Skip to 0 minutes and 14 secondsKAI JACOB: Contract management has become increasingly important. So back then, we started seeing contract management as a function that is more focused on administrative tasks. But now we see the huge lever that we have, and we handle contract management by gaining efficiencies, just looking at the processes, continuously improving processes, supplying tools to run contract management faster. And ultimately, this gives us a nice basis to discuss contract management with our executive in a completely different way, because now we can base our stories on facts in case of fairy tales.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsVIOLET OKPERE: Indeed, contract management within Shell is considered quite important. We do have our own executive vice president. And it is managed all the way direct line to the vice president. We consider contract management across the life cycle of the contract. We'll look at it as pre-award and post-award. When you think about the fact that getting services and materials in the current environment involves a lot of complexities, you have escalating costs that have risen over the last decade.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 secondsPABLO ZARRA: I see the growth of what I call our profession to become contractors, contract professionals, and how important this has become to our leaders and our managers, executive managers. We work the instruments to provide the business just what they ask them to provide to the strategic view of how we can get the contracts in place and on time. And what is the best vehicle we can use in that regard. The business has changed our view of our function, and we have become more and more strategic as we move on.

Skip to 2 minutes and 10 secondsGHISLAINE GUNGE: Expectations of what will be the value of the role is. We're not just paperworkers. We are there to understand what are the contracts, what are the constraints, what is the commercial lever that we have in the contract. How do we bring more value, not only for our company but for client, the partners that we may involve as well in our delivery? So its really a role that is a value contributor to the bottom line, both in managing throughout the life cycle of the contract, but also paying attention to key aspects of the contract to protect the company's bottom line.

Skip to 3 minutes and 0 secondsJIM BERGMAN: Ten years, fifteen years ago, when we got started, it was a very nascent profession. A lot of people were using different terminology, different approaches, different policies. And now there's greater consistency. We see that within the IACCM community, that there is a body of knowledge that's emerged. And that body of knowledge is being embraced, both the buy side and the sell side, from commercial people to legal people, stakeholders and otherwise. And so we're building common terminology, common language. And it really has made a great improvement in the efficiency, the effectiveness of the contracting discipline.

Skip to 3 minutes and 38 secondsSALLY HUGHES: I see a huge surge in interest in contract management. We see typically the contract management agenda on the topic of board agendas at the moment, which is fascinating. It's the first time I've seen that, really, in all the time that I've been working. It's in the media a lot more now. We see stories about contract management, particularly things like the National Audit Office Report, relating to some of the catastrophic failures in UK government contracting. Good contracting is so important now, and people are really recognising how important it is.

The importance of the contract manager role

In this video, our contributors address the issues of how contract management has changed in importance over the last few decades and what the role is likely to be in the future.

The key quotation perhaps is from Kai Jacob, Head of Global Contract Management Services from the global software and decision support provider, SAP, who says:

‘If you are not in control of your contracts, you are not in control of your business’.

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This video is from the free online course:

Contract Management: Building Relationships in Business

University of Southampton