A client raised a noteworthy point last week. They were referencing their commercial management process as a linear process. Within Commercial Officers Group, however, we have repeatedly experienced greater value yield rates when the commercial management process is approached (and drawn) as a cycle.
Early in the conversation, the client blurted out, “It really does not matter how it a drawn, linear or cyclical.” Does it matter?
While this might seem to be an insignificant point to many, our experiences have often led us to realize that it does matter. The “linears”, who draw the process in a linear fashion usually treat the process as a transaction. The linears see the process as serving a short-term purpose. On the other end of the the argument are the “cyclists”, who deem the commercial management process as a long-term endeavor. The cyclists attempt to draw greater value from the lessons learned in prior transactions.
Knowledge management is at the heart of the cyclist’s efforts, while the linears do not invest much in knowledge management. The cyclists have realized that, “if we retain learnings, we will see greater retained earnings”. Linears generally treat retained learnings as a “nice to have” benefit, but not a primary benefit from their process.
Which type of process professional are you – cyclist or linear?
Jim Bergman is a commercial contract professional with global experience spanning the USA, Latin America, UK, Europe, China, South Korea, Japan, India, SE Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia. He has worked on a wide range of direct and indirect spend categories in numerous sectors, developing a deep knowledge of services, goods and technology procurement and sales.
Across this wide array of commodity and services experience, Jim has found the keys to success in maximizing value for money through customer-supplier relationships founded on innovative category management and strategic sourcing practices, key performance metrics and measures, as well as Total Cost of Ownership principles and collaborative contracting tenets.
He has shared his knowledge through advisory engagements, as well as in developing and delivering training programs both on-line and in classrooms, in both open-enrollment and internal environments. Jim has assisted his clients through all phases and steps of contracting, negotiation, strategic sourcing and bidding processes, demonstrating value generation in excess of $250 million.
His audiences and clients have included over 7,000 attorneys and commercial professionals students from over 1,000 corporations and public-sector entities.
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