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Commercial competence

Tesco, a major retailer, becomes the latest in a growing line of private sector companies that appear unable to properly manage their contracts. In this case, there is a black hole of more than $400m from over-stated revenues, apparently stemming from commercial agreements with suppliers. Essentially, I presume, Tesco has counted forward revenue (rebates) and applied it in the wrong accounting period, in order to boost results.

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Risk management - let's share the risk, not dump it!

Risk management by definition is ambiguous and unpredictable, but it doesn't have to be. Picture a highly collaborative approach. It shares the risk instead of pushing it to the other guy and designs unified goals to better manage and reduce risk.

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Procurement's profit motive: getting credit for boosting the bottom line

As a procurement organization you know how much you contribute to corporate profitability - but can you prove it? Author Richard Waugh tells why procurement organizations need to become true profit centers, reaching specific, measurable ROI targets if they want to avoid being outsourced to more efficient third parties.

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Acquiring skills: first recognise what you need

According to Workforce magazine, 'It's easy to recognize a vacant position in your company, but it's much harder to identify the skills a potential employee will need to fill that void. The inability to match qualified people to vacancies is costing companies billions of dollars in lost revenue.'

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Contract audit - a 'health check' to keep your business up and running

Regularly auditing your contracting process not only guards against contractual risk, but also avoids potential penalties for your business. How do you know, for example, whether or not your contract is 'bleeding' value? Could a penalty notice or unforeseen 'sticky' situation be around the corner?

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The role and purpose of contract management

This week I have focused on the findings of the UK National Audit Office in its investigations on the state of contract and commercial management. Few of its observations will come as a surprise to practitioners in this field. Indeed, it reflects many of their pent-up frustrations in the misalignment of contracting discipline with business value. The relegation of contract management to a subordinate and largely administrative / quasi-legal role has significant cost and revenue implications, as revealed by many IACCM research reports.

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Are you addressing problems with contract management?

Last week, the UK's National Audit Office provided Parliament with its latest reports on Contract Management. They are encouraging, in that they reflect the robust focus that government is placing on this discipline. At the same time, they reveal the depth of the challenge in driving improvement.

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Why is Contract Management software struggling?

For years the analysts predicted meteoric growth - and it didn't happen. Now, the complaint I hear is that the analysts largely ignore contract management software and see it as a sub-set of ERP.

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Do you really have a contract management process?

Many organizations claim to have a process for contract management, yet this claim often does not stand up to scrutiny. This becomes evident as soon as anyone starts to ask questions about process efficiency or effectiveness; quite simply, there is no data because 'the process' lacks an owner and is typically quite fragmented in its operation and oversight.

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IACCM provides executives and practitioners with advisory, research and benchmarking services, contract management certification and training for contracts, commercial and relationship management professionals. IACCM is a non-profit membership organization that supports innovation and collaboration in meeting the demands of today's global trading relationships and practices.