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An integration of perspectives

May 9, 2012

Yesterday saw two sell-out meetings of IACCM members, one in Melbourne, Australia, the other in Toronto, Canada. Despite modern transport capabilities, I only managed to be at the one in Toronto!

Of course it is gratifying to see the sustained growth of IACCM, but more important than the numbers is the steady adoption of the message. It is the realization by many individuals that their role and contribution is enhanced when they step outside the narrow perspectives of traditional functional thought.

Professionals in Procurement and practitioners in sales contracting and Legal have been taught that ‘the other side’ (customer or supplier) cannot be trusted and that their role is to to anticipate and prevent their nasty tricks. This leads to one sided contracts and constrained negotiations, which in turn contribute to poorly structured on-going relationships. Professional associations and consultants on the Procurement side in particular generally stoke these fears and highlight the danger of allowing suppliers access, or the frequency of wrong invoicing, or the (horror of horrors) fact that suppliers are there to SELL things!

The message that comes increasingly from those who attend the IACCM events is that they truly welcome the chance to be in a balanced forum representing both buy and sell. It is through these events that they form an understanding of each other that reduces the fears, identifies better solutions and results in more productive contracts and relationships. Of course they must always remember that they represent the interests of their respective organizations, but that is never going to be achieved by an environment of animosity and suspicion.

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