“Business happens, right? Business is dynamic. We need to embrace the fact that whatever we write into a contract today, business is probably going to drive us to change it in the future.”
As procurement places greater and greater emphasis on building supplier relationships, what impact will that have on the role played by our contracts? Kate Vitasek has been studying the role of contracts in relational procurement for years, and she has seen the contract v. relationship question go wrong many times. She has seen companies tell suppliers that they are in a partnership, only to terminate their contract on 60 days’ notice, and she has seen effective contracts fall into disarray when the buy-side company is acquired by someone else.
As the architect of the Vested business model, she is dedicated to helping companies and their suppliers thrive with the right combination of contracts and relationships. Her latest book is Contracting in the New Economy: Using Relational Contracts to Boost Trust and Collaboration in Strategic Business Relationships, published in May 2021.
In this episode of the podcast, Kate joins Host Philip Ideson to talk about:
- What a formal relational contract looks like in practice and how the change management process should work
- How to establish governance frameworks around contracts that are based on principles and behaviors rather than specific deliverables and KPIs
- Whether suppliers are open to the differences between traditional contracts and relational contracts