Contract Management - How Do I Use Smart Contracts to Keep My Business Running in the Short Term?

CIPS 22 April 2020

When reviewing existing contracts and fast-tracking new or temporary ones, it may be beneficial to consider “smart” contracts which offer greater flexibility than a traditional agreement. Rather than locking both parties into strict deliverables at a time of widespread and unpredictable disruption, smart contracts include broader parameters that preempt likely problematic scenarios. This is particularly useful when onboarding new suppliers during coronavirus.

For instance, a supplier using a smart contract might set flexible delivery timescales to account for freight issues, or seek approval for alternative product sourcing in case a second-tier supplier incurs a problem. Buyers might utilise a changeable payment plan or a broader selection of depots to increase the chance of receiving goods. Setting more flexible terms will support each party, ensuring goods and services can be supplied and payments received, while lowering the risk of a breach of contract. Smart contracts also contribute to positive supply chain relationships and can be integrated with technologies such as blockchain, cybersecurity and algorithm-based real-time data management which, while not mandatory, can directly link contract parameters to business software tools to help streamline operations.  

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Coronavirus Covid-19: Guidance for procurement and supply chain managers (CIPS)
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