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Contract Management In Latin America

October 20, 2010

This week I am attending the Latin American Congress on Contract Management, the first such event in the region.

It is an important milestone for the field of contracts and commercial that more than 100 delegates have been attracted to the event, held in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Coming as they do with no strong preconceptions about the role, it is worth noting that the audience is a balance of sell-side and buy-side personnel, predominantly from South American companies, also with a number of lawyers and business executives eager to learn more.

Many delegates are keen to confirm their understanding of the role of contract management because this is not an established discipline in the region. Indeed, many make the point that executive management does not really understand its purpose or contribution. Yet it is also clear from the lively discussions that the discipline is sorely needed. Latin America – and Brazil in particular – is increasingly exposed to world markets, both as a seller and as a result of massive inward investment. As we discussed the need to use contracting as a way to ensure mutual understanding of goals and to safeguard the delivery of intended benefits, many heads were nodding in agreement. The topic of performance management – and especially the impact of terms and metrics on organizational behavior – also excited extensive interest.  

A further sure sign of long-term health is the presence of several sponsors offering contract management software and consulting. I was surprised to discover the availability of locally developed software solutions for the Brazilian market.

IACCM already boasts several hundred members in the region and is equipping them with the contracts and commercial skills and methods to ensure a visible contribution to their business. This event will ensure a new group of ambassadors for the discipline and it will continue as an annual forum  that enables sharing of both local and global ‘best practice’.

2 Comments
  1. Denise Pretti permalink

    Dear Tim. I am working as a Contracts Manager for 7 years at Unilever, responsible for the Americas region (LA and NA) and I´ve had the opportunity to participate on the LA Congress and watch your speech. It was really good to know that this role is now recognized as an strategic one, as on my first beggining it was a challenge to get people to understand the importance of managing contracts and the risk involved. Also good to know about IACCM. Congratulations.

    • Denise, thank you. I very much enjoyed meeting the participants at the conference – and their evident enthusiasm for this subject and its career potential. I hope to meet you again next year – and do get in touch if we can help you.

      Tim

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