Our esteemed panel of experts give their thoughts around audience questions that we were not able to cover at the recent Future of Contracting Webinar.  If you missed it tune into the replay.  The actual study The Future of Contracting (by IACCM) along with a Contracting Maturity Model Self-Assessment are also available. Don't miss the follow up webinar: The Path to Best-in-Class Contract Management – Your Future Awaits!  Register Now!

  • Gabriel Buigas, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Printing and Personal Systems & Legal Strategy, Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Margaret Smith, Director of Operations for Legal and Executive Director for Contract Management, Accenture
  • Tim Cummins, CEO, International Association of Contract and Commercial Management

Q: What skills will be required from contract managers in the evolution of the role, particularly in light of the focus on relationships?

Gabriel: Start with having an excellent understanding of a company’s strategy and business models.  This will help one focus on getting to the right results/decisions as opposed to focusing on narrow deal issues/terms.  You also need to understand the issues/models for partners/vendors/suppliers so you can more easily negotiate mutually beneficial outcomes and create healthy long term relationships. You also, of course, need excellent communication and negotiation skills.

Tim:  More analytical skills, improved communication skills, teaming, financial understanding – the report highlights a range of other priorities.

Q: Do you think that the contract management software applications will reduce the contracts manager job opportunities/jobs?

Tim: I think it will change them. The job will revert to being far more about creativity and managing change, far less about administration and compliance.

Gabriel: It shouldn’t if the contracts manager is adding value beyond merely filling out the forms (and we should always be striving to understand where value lies). Also, some of these applications allow us to capture and analyze data that can be used to drive initiatives, demonstrate value, etc…. Key is to understand where your value-add is to the enterprise. We should always be looking to continuing to grow and develop our skills to avoid doing a commoditized task that may eventually be automated our outsourced.

Q: What are the 2 or 3 main issues, within the contract management process, managers are facing today? Are they related to logistics, human resources, financing?

Margaret: Two things in my world, fiscal challenges causing a renewed focus on costs in our organizations and our clients organization.  And really recruiting and training properly skilled people.  Contract Administration federal style is not enough, we need true commercial managers.

Tim: Workload; inability to describe value of their role; speed of change

Stay tuned for postings of more webinar Q&A later in the week!