Commercial management is a term used to describe the non-technical business disciplines within a company or organization, particularly the administration of revenue and expenses to generate a financial return. Its origins appear to go back to the defense and construction industries in the United Kingdom in the 1950s.
Commercial management within an organization is applied at both policy and transactional levels. Commercial policies relate to the rules or practices that define how business will be conducted and the standard terms under which external relationships will be conducted. Many of these policies are reflected in the terms of any contract in which the organization engages. At a transactional level, commercial management is applied through the oversight of trading relationships to ensure their compliance with business goals or policies and to understand or manage the financial and risk implications of any variations.
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“The identification and development of business opportunities and the profitable management of projects and contracts, from inception to completion.”
The role of a Commercial Manager is highly varied. Those working within the commercial departments of large, multinational corporations may take individual responsibility for sales, marketing, contracting, negotiations, finance, contract law or property management to name but a few.
In some smaller companies — and in the case of entrepreneurs — commercial managers would be expected to deal with all these various roles themselves, rather than oversee a department containing expert teams in each field. In either business environment, a commercial manager must be adept at understanding and engaging in all aspects of the strategic function, which is where a specialist qualification in commercial management comes to the fore.
Commercial Management: the identification and development of business opportunities and the profitable management of projects and contracts, from inception to completion. A 'commercial manager' is someone whose primary role is in the management or execution of such opportunities or projects.