In today’s Commercial Management environment, as with the past, commercial options are essential to our success.
We need options and alternatives in case we cannot secure our optimal outcome. The adage, “better to have 70% of something than 100% of nothing”, holds true in so many of our discussions and negotiations. Resolving issues is not a binary model. We look for options other than all or nothing. This has held true throughout the ages.
However, there is now an additional reason for us to develop and define commercial options – the technology which we will utilize in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial Intelligence and other technologies do require programming, which in turn will be based upon logic and a plan. There will need to be clearly pre-defined rules, guidelines, heuristics and flow charts in place as we migrate to the IR 4.0 tools – all based upon discussions, reviews and approvals from across our commercial enterprise.
Unlike our prior commercial plans, the next generation of commercial planning will require just that – planning! We will not be able to “make it up as we go” or “just wing it” when our automated processes require specific commands and deliberate programming. Technology will rely on the humans to develop the strategy and weigh the options, deciding which option is most desirable, least desirable and rank all of the other options in between.
Our commercial success, and the yield from our contracts and commercial relationships, will depend on the extent of our options. We will succeed if we have options, and if those options are thoughtful and logical. The advent of technology will force many commercial management practitioners to create something which has usually held a long-standing place on our To-Do lists. Technology will force us to create options, define those options and create a game plan related to those options.