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Gregg Barrett THIS week I am picking up from my previous articles on sources of information that organisations should refer to so they can improve their knowledge and understanding of matters in the procurement, contracts and legal field. Today, I am looking at a few associations and other industry bodies that provide useful insight and which I visit weekly and sometimes daily. National Contract Management Association (www.ncmahq.org) The National Contract Management Association (NCMA), focuses on matters in the North American publicsector contracting environment. The monthly NCMA publication, Contract Management Magazine, carries many noteworthy articles. The annual NCMA conference, or the World Congress, is a well-attended event with high-calibre speakers. Through the NCMA website, you can access all the conference presentations and the current issue of Contract Management Magazine. The Corporate Lawyers Association of South Africa (www.clasa.co.za) The Corporate Lawyers Association, or Clasa as it is known, is geared for the corporate legal function. That said, it is not merely a resource for the legal professional and with procurement heavily involved in the contracting function at many organisations, being familiar with developments in the legal environment can be beneficial. In the latest Clasa publication, published bi-annually, there is an interesting article titled Protecting Your Companys Corporate Reputation, a topic of importance to corporate functions beyond merely legal. I recommend touching base with the Clasa website once a quarter to pick up on articles of interest. CGF Research Institute (CGF - www.cgfresearchinstitute.com) CGF is not an association but a great resource for information on the topic of Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC). With the current state of economic and social affairs, matters in the GRC space are top of mind for most organisations. As GRC touches on all aspects of the organisation including procurement, contracts and legal, organisations like CGF are of real value and importance. Fortunately, CGF is a proactive organisation led by someone who is passionate about the cause which makes a real difference. If you are not a member of CGF, then consider becoming one. The Association for Operations Management in Southern Africa (SAPICS www.sapics.org.za)

To describe Sapics, I will use the official line on their site: Sapics is South Africas leading source of knowledge and expertise in supply chain and operations including production, inventory, materials management, purchasing, distribution and logistics. Sapics is closely affiliated to Apics, The Association for Operations Management in America. I have worked with Sapics for several years and have seen the association grow from strength to strength. I found the broad thinking of the Sapics leadership refreshing and a welcome departure from the myopic silo approaches that plague many associations. If you are involved in Supply Chain Management (SCM) and/or operations, then Sapics is your place. The annual Sapics conference takes place at Sun City next month and if you cant attend, watch out for the Sapics regional events in Cape Town and Durban later in the year. International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (www.iaccm.com) The IACCM is the global authority on matters relating to contract and commercial management. The association was founded in 1999 with support from IBM, British Telecom, Marconi Communications, Hewlett-Packard, Siemens and Lucent Technologies but has grown to represent a global association with members in over 100 countries representing more than 1600 corporations. The IACCM is the embodiment of a collaborative entity and has relationships with several other associations including Apics and the NCMA. With a dynamic and forward-thinking leadership, it is truly a thought leader offering great value to members. Although it holds regional meetings throughout the world to discuss matters of importance affecting members, the IACCM has two annual conferences the Americas conference in the US and the EMEA conference in the UK. Although the regional meetings and annual conferences are of benefit to attendees, it is really the IACCM networking and online resources that put it in a league of its own. The IACCM member library is a resource I visit daily because the volume and quality of new material that makes its way into the library daily is of such a high standard that missing it means really missing out. Beyond conferences, networking and the member library, the IACCM facilitates webcasts and Ask the Expert calls weekly. There is also the monthly publication, Contracting Excellence, with articles from leading practitioners, solution providers and academics. Keeping pace with whats happening on the IACCM front is made easier through the use of community of interest groups where you set your community preferences and get updates relevant to that community via email or RSS feeds. If you are not a member, you can sign up as a guest member. You will find directions on the IACCM home page to do this. I hope you will check out the sources mentioned. Doing so will improve your knowledge and understanding of matters affecting the procurement, contracts and legal environment and empower you to add greater value to your organisation. ) Gregg Barrett is a director at Cylon Technology www.cylon.biz

) E-mail queries to margaret. botha@ media24.com