Beginner Courses

Commercial Acumen Essentials

This workshop aims to equip contracting participants with an awareness of how to deal with a business situation in a way that is likely to lead to an effective outcome.


This intensive one-day workshop explores commercial acumen for contracting professionals from start to finish, and the behaviours and methods that can be deployed throughout the life-cycle to strengthen the decisions made.

This course is designed for:

The workshop will benefit those involved in the contracting process, and those who wish to fine-tune their appreciation of the skills and behaviours which underpin superior performance. It is suitable for those in procurement, operations and sales functions.

Course structure

A practical one-day workshop consisting of nine sessions involving exercises, case studies, presentations and trainer-facilitated discussions. The sessions will be led by an experienced facilitator and will feature the key principles and practical methods which may be used in the commercial contracting process, together with practical case study sessions to maximise the transfer from the workshop to the workplace.

Benefits of attending

Attendance will improve awareness of the ways to become more commercially aware when preparing, negotiating and managing contracts.

Specifically participants will gain three key benefits from attending:

  • Make better contracting judgments and quicker decisions
  • Be more likely to achieve contractual goals quickly and with less effort, disputes and cost
  • Reduce the likelihood of losing value through making elementary mistakes

Key learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

  • Protect the interests of the organisation by the use of the supply chain and contracting life cycles
  • Safeguard against supply chain and contracting interruptions by enhancing the contracting process
  • Develop clear performance criteria that are workable for both vendor and purchaser
  • Suggest insightful ways to create strategy
  • Improve ability to read and interpret contracts and financial documents that relate to the contract
  • Enhance identifying, assessing and mitigating risks skills
  • Manage the negotiating process to ensure that there is a longer-term win-win outcome
  • Capture performance so that it can be optimally evaluated and monitored


Course Content


Why the CEO looks at the big picture

  • Identifying the key steps in strategic planning
  • Realising that “everything in business is related”
  • Improving an organisation’s contract management capabilities
  • Strategic suppliers and customers

Balancing risk and reward

  • Identifying key internal and external risks
  • Tools to help you identify and mitigate key risks
  • Using the procurement life-cycle to predict future risks
  • “Black Swan Events”
  • Learning from mistakes

Success through the numbers

  • Understanding our business and that of clients/suppliers
  • Examining how decisions can affect cash flow
  • Describing how the parties make/spend their money
  • Improving profits/surpluses
  • Better pricing and costing decision making
  • Budgets and the effect of variations
  • Other party due diligence and security options
  • Developing Effective Business Cases

Negotiating for successful outcomes

  • Planning a strategic negotiation
  • Unwrapping key negotiation styles and phases
  • Leveraging your bargaining power in a negotiation
  • The IACCM Top Terms in Negotiation Report
  • Up skilling inexperienced negotiators

Effective legal management of contracts

  • Reading and interpreting a contract
  • Creating a valid and enforceable contract
  • Describing the key contractual remedies
  • Discussing some key laws that can have an effect on the contract: ACL, Agency, IP, PPSA, Small Business Unfair Contract Terms law (commenced on 12 November 2016), Tender, etc

Managing deliverables successfully

  • Purpose of “deliverables”
  • Differentiating SLAs, KPIs, PIs, rebates, incentives and bonuses
  • Writing ‘quality’ into a contract
  • Examining transition clauses
  • Monitoring and evaluating deliverables

Managing the relationships

  • Comparing and contrasting “managing” and “leading”
  • Examining successful change management
  • Building trust and relationships
  • Improving communication

Exploiting commercial relationships

  • Identifying and proving commercial opportunities
  • Selling commercial opportunities to key stakeholders
  • Developing commercial opportunities
  • Key legal and financial issues in developing commercial opportunities
  • Using business tools to assist

Action Planning

Free Capability Audit