Q&A Background

Q&A with CEO, David Fish

Undermasthead Shape

Having rebranded in July, Clear Consulting Group have been thrust into ‘unprecedented times’ and a world that was in the middle of significant change.

As we look forward, we sat down with our CEO, David Fish, to talk about the Clear journey so far and what is planned for the future.

David, tell us about Clear?

Clear are a professional services provider specialising in management consultancy services across the commercial contract lifecycle.

We provide commercial, contract, procurement, bid and business management expertise to buyers and suppliers across multiple industries, for example technology, construction, utilities, energy, defence, manufacturing, health.

As a career and as a profession, I love what we do at Clear. I see our role as the bridge between technical, finance, service management, delivery, sales and pure legal. Our ability to communicate and influence, to dip in and out of these areas, makes the roles exciting and challenging.

How does Clear span so many services?

Clear is split into five complimentary divisions – Solutions, Resource, Executive, Analyst and Creative.

The core three divisions cover routes to market for a full range of commercial contract management, procurement and supply chain expertise. These are the roles you might imagine across the commercial contract lifecycle for both purchase and supply, examples include Procurement Director, Category Lead, Contract Manager, Commercial Director, or Head of Supply Chain. We offer this expertise via consultancy or “as a service” for scoped work and output-based assignments (Clear Solutions), interim provision (Clear Resource) and also permanent recruitment solutions (Clear Executive).

The two supporting divisions are specialist bolt on services. The first covers data analytics, enterprise architecture and technical solutions (Clear Analyst) using data from across the contract lifecycle to analyse, predict and resolve issues. The second is where we can guide and facilitate supplier bids for competitive tenders (Clear Creative), using our procurement expertise in writing ITTs and asking the questions and therefore how best for bidders to answer the tender questions; coupled with compelling communication and creative presentation to increase supplier bid win rate.

What was your motivation to start Clear?

We wanted to help organisations do better, quicker, more cost-effective business whilst they also stay viable, sustainable and robust for the future.

We focus on pain points and pinch points affecting your ability to do what you do. We then give trusted advice and deliver solutions that really make a difference. Organisations can take advantage of this by tapping into just part of the offering in one division, via one route to market, or via the whole offering tackling issues and opportunities from end to end across the commercial contract lifecycle.

The best way to bring this to life, with specific examples, is to read through a couple of the Clear case studies to see where we have helped organisations and read some of the testimonial from previous clients.

On many occasions the cost of Clear services has been met several times over by savings in terms of reduced value leakage, reduced risk exposure or additional revenue we have realised for the customer. This sits behind everything we do – adding value and making a difference so that things are better than before, leaving a legacy and adding to the Clear community as we go.

David Fish

What can Clear offer to organisations?

Many of our people are legally qualified but we are not a law firm; whereas lawyers might focus on the pure legal ramifications in isolation and then step away and leave you to implement the solution. Clear are adept at considering the business environment, approaching the problem with both pragmatism and innovation whilst also considering less tangible business factors. We refer to this role as the bridge of pragmatism – the “glue” between technical, sales, finance, delivery, legal and compliance.

We feel this offers something different than many management consultancies, as an alternative to a “Big Four” mentality with a “one size fits all” deployment of branded models. We focus on driving simplicity and convert ‘complex to Clear’. We know we have succeeded when we have already moved on to the next challenge, having helped fix the issue and left a legacy of knowledge transfer behind, so things are better than when we arrived.

Plus, even though we provide resource with the right skills, at the right level at the right time; whether interim, permanent, scope of works or retainer, Clear is not a recruitment business. We are a professional services consultancy firm led by commercial contract, procurement and supply chain professionals who have a deep understanding of how to drive out value leakage