

Feb 20, 2014 1:09:00 AM

The delivery of outcomes has been a recurrent topic at IACCM for a number of years, since it poses major questions and challenges for the Procurement community. Yesterday I participated at an excellent conference organized by the World Bank at its Washington D.C. headquarters where the theme was 'Delivering Outcomes'.

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Topics: contract /commercial management, procurement, sourcing, international, risk management, organization & people

About the Author


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Tim Cummins

In his role as President of IACCM, Tim works with leading corporations, public and academic bodies, supporting executive awareness and understanding of the role that procurement, contracting and relationship management increasingly play in 21st century business performance and public policy.
 

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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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