Douglas Macbeth

Douglas Macbeth

Lead Educator
Professor of Purchasing and Supply Management. Using theory and practice to make business better is what excites me.

Location University of Southampton Business School


  • How will they demonstrate their value?

  • If you cannot offer them volume can you offer something else they might value? Ease of doing business, guarantees of future business, share in new business opportunities in other words look for other ways to compete.

  • The type of behaviour you describe is possible only when there are a lot of suppliers and can actually lead to having too few suppliers left that the power shifts to them and then see what memories they have about how they have been treated!

  • Interesting point. The personality and style aspects cannot easily be captured in an IP statement but will often be the reason for more business following on. It. Is often said that in stance for example buyers do not buy firms, they buy the people who will deliver. If this is true the details of the IP are a little less important.

  • Good examples of why more specialisms need to be part of a team approach to contracting.

  • There is good work with some of the WCC associates to simplify and make contracts more understandable through use of graphics.

  • Welcome everyone. I look forward to reading and sometimes commenting on your comments as the course gets underway.

  • It might just be the form of the words but 'kept in the loop' suggests communication of what others are deciding rather than inclusion and empowerment of those affected by the change. Sometimes decisions have to be made by external parties but change is easy to implement if all involved have participated and agreed the future direction.

  • As a teacher I often thought I was talking to the wrong people and would have more impact if their bosses were in the room as well.

  • It would be good if you would explain why the issues you mention work against the leasing option.

  • As a general point it is worth explaining and expanding acronyms the first time they are used. Remember that this group of participants is from all over the world and terms that are common in some places will not be in others. The point is important however. @MiriamDouglas

  • It will be free to our participants.

  • This is a superb presentation. Good examples and challenges.

  • You make good points ut would add it is not just about risk sharing but about mitigation and recovery when the risk happens.

  • The need for self protection only diminishes with good experiences over time it never disappears.

  • You highlight an important point that if power is used against you that over time you will find a way to walk away from the abuser or alternatively find a way to fight back.

  • However we need to recognise that all parties need to want to work collaboratively or it cannot happen.

  • Or maybe how to not use their power?

  • Part of the problem is that what is crucial can change quite quickly. For example it is clear that health systems around the world did not consider personal protective equipment (PPE) to be strategically important until COVID struck and the the procurement and supply chain systems could not cope.

  • You make a very important point. Well done.

  • Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. World Commerce and Contracting (co academic leaders of this MOOC). Kraljic first proposed the 2x2 matrix of relationships.

  • Have a look at the WCC website. They have done a lot of work on visual contracting where diagrams etc avoid worries about language difficulties.

  • @EricNeisse also remember that innovators also often recognise a need that is not being satisfied currently and then design a solution to satisfy the need.

  • The problem with the 'aint broke thinking is that if your competitors are continuously improving they will be so far ahead of you you will never catch up.

  • Assumptions are all the things we think are correct without even thinking about them. These are often culturally influenced but because we have always done something a certain way does not mean that there might not be a better way.

  • I believe that you should not outsource your complete capability in anything since the world can change and if you need to bring it back you need capability to do that and keep operating until more capacity is created. For that reason retaining a core team monitoring developments in the outsourced capability provides risk mitigation.

  • Thanks for the explanation

  • Thanks for this. Good to know that profitability and social care can work.

  • I suppose part of the problem is how we believe that profits will be achieved. Pursuit of profit above all else benefits some but might damage others in society and it is consideration of these others that is driving discussions about how best to manage capitalism amid concerns about climate and fairness of treatment and opportunity. Even some of the most...

  • Can you explain VUCA please?

  • There a few comments about lack of clarity in objectives.

    My best example of an organisation which has this well executed is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution ( which operates as a charity to save people in trouble in seas and inland waters across the UK and Ireland ( and increasingly as disaster responders overseas. They operate with 95%...

  • What powerful companies need to remember is that sometimes market conditions change and the power can switch. In addition if the supplier thinks that their legitimate concerns are not being properly considered do you think they give their best efforts for that customer? Customers need to recognise that there are risks at some stage in using their market power.

  • Thank you very much. My email is

  • As a general point it is better to spell out all all acronyms for those newer to the subject matter.

  • Daryl
    This sounds really interesting and a valued link for the participants. Unfortunately I am struggling to get to it. I have registered for the site but cannot yet get to your highlighted feature. I shall persevere a little more but if you have a more direct link it would be great.

  • Important that you mention both sides. A good contract management process is when both sides are empowered to check and challenge each other to do better in performing against the agreed deliverables and in some cases improving on them

  • The key is who makes the law - the lawyers applying precedents and expertise following directions and wishes from legislatures or legislatures setting standards that are not easy to modify and can only be applied. Kind of depends what kind of society you live in and of course this can also change as leaderships change.

  • Thanks for this reminder to us all Nikolay.

  • This is a good suggestion and also emphasises the need to discuss and agree these aspects at the beginning of the overall process.

  • I would argue that many of the principles of relationships apply even more so in not for profit organisations but it is sometime more difficult to find the best measures of actions and successes.

  • Teams are always important but essential in multi-faceted decisions like the ones we are discussing.

  • I also have a background in CIPS so maybe no surprise here but lately I see CIPS as being too focused on the buying processes and not enough on the contract aspects that WCC is strong on. The Kraljic matrix (adapted) will be covered later in our relationship discussions.

  • I worry about the phrase 'dictate terms'! This course has emphasised understanding, communication and agreement rather than dictation. There is of course a role for all of the varieties depending on circumstances.

  • Douglas Macbeth replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Perhaps this example is a good one for the 'create a common purpose' argument plus it is also about support for family and community by individual actions being considerate. All relevant to our discussions about contract and change?

  • Conversely a potential crisis can focus minds on the need for change but often too late to make the change effectively.