Daily Archives: June 12, 2011

Are You a Contract Hypocrite?

Tim Cummins penned a great article for the newly relaunched Negotiator Magazine site on how Hypocrisy in Contracting Leads to Wasted Negotiation since ridiculous demands just lead to repetitive, predictable negotiations that bring little or no value to either party. And this happens more often than not since most large companies would never sign their own contracts, which are diametrically different from those they demand when buying, which is just ridiculous.

Not only do we have to ask what happened to our ethics (that most professional associations insist upon), but we have to ask why we are risking failure for the sake of assigning blame should things go wrong instead of working together to insure that failure never happens. Especially when research is demonstrating that creativity and innovation are closely linked with greater mutuality in key terms which creates a joint responsibility to ensure success.

It’s not hard to harmonize buy-side and sell-side contracts, and it’s not hard to put together a contract you’d actually sign with fair, bi-lateral terms and conditions that share risks and rewards and protect both parties. (the doctor is just an engineer, his paper works that way, and he didn’t need an arrogant overpriced lawyer to create it — in fact, he didn’t need a lawyer at all!) So why can’t we move forward on this issue?

What Should You Do When Your Firm is About to Undergo an M&A?

M&A activity is heating up, and there’s a chance that your firm could be next. You could be the acquirer, the acquiree, or an equal partner in what is designed to be an equal merger. Either way, you have two choices: embrace the merger / acquisition or pretend it isn’t happening. In the first case, an enteprising Supply Management professional can often land herself a better position in the merged organization if she finds a way to shine. In the second, the disbelieving individual is likely to find himself out of a job in short order.

So what should the enterprising individual do if she wants to make the most of the situation? A recent article over on SupplyManagement.com (from the Official CIPS Magazine), about how such an individual gets in the mix, provided some useful insights. According to the article, the individual should:

  • seek out colleagues in the other organization
    and work with them on analysis, contract review, and benchmarking to identify quick wins that will raise her profile
  • understand the other business’ systems and processes
    as there may be scope for re-engineering that will increase efficiency, decrease cost, and improve results
  • look for complementary strengths
    that complement her organization’s weaknesses and use them to attack sourcing projects that would be put off otherwise
  • identify those who feel challenged or threatened
    and work to help them — as they’ll likely remember her when asked who should stay and who should go

and should not:

  • go into avoidance mode and hope it will go away

because, once Procurement is involved, it rarely does.

It’s good advice, and a good article.