Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the University of Southampton & IACCM's online course, Contract Management: Building Relationships in Business. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsDOUGLAS MACBETH: Welcome to this online course on contract management, which is a three-way collaboration between the University of Southampton. I'm Douglas Macbeth from the University.

Skip to 0 minutes and 16 secondsTIM CUMMINS: I'm Tim Cummins and CEO of the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management, which is an industry association, covering over 160 countries and over 13,000 different organisations.

Skip to 0 minutes and 29 secondsDOUGLAS MACBETH: And the third partner, of course, is the UK government and Civil Service Learning.

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 secondsTIM CUMMINS: That civil service involvement is one we really welcome, of course. I think it's a very exciting time-- challenging time-- certainly for government, not just in the UK, but internationally, where we're seeing real pressure for changes and more creativity in the way public services are designed and delivered. Clearly, all of us are anxious not to pay more taxes, but we all want better services, higher quality of services delivered.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 secondsDOUGLAS MACBETH: So Tim, a lot of your members are specialist, but this course isn't just for them.

Skip to 1 minute and 8 secondsTIM CUMMINS: Indeed not. I think all of us, if we think it through, we're all involved with trading every day, in one form or another. But, of course, the course is often dealing with perhaps more complex forms of trade, which perhaps as individuals we may not directly engage in, but we are, all of us, impacted by the success of those trading relationships in terms of the taxes we pay or the benefits that we receive as citizens or indeed obviously as employees of large corporations or small corporations. The whole issue of how good we are doing contracts actually has a very, very real material impact on all of us.

Skip to 1 minute and 48 secondsDOUGLAS MACBETH: And our hope, of course, is that this world wide interest will be reflected in the community that you will be part of. And so in the first week, we're going to be looking at some key issues of relationships, trust, some aspects of rules and regulations. But above all else, we want you to be part of the conversation and to spread the discussion across the continents, because this is an area of activity, which is important to us all, regardless of what we're doing.

Skip to 2 minutes and 22 secondsTIM CUMMINS: And we know for sure that we and those who've been involved with this production are really excited by the fact that we can have this level of outreach, that we can engage you. And you will have the opportunity, not only to interact with the experts that are involved, but with each other, sharing opinions and ideas with people from all corners of the world. So we certainly hope that you find this as exciting as us.

Welcome to the course

In this short video you meet Douglas Macbeth and Tim Cummins, the Lead Educators, who welcome you to the course.

  • Douglas is the Professor of Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, Southampton Business School, University of Southampton

  • and Tim is the President of the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM).

“Organisations are like islands. Some build a harbor and allow their trading partners a safe mooring. Others force them to sail around the outside and weather whatever storms may occur.” Peter Allen, former Worldwide President of Sales, CSC 1.

We think that this quotation captures the essence of what this course is about. It can be interpreted that the interactions and relationships between businesses are either considerate of the other party’s interests or ignores them completely and forces the other party to cope on their own as best they can.

As we shall see later when we talk of relationship portfolios, there is actually scope for both types of approach but not for your key customers and suppliers with whom you should be constructing safe harbours.

We have reflected this in the images we use throughout the course. We see separate legal entities as jigsaw pieces joining together in their mutally safe moorings where required and standing apart when necessary.

Our contributors

During this course, you will be hearing from:

  • Jim Bergman - CEO, Global Supply Management

  • Marc Bryant - Deputy Director of Commercial for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

  • Sally Hughes - CEO, IACCM

  • Kai Jacob - Vice Chair Europe, Middle East & Africa Process Managers and Head of Global Contract Management Services, Legal Department Manager – SAP, Board Member of IACCM

  • Adrian Kamellard - ‪‬‬Commercial Professional Development at the Cabinet Office

  • Katherine Kawamoto - Vice President for Global Sales and Support - IACCM

  • M.C. McBain - Former Vice President for Global Sales and Support, IACCM

  • Violet Okpere - Group CP Discipline Excellence Manager – Shell, Board Member of IACCM

  • Joshua Reddaway - Director for Commercial and Contracting, the UK National Audit Office

  • Darren Sivapalan - Senior Commercial Manager, Commercial Intelligence 
Crown Commercial Service

  • Nils Svanberg - Global Contracts & Services Managers – ConocoPhillips, Board Member of IACCM

If you are interested, profiles of the course contributors are available (in PDF format) from a link at the bottom of the page.

Your online mentoring team

During the course, Johanna Walker will be supporting Douglas and Tim.

You can follow them by clicking the links to their FutureLearn profile pages and selecting ‘follow’. That way, you’ll be able to see all the comments that they make.


There is a Glossary of terms that you maybe unfamiliar with. This can be found towards the end of week 1 in Step 1.25.

  1. Cummins, T. (2014). Contracts as a connector: The case for improved contract management. London: Zycus & IACCM. 

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Contract Management: Building Relationships in Business

University of Southampton