Organisations have been spending their time fighting today’s fires and thus have not had the time to think about the future. Luckily there are organisations such as the NEC, IACCM and CIPS who have been spending time, not only thinking about such matters, but more importantly asking their members what they think.
In a recent IACCM poll, 93% of Contracts and Procurement professionals said that they hope the experiences of the pandemic will result in increased collaboration and long-term change.
This is excellent news for a Board: the workforce wants to change. Not only in the ways they perform contract management but also in the relationships between the parties. Great, so how do we all make this a reality?
- The Board needs to engage with their workforce about what the future should look like. You might be shocked to hear that many people like the new ways of working that Teams, Zoom etc. have meant to their lives;
- The Board has to realise this is not going to be a one-way cost reduction exercise. Yes, you could see downsizing your real estate as an opportunity. Your environmental impact will likely improve significantly however it is also likely you will need to upgrade your IT capability;
- The cloud is going to be the easiest way of bringing this new way of working to an organisation. The ability it presents to workers to become laptop nomads is for some of us incredible. Organisations such as Work-Life that provide co-working spaces with excellent free coffee and tea and wonderful help to get you onto superfast Wi-Fi with a proper desk make coffee shops a thing of the past for me;
- As with all relationships, this new way of working will be built on trust. Managers need to forget the concept of presentism and trust individuals to do their work. Managers need to be clear in their requirements as to standards and time-frames but the how should be down to the individual. Respect needs to be shown by both parties and an understanding of each other’s requirements;
- Organisations need contract management solutions that are cloud-based and promote a shared understanding of the agreement and its performance. The contract management solution should allow both parties to see in real-time what is going on with the contract;
- A cultural change needs to take place. It is no longer a case of them and us, instead a much fuller team of people from both organisations are working to deliver x. The most appropriate individual in an organisation, irrespective of whether it is a supplier or client, needs to confirm compliance with a specific contractual obligation. The contract management solution records that in real-time, changing the dashboards of those involved to enable the contract owners to manage the exceptions as and when they appear.
We are pleased that our colleagues think alike us, that this is good news – and collectively, it is something the commercial community can make happen.
Contract Toolkit stands ready to play our part. So, contact our team today on: +01743 295003 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Graeme Sloan