Great question. You have certainly come to the right place for some expert advice. I hope others jump in as well. You can find an array of resources at your fingertips (including case studies).. if you go into the resource library (Resources > Resource Library) and search by category = Negotiation. I would particularly recommend:
IACCM Dubai Member Meeting April 2019 Presentations
Ask The Expert: Negotiating and Contracting in the Middle East
The Power of Intent Workshop - IACCM APAC Conference 2019
Do Procurement practices cause dishonesty?
Negotiating in a time of coronavirus
In Negotiations, Givers Are Smarter Than Takers
In addition, you may wish to consider our new Managing Contracts Virtually training program (which is currently included as a member benefit) .. Training > Managing Contracts Virtually.
If you need help accessing any of these materials, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Zealand Defence Industry Associat...
I worked in several Russian companies as Contracts Manager and in related roles at both domestic and international projects. What I can tell you exactly is that there is no such thing as specific Russian Commercial Management, there are may be some cultural differences between Russian and Western Europe management style, but methodological basis is based on the same principals and sources.
If you have any specific questions, I'll try to share with you my thoughts and observations based on my past experience.
• University of Grenoble
Thanks for your answer, this confirms what I had originally thought!
Is there any reason why there isn't any Russian Commercial Management? Is it linked to hierarchy in the business structure?
Also, would it be worth adapting it to Russia? Or is Russian "Contract Management" more of a legal job better suited to lawyers?
In my team its cross functional; procurement, finance, project management. Whoever the beneficial user is may the best person to advise if the requirement is being delivered to time, quality etc. Suggest you might want to think about creating a cross function contract management team.
Dear Ted, it pretty much depends on your organisational ambition & objectives with the Contract Management function. In my oppinion many organisations don't realize the potential (strategic advantages and benefits) of Commercial Excellence - if the organisational understanding & culture around Contracts & Commercials are at a low maturity level you can see Contract Management placed as a sub-function in eg. Legal or Finance (being a somewhat defensive approach), while the few org. (as I know it) who realize the potentials are placing it higher in the organisation, some even spilt it out to a stand-alone veritical (making sure that the context of being a "support function" is embedded, implemented & maintained) of course balanced with the organisations overall aspiration, purpose and "nature". BR Ole
• BC Hydro
In our organization, Contract management resides within the business; however Supply chain (Finance) own the process. Over the last 5 years we have been fully integrating Category Management and as a result putting in more strategic, long term agreements with an overview to the category rather than the need. Putting in such a strategic shift in business has saved us millions in our new contracts by looking at all the driving forces behind the need. Now that we have a robust Category Management program in place which covers 80% of our spend - we need to ensure that a enterprise wide practice is in place to make sure we are getting what we need, when we need it and are paying the right price otherwise the contract is simply a piece of paper. That is why Supply chain owns the process but the business is responsible for managing the work and providing the required resources to do so.
• PRS for Music
In my company the contracts team sits in Operations as the contracts they manager supports our deliverable pipeline. However, we have close links with our legal team and procurement sits in Finance. Looking at some of the replies it seems there doesn't seem to be any best practice.
• Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems
In my organization, our pre-award and post-award contract management for new equipment sales are led by different teams (Commercial Operations and Project Execution respectively), however there are many functions that actively support and contribute to our contracting processes such as Legal, Finance, Sales, and Engineering departments. Legal's input and review into the contract is critical for protecting the organization from unacceptable risks, but we have the overall bidding and contract process managed by the Commercial team since we are focused on the company's strategic/sales goals.
Hi Graham. Thanks for the response to this and sorry so late getting back to you. Is there an "owner" of the CM discipline? I would always expect that there would be participants from various functions but where does this all come together? is there any consolidated reporting view?
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• Australian Red Cross Lifeblood
Here are a couple that I just quickly came up with:
1. Can you recall the last time that you engaged with our team. Was it;
a) In the past 7 days
b) In the past 4 weeks
c) In the past 3-6 months
d) More than 12 months ago
c) Who is this?
2. When you engaged with our team, did you know the name of the person you were contacting?
a) No, I had to look someone up using either the contract, website, intranet, LinkedIn
b) Vaguely, I have spoken to a few different people in the course of business
c) Yes, I have regular communications with a consistent point of contact
Good evening Abdullah - I'll contribute an observation on the first one. Perhaps others who have been doing contract management and procurement for longer than me might have a different view, or say it more eloquently, but here goes....
Purchasing is a subset of procurement. It is the giving effect to a lot of the procurement work that you've done earlier (i.e. establishing what you want, identifying suppliers etc).
That said, I think that you can purchase without doing procurement, and in fact, I'd go so far as to say that you can even get the same outcome.
However, only by procurement can you demonstrate that you've got the right outcome. If you only purchase, and don't understand your needs, identify the market and consider the offerings against your needs, you can't demonstrate that you've got the best outcome for the business.
And this is where I think we as a group can demonstrate our worth to the business. We can show with procurement the outcomes that we've avoided (goods not matching requirements, getting better pricing outcomes, repetitional damage etc) by running a fair and robust process ensures that the business is better off.
On many occasions I've seen my team has moved someone from their initial fixed ideas into better outcomes by taking the time to show them what's possible and what good looks like. Do that enough times, and you have more and more allies in the business to encourage others to use your services.
Check out this article in the IACCM Library, 'Procurement' and 'Purchasing' Are Different:
Having looked at this topic, there is actually already a lot written on the question of the difference between purchasing and procurement. As they observe, for the typical person they are probably the same, but apparently 'the experts' in procurement know the difference! Though once you start reading, there is plenty of contradiction...
When it comes to Supply Management, it is yet another variant and clear as mud whether it is actually different from Procurement. Supply Chain Management is certainly a more holistic activity of which procurement is part, but that's about all you can really deduce.
The net is, these terms are used with a high degree of variability and tend to mean whatever anyone wants them to mean; the only common factor is that they are all associated with the act of buying!
Years ago Procurement and Purchasing were often used interchangeability. These days they have very different meanings. Procurement refers to the end-to-end activities from strategic category management, through to the operational analytics of spend and performance, to the tactical buying and sourcing activities which can happen in-house or in shared services.
As the Procurement function has 'grown up'it has become far more strategic, so although the term Procurement refers to all the activities conducted by the function, it also implies more strategic perspectives. The scope is also overlapping with other related functions like Finance (Accounts Payable as part of the purchase to pay process) and supply chain (Supply Planning, product innovation and supplier performance management). The increasing focus on digital in Procurement is also seeing more collaboration with other functions for example, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and machine learning, process automation and contract management, and predictive analytics.
Purchasing is clearly the administrative activity of raising a purchase order, managing the goods/service receipt notice and approving to pay. More advanced companies use on-line catalogues to support this along with automated workflow routing and defined delegations of authority. Put simply, Purchasing includes the tactical purchase and approval activities to support buying.
When we speak about supply chain today, we tend to talk about a value chain. Some organizations are now including supply chain and Procurement in one organization given the overlaps, but predominantly they continue to be separate, but related functions.
Supply chain will include demand planning and forecasting, distribution planning, warehousing and logistics, manufacturing (which may also be a separate function), supply planning and often new product development.
Where Procurement gets involved most is in supply planning and supplier performance management, for instance, using contracts to enforce performance, and collaborating with supply chain and marketing for product and service innovation by tracking supply markets and innovations.
Conceptually, the Procurement function has shifted from managing costs to providing value. Using advanced analytics of COGS and SG&A data, digital tools and advanced supplier market research, the function is working far more collaboratively with other functions. As business cadence increases, functions are becoming more linked and lines between which function does what is blurring.
Daniel - I recommend you go for it. However, I have two perspectives on this based on experience; and one personal perspective that underlies my decision to take the same course of action you're contemplating. I worked as a US Federal Contracting Officer for almost ten years - the first seven before I attended/completed law school. Subsequently, I have worked in the private sector including large, global agreements in the IT industry.
Experience perspective 1: Some attorneys and paralegals felt threatened in some manner because I had a law degree. Their perspective is that they are "legal" and I should only be dealing with commercial matters, leaving the "legal" issues to them. I've actually heard some in legal oppose the hiring of Contract Management professionals who also possess a law degree. Finally, I also had at least one manager who apparently felt threatened that subordinates (I and five other Contract Managers) had law degrees from colleges and universities from around the world and had told me that he would not agree to hire an "attorney" for a role I had on my team.
Experience perspective 2: Other attorneys and paralegals I have worked with were more self-confident and not threatened by the fact I had a law degree and was licensed to practice law. Instead, we worked together to leverage my legal knowledge/skills to help manage their time. I would escalate issues and have regular touch-point meeting so that they were informed as to ongoing issues and permit us to collaborate and discuss difficult legal/contractual issues. It also gave me more flexibility to negotiate agreements that protected the legal and business interests of the party I worked for without having to go back to "mommy/daddy" each time an issue arose in the negotiations. At the same time, we also had a working knowledge of the limits of my authority and a good working relationship where I could quickly escalate and propose a solution for them to consider and ask questions about - something we called the "4Cs", ("Communicate, Collaborate, Consult and Crosscheck"). I had learned this from a wonderful attorney who had been the general counsel where I had once worked.
Personal perspective: I decided to go to law school because as a US Government Contracting Officer I had to regularly discuss issues with our attorneys. Not having a sound understanding of the broad areas of the law that applied (not just contracts) sometimes caused me confusion when the attorney would try to explain something - particularly when it ultimately impacted the contract or the enforceability of a provision in the contract. I decided to go to law school to gain a better understanding. It resulted in me have a much deeper understanding of contract principles that must be applied and of the concepts we all rely on (whether or not we realize it) when we draft, negotiate, operationalize and enforce our contracts. I recommend you go for it.
• Neptune Marine Service Ltd
If you can afford the time & cost for the legal degree (LLB or JD)- then will be worth considering that.
From my personal experience, some sort of Commercial/ Contracts/ Business law certifications or diploma will give the required knowledge and upper edge for the jobs.
• AusNet Services
Hi Daniel, I don't believe a law degree is necessary. It depends on the role.
I am legally qualified and I echo Mark's comments. I find that I am better able to articulate the risk I see with my legal friends.
The main thing is do you want to do it? A law degree will give you additional skill such a negotiation etc. It will also give you confidence in the law around contract law, construction, tort and tax.
But a law degree will also give you so much detail on those areas that you won't need all in your role.
• BAE Systems
I was also a Commercial Manager at GE for approx. 4 years and with the company 11 years. Since my redundancy just over a year ago, I have been trying to find a like-for-like Commercial Operations function like we had at GE but a number of Commercial Manager roles sit either in the Finance function or the Legal function, not as their own Commercial Operations function.
I'm contemplating doing a Juris Doctor to gain legal qualifications on top of my BBus and MBA Exec as I don't want to go down a CA/CPA path. Otherwise I am exploring the IACCM certification.
Hope it all goes well for you with the decision,
• Itron, Inc.
Depends on how your organization is structured but typically no. In fact there is a good argument that they should not be lawyers as that role has different specialties.