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The 2010 IACCM Americas Conference gets underway in Orlando

March 25, 2010

The 2010 IACCM Americas Conference got off to a flying start on Tuesday afternoon with a series of quick-fire presentations, introducing a new-look conference held in partnership with the Shared Services & Outsourcing Network’s (SSON) 14th Annual North American Shared Services and Outsourcing Week. The event brings together a cross-industry audience of almost 900 delegates, and with it hugely increased networking opportunities and a wide variety of sessions on a broad range of topics.

The main themes being covered at this year’s event not only concern the current position of commercial and contract management, but also the challenges that the community is likely to face in the future.

The role of the contract is increasingly becoming a tool for enabling value-added activities – a framework for a high-value relationship. However, the contract must also become increasingly adaptive to the speed of change in global markets; new technologies, new markets, and the demand for products to be brought to market faster than ever are bringing new challenges to the community.

The state of the global economy remains a key point of discussion – particularly with regard to the shift to risk analysis, where companies have been forced to decide whether to take on short term risk in order to protect their business, or to avoid it and run the risk of going out of business. This situation has led to contracts staff being increasingly required to perform a policing role, realising that these risks are necessary while assuming much of the responsibility for managing the consequences of risks that have been taken.

An additional area of focus is on the need for ‘commercial agility’. Recent academic research has highlighted contracting as one of 3 ‘core competencies’ necessary to the survival of a business, and as such the role must be adaptive to the needs of business in a constantly evolving environment. Fundamental to this is the shift from ‘reactive’ to ‘proactive’ contracting, and the change from a role of contracts administration to one of contract and relationship management. Indeed, the integration of contract management and relationship management will be key to the progression of the profession.

We have already heard from industry leaders, and will share some of their insights with you as we summarise the conference in the next post.

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