Financial Times announces ten market shapers: setting a new course (Tim Cummins is one)

Published: 23 Oct 2019 Average Rating: unrated Print

Author: Leyla Boulton Chair

The judges decided that Tim Cummins is the person who has had the greatest effect in shaping a new market.

They were impressed by how Mr. Cummins, at the start of his career, made himself heard by using data to present the case for industry-wide standards of contract management.

He founded the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management in 1999. The network has defined the role of contract managers as well as the process of contracting within leading corporations.

WINNER: Tim Cummins, President International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM)

Tim Cummins is a self-taught commercial contract manager who has negotiated deals in the automotive and aerospace industries. He is a professor at Leeds University School of Law — even though he has never trained or practiced as a lawyer.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Cummins led the development of business offerings and negotiations at IBM. He soon realized that an overhaul was required and set about creating market-friendly commercial contracting practices. However, as a comparatively junior employee, he had little access to decision-makers, so he collected data to make his case and set up a cross-industry, customer-focused benchmarking group.

Mr. Cummins went on to co-found Global Executive Business Services, and in 1999 he set up the IACCM, a not-for-profit network. Today the association has 60,000 members, representing 20,000 organizations. It sets standards for contract management and provides training and certification in best practice.

Before the IACCM began, few people recognized commercial contracting as a profession but it has defined the role of contract managers and raised the profile of the process of contracting within major corporations.


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