Category Archives: Contract Management

Outsourcing Contracts: 10 clauses some strategic suppliers try to manipulate to their advantage

Posted on by Allan Watton Outsourcing Contracts: The Top 10 Clauses that Service Providers Try to Manipulate

Having dealt with improving the performance of over 500 complex supplier relationships after the event of them already having been contracted, evidence continues to teach us that more than 50% of these high value contracts and critical service delivery relationships, fail to achieve their expected outcomes for either party. There are a multitude of reasons as to why we see so many poorly performing partnerships – from mistakes made before

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4 Leading Lessons Learned from Successful ICF Teams

Posted on by Allan Watton Intelligent Client Function - Lessons Learned

This is the second of two articles on the subject of the role of Intelligent Client Function (ICF) teams in managing the all too often complicated supplier/client relationship. The first article was titled ‘The 8 Intelligent Client Functions Skills to Drive Value in Supplier Relationships’ and was published here on our site earlier this month. That article focused on the reasons for needing a strong client-side ICF team, the importance

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6 Steps to Building Deeper Supplier Collaboration in Complex Service Relationships

Posted on by Allan Watton

A Race to the Bottom on Price In recent years the trend in the outsourcing market has seen a race to the bottom on price. Certainly in the public sector this is due to austerity, as public sector entities were pushed to cut costs ever deeper. But it’s also in part due to the culture of some aspects of how public and private sector organisations treat outsourcing today. The immediate

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8 Intelligent Client Function Team Skills to Maximise Value in Supplier Relationships

Posted on by Allan Watton 2013-08-19 Intelligent Capability - 160 x 216

This will not come as a surprise to many out there, but complex supplier relationships are, well, complex in nature and, therefore, will naturally be difficult to manage. If you have ever been involved in a sizeable client/strategic supplier relationship that starts to veer out of control, you’ll know how difficult it can be for all parties to recover lost commercial trust and confidence. This is why it is so

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Strategic Outsourcing: 5 Points to Drive Maximum Value when Building Service Requirements for a Long Term Partnership

Posted on by Allan Watton

Although, the current economic uncertainty has made organisations more cautious about entering into new outsourcing relationships, the total value of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and IT Outsourcing deals signed in the UK in the first half of 2019 reached £1.64 billion, according to the Arvato UK Outsourcing Index. From the report, energy and utility firms, followed by manufacturers, have been the most active buyers in the private sector. In the

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Strategic Supplier Responsibilities: Is Your Supplier Relationship Faltering?

Posted on by Allan Watton Handshake

You may have experienced the sinking feeling that a strategic supplier relationship is not going the way you had hoped (and indeed planned for). In fact, you may well be experiencing that feeling at present. That being the case, it is of vital importance that you equip yourself with a solid understanding of both your rights and your strategic supplier’s responsibilities (contractual, statutory and implied). Our first recommended step is

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5 Tips to Accelerate Digital Transformation and Value via Effective Stakeholder Engagement

Posted on by Allan Watton

We have been engaged with many organisations to find fit for purpose solution partners to help them on their digital transformation journeys. However, we often come up against a key dilemma; some organisations focus almost entirely on the systems they are transforming and not enough on the affected processes and people whom the transformation will impact. Most organisations understand that shiny new tech is nothing without the support, engagement and

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5 Things to Look for When Choosing a Strategic Supplier

Posted on by Allan Watton

Your strategic supplier in whatever project you have decided to look for assistance on, is a linchpin to its success, to the value optimisation that is achieved throughout the process, and to the outcomes that are actually achieved. Choose your strategic supplier wisely and you minimise friction and maximise productivity – make a mistake and things could quickly unravel. Because of the importance of this decision we have put together

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Mid-term Contract Renegotiation: 6 steps to drive better value in your strategic partnership

Posted on by Allan Watton

The vast majority of outsourced relationships and complex projects are lengthy entities, often lasting five, ten, twenty years or more. It is likely that what may have suited your strategic partnership in the beginning will have moved on with what’s best for its desired outcomes today. In some cases, it’s the desired outcomes themselves that are likely to have changed and are no longer aligned to the strategic objectives of

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How effectively using ‘Social Enterprise’ companies can cut your costs

Posted on by Allan Watton

We have noticed (and continue to encourage) a steady increase in the use of social enterprise companies in the day-to-day service delivery activities of the modern-day organisation/business. Where profits and positioning were once the unchallenged, primary goals, it seems that both ‘good’ businesses and public sector organisations are increasing their interest to encourage social enterprises into their procurement and service delivery process. The money these ‘client’ organisations invest each year

