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Get ready for change … big change

January 17, 2019

Are you feeling uncertain? Do you watch the chaos of politics, the tensions over world trade, and wonder where we are headed?

The volatility of today’s business and economic conditions is no accident and it isn’t temporary. We are undergoing a period of transformational change, a transition into a new era. Just like the evolution from the agrarian to the industrial world, there is no sudden shift – there is an extended period of large-scale, often unexpected, social disruption.

So what does it mean?

Supply relationships are especially vulnerable at a time like this, with the capabilities of both individuals and organizations facing challenges. This year will bring rapid acceleration of trends that are already underway. Among the most important characteristics of business relationships will be:

  • Greater pressure for committed performance, outcomes – buying results
  • More flexible, agile, adaptive processes and relationships that focus on value
  • Competing on quality and reliability at low cost

The implications are that there will be a greater need to anticipate change, monitor markets, analyze results, proactively improve performance. Contracts will increasingly be designed to avoid problems, which means their terms will include far more focus on active management and their design will assist user understanding. The emphasis for contract and commercial teams will shift to value delivery through reducing operational cost and reducing risk likelihood. The contracts portfolio becomes an invaluable source of management information, key to driving business decisions. Competitive analysis will include focus on benchmarking terms and conditions and comparing commercial policies and practices.

You aren’t alone

At IACCM, with insight to thousands of corporations and public sector agencies, we have the ability to observe trends at their inception. It drives our change agenda, our strategies for member services. Next week we meet with executives from a range of leading organizations to review and sign off the strategy for 2019 – and already we are working with many member corporations and governments, providing input to their change agenda.

It’s big. It’s exciting. It’s important. Are you ready?

As the world’s only non-profit Association for Contract and Commercial management, IACCM leads the way with research and advisory services for its members, who represent more than 17,000 organizations in over 170 countries. Discover more at

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  1. Thanks for this post. I would add to the list a need for suppliers to own their expertise and collaborate more comprehensively with clients. This is different that selling – it is engaging with the business needs and fining ways to help solve problems together. Don’t be afraid to take the lead!

    • Hi Eileen, how interesting that you wrote this .. it exactly mirrors a conversation we are just having! Of course, this also requires a readiness by clients to be collaborative and appreciate ‘collaboration’ is not the same as ‘do what I say’.

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