If you're purchasing or supplying goods or services, the most important documents that you'll sign are the agreements (contracts) between your business and your suppliers or customers.
The reason that these documents are so important are because they legally commit your business to spend money and/or do things in return for money and they also detail the liabilities that you'll face if things go wrong.
There are vastly differing types of contracts and contracting methods and it's imperative that you choose the right approach for the type of purchase or supply arrangement that you're entering into.
Well written and properly negotiated contracts will appropriately and fairly balance the risks and opportunities between the parties. You need to avoid using a 'sledgehammer to crack a walnut' but, at the same time, you need to make sure that your interests are thoroughly protected, especially when buying or selling goods or services which are strategically important to either of the parties.
The process of contracting normally involves tendering or bidding in some shape or form and this, in turn, leads to the formation of the contract. Tendering and bidding processes can be fraught with risk and they need to be approached carefully and strategically.
The award of the contract itself is often preceded by a negotiation and, again, the outcome can mean the difference between a long-term, successful purchase and supply arrangement and a catastrophic commercial failure which you can be locked into for many years and which can cripple even the largest and most resilient of businesses.
The process doesn't end with the award of the contract though. Once the contract is awarded, it's imperative that the contract is appropriately managed and, in the case of the purchase and supply of costly, strategic goods and services, the contract must be rigorously managed to ensure that the parties correctly deliver all of their obligations and extract the maximum value through the arrangement.
I've spent over 20 years drafting, tendering, negotiating, managing and reviewing hugely diverse purchase and supply contracts in both the public and private sectors. I've also authored the associated policies and processes for a range of clients (including the UK's Central Government) which has enabled them to successfully tender and bid for contracts and to effectively manage their contracts once awarded.
Unfortunately, contracting and contract management is a complex, jargon-rich aspect of business but you shouldn't shy away from it. I can de-mystify the whole subject for you and provide you with comprehensive advice as a direct result of wide-ranging, first-hand experience.
If you're buying or selling something and you want to identify the right contracting approach or, if you have contracts in place and you want to enhance the value you receive through them, then let's speak.