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Interserve’s Administration: What to do if you think administrators are taking advantage

Posted on by Allan Watton

When Interserve went into administration there were many who slipped all too easily into the perception that this was going to be Carillion all over again. You didn’t need to look very far to see pundits and papers warning of doom and gloom. However, Interserve and Carillion are very different examples of what could happen when an organisation fails, so we thought we’d share a few insights into why one

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4 Tips to Help You Effectively Manage Your Agile Projects

Posted on by Allan Watton

Agile is a relatively recent project management style that seems at first glance to be at odds with traditional project management thinking. Why stick to rigid contracts and processes when you could be more flexible to the needs of the project, the relationship and the end user? Typically adopted on engineering and IT projects, agile project management can also be employed across a broad spectrum of other project types to

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How to Boost Trust and Value in Strategic Partnerships by Reducing Opportunities for Opportunism

Posted on by Allan Watton

If you have followed our blog for any length of time, you will be only too aware of just how much we advocate the importance of trust in a collaborative or strategic partnership. It is a straightforward concept – you select a provider based on your confidence that they have the capability and capacity to achieve your goals and the willingness to do their best for you, and then it

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Interserve’s Administration: 5 steps to take now, should your supplier find itself in similar difficulties

Posted on by Allan Watton

Since Interserve fell into its pre-pack administration on 15th March, there have been many across the spectrum of suppliers and clients who have wondered what this actually meant for their relationships, projects and outstanding invoices. After all, the aim of a pre-pack administration is to give an organisation the capacity to stand up, wipe itself clean of all its debts and start anew as if nothing had happened. So, what

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Interserve has gone into administration: 8 tips to protect your interests

Posted on by Allan Watton

The last few weeks have been really challenging for outsourcing firm Interserve. A quick look through recent BBC headlines on the business says it all – ‘Crunch week for Interserve’, ‘UK outsourcing giant faces crunch vote’, ‘Interserve on the brink’, ‘No sign of Interserve’s biggest investor’, ‘Interserve faces administration’, ‘Interserve’s stock market decline’, ‘Interserve failure raises questions’, ‘Interserve completes fast-track sale’. Another one of the UK’s leading government contractors has

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Strategic Supplier Challenges? Do you really need to arbitrate? 5 ‘sanity check’ considerations for a successful resolution

Posted on by Allan Watton

We know from our own experience, and via the media of course, that many strategic supplier relationships have their ups and downs. Traditional good practice tells us that when a relationship is heading in a downward trajectory, we should consider contractual escalation points that are designed to put pressure on the supplier to positively encourage it to ‘up its game’. However, if you’ve tried this on your projects, you may

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Strategic Supplier Relationship Difficulties? 3 steps to a resolution by identifying everyone’s underlying interests

Posted on by Allan Watton

Successful strategic (complex) client / supplier relationships tend to have one thing in common – a collaborative mindset. This is one where parties not only work extensively together to achieve big, bold goals, but also where they overcome seriously challenging issues. To get to this mindset and achieve desired outcomes, parties must often pull in the same direction while being respectful of the other’s interests and expectations. In some relationships,

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Drafting Good Behaviour into Fit-for-Purpose Contracts

Posted on by Allan Watton good behaviour

Welcome back to our two-part series on the whys and wherefores of developing a fit-for-purpose contract. In our last instalment, we considered the foundations of why a fit-for-purpose contract is so important. It focused on the reasons why the extra time and effort to create one helps to cut the cost of services, improve the chances of achieving your objectives and reduce management time in your supplier relationships. It also

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5 Foundations to a Fit For Purpose Contract to Drive Collaborative Behaviours

Posted on by Allan Watton

What is a ‘fit for purpose contract’? And how can it really drive collaborative behaviour? When it comes to complex service delivery relationships, the aim of a fit for purpose contract is for it to provide the operating foundations to drive ‘enabling’ behaviours between client and supplier. The ultimate objective of the contract is to aid a client in their efforts to achieve a defined ‘Future State’ of service operations in

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8 Questions to Determine the Root Cause of Poor Project Performance

Posted on by Allan Watton

To promote better productivity through more collaborative problem-solving it would be useful to shift perspectives, so that when things go wrong people recognise that it’s not always the other person’s fault. Often issues are multifaceted, and the longer that they are allowed to build up, the more difficult it can be to establish the root cause of the problem – usually a good place to start when looking to find

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