The Future of Contracting

Published: 15 Jun 2012 Average Rating: 3.3 / 5 Print
This article appeared in Contracting Excellence magazine on 15 Jun 2012 view edition

Author: IACCM

Does your organization have a contracting strategy to address the future of contracting? Can you describe how your approaches to contracting will change over the next few years to align with business and market needs?
In a recent survey, 92% of organizations acknowledged that they do not have a contracting strategy. A further 6% said they were not sure. Without a strategy, it is inevitable that development of capabilities and skills is always reactive to change - and this means we lag behind the need for innovation and improvement. It does not have to be that way.

Does your organization have a contracting strategy? Can you describe how your approaches to contracting will change over the next few years to align with business and market needs?

At IACCM, we are often contacted by members who are struggling to describe the role and value of the contracts process or function. They are sometimes frustrated by their late involvement, or the apparent lack of appreciation for their role and contribution. Alternatively, they may be overwhelmed by the volume of demand for their support and services.

No matter what the challenges being described, we have found a common theme: there is typically no strategic plan for the development of contracting and commercial capability. Whether buy-side or sell-side, contracts and related policies and practices are generally reactive to business and market demands. As a result, they tend to be seen as slow to change and are viewed by many as inflexible and perhaps even bureaucratic.

There is no strategy without a vision. To develop strategic plans, we must have sense of where we are going. And it is that vision which IACCM set out a year ago to provide. Now, through a series of interviews, research studies, member meetings and roundtable discussion groups, we have produced a view of the future.

In this edition of Contracting Excellence, we provide a series of articles that touch on various aspects of that future and will assist managers and practitioners worldwide to develop a contracting strategy.


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