Cartoon clock towerThe clock represents the importance of timing and deadlines in your deal.

In many projects, the “When” element of “Who does what, when?” is particularly important. There might be a fixed deadline by which the project MUST be completed, or serious consequences will follow.

Consider how timing affects both parties, and whether the supplier’s ability to meet their timescales depends on the customer having done their bit, in a timely manner. Should delays on the part of the customer result in extensions to the supplier’s timescales?

Make sure that, if timing is important, you specify how it affects each party’s performance, and make it clear what consequences result from delays on either side.

Contracts will sometimes state that “time is of the essence”. This means that if the supplier is late, the customer is entitled to terminate the contract for material breach. If this is the case in your contract, being clear about the impact of customer delays is even more essential!

You might find that delays in a project have clearly measurable financial consequences, and that the customer wishes the supplier to pay for these, if they arise through errors or delays on the supplier’s part. These financial sums may be defined in the contract as “service credits” or “liquidated damages”. See the pint of beer for more details on how these work.

Want to know more? Contact Devant for contract assistance!