Mr Len W. Ashby
Ashby Bachmann Inc
709 - 701 King St West
Toronto ON, 11763
A Certified Management Consultant, Mr. Ashby has been consulting for over 25 years as both sole practitioner and as a member of large international firms. He has negotiated and managed technology related contracts for clients spanning the public and private sectors across Australia and North America, with banks, global technology companies and monopoly telecommunications providers.
With strong backgrounds in management, information technology and project governance, Len can advise on negotiation, effective management and abrogation of contracts.
An accredited mediator and win / win negotiator, his empathy and communications skills underlie a persuasiveness equally effective in the boardroom and the lunchroom.
Areas of special competence include:
Sectoral experience includes:
Publishing credentials include:
• Management Practices in Information Technology for the Canadian Association of Management Consultants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants (1994 & 2001)
• IP² - Second Generation Knowledge Management / Mining for Knowledge / Retiring Knowledge Workers - Image & Data Management (2003-2004)
• Project Health-Checks - A Risk Management Strategy - IDM (2004)
• Delivering EFTPOS's Critical Mass - Canadian Treasurer (1995)
• Human Resource Planning in the 1990s - Cdn. Chambers of Commerce (1989)
• Contract Management - Course for University of Sydney (Australia) (2004 - 2007)
• Project Health-Check workshop - IQPC Conference on Complex Projects (2006)
• Coopetition - Breaking the Impasse - Australian Health Insurance Assoc. (2000)
• E-commerce trends in insurance - Institute for International Research (1997/98/99)
• EDI for Lawyers - The Canadian Institute (1996)
• EDI in the Government of Ontario - Institute for International Research (1995)
• Re-engineering government - Institute for International Research (1994)
• Opportunities from EDI - Canadian Business Telecomm Assoc. (1994/95)
CASE STUDIES IN CONTRACT NEGOTIATION, RESOLUTION AND TERMINATION
Litigation Support - Project governance
An Australian Commonwealth agency terminated two contracts for Y2K remediation work under ‘failure to deliver' clauses in the contracts. The vendor sued for recovery of costs and damages. The agency counter-sued for a return of fees paid against the contracted deliverables.
Ashby Bachmann was engaged by the agency's counsel to evaluate the project governance aspects of the projects and to comment on its contribution to the project failures and the abilities of the client and the vendor to meet their respective obligations. The vendor agreed to an out of court settlement.
Litigation Support - Poor Practice
A Singapore government agency's contract with a major international software developer and integrator was abrogated by the vendor after some 5 years of work. The vendor claimed that the client refused to sign off on specifications which were deemed significantly deficient and contrary to what the vendor's proposal and the contract specified.
Ashby Bachmann was retained to advise the client's counsel on issues of project governance best practice and to exemplify from the project records where clear deficiencies could be demonstrated. The case continues.
Litigation Support - Industry practice
A large telecommunications company was seeking to replace a legacy asset management system. The incumbent solutions vendor claimed that conversion of the asset register to the new system was a violation of its proprietary data architecture. The vendor further refused to facilitate the data migration for other than exorbitant fees.
Ashby Bachmann was retained to investigate the relationship between the data architecture and the client's data and to comment on the history of disputes between businesses and external managers of their data. The case continues.
Contract Negotiation - Win / Win
A provincial government was preparing to launch EFTPOS to improve the efficiency of its payment and deposit processes. Its bankers were also eager for the Province to pioneer the government use of EFTPOS, reduce its use of cheques but also to eliminate a contractual obligation on the banks which were anomalous to all their other commercial contracts.
Acting for the Province, Mr. Ashby negotiated favourable rates for both electronic and paper-based transactions with the banks and persuaded the Crown solicitors to amend long-standing regulations to allow the Province to adopt standard terms for questioning fraudulent cheques. In coming to understand the banks' issues with the Province, Mr. Ashby was also able to identify another major opportunity to improve client service for welfare recipients whilst simultaneously reducing costs and eliminating a customer service issue for the banks - large line-ups to cash welfare cheques every two weeks - through the introduction of ATM access.
Contract Negotiation - Win / Win
An industry association was embarking on a major innovation to provide on-line transaction processing across its diverse membership base to radically improve customer service. The industry demanded a stringently secure and ubiquitous network across Canada at an affordable rate for small-business participants. As CEO of the organisation, Mr Ashby negotiated with the major telecommunications firm and its various business units to develop and launch a unique product and pricing scheme which met all stakeholders' needs.
Situation Assessment & Rectification
A Canadian division of world-wide leader in the image processing field had the global mandate to develop new digital technology to revolutionise a huge specialty marketplace. It had contracted with a small firm to build the software component of the product.
The release schedule was slipping and the parent company was concerned that their major window of opportunity, and market leadership, was at risk. They wanted to validate the escrowed software, in the event that they abrogate the contract to pursue development through other means. The subsidiary's external counsel recommended Ashby Bachmann to perform the assessment of the software in escrow.
While we determined that the current software was in escrow, our parallel review of the contract indicated that a standstill agreement would be in effect if it was abrogated in any way. Mr Ashby suggested that an investigation of the project delay, and the breakdown of the dialogue with the vendor, be pursued as an alternative to termination.
Discussion with the principals identified a personality issue within the client organisation. An alternative contact person was nominated and the delays were rapidly overcome.
The client delivered the product to market in time for its major annual market opportunity and had market dominance for that sales cycle and early lead advantage in the marketplace. The software developer continues to provide enhancements to keep the product at the leading edge.
Situation Assessment & Termination
A national telecommunications services organisation had contracted for a new Enterprise Resource Planning solution to be developed and delivered on a time and materials basis. Development and delivery were behind schedule, costs were mounting and there were numerous disagreements over contracted deliverables between the client and the vendor.
Ashby Bachmann was requested to evaluate the opportunities for resolution by the client.
The initial review identified some significant deviations from best practice in the project management and development processes and remedies suggested to both client and vendor principals. Mr Ashby recommended that further progress payments be withheld pending compliance with agreed changes to the process. Despite repeated discussions there was no change in the vendor's practices and the project fell further behind.
Mr Ashby defined the grounds for abrogation of the contract. These, along with terms, were presented to the vendor who agreed to termination with no further compensation. An alternative successful solution was achieved under oversight and governance by Ashby Bachmann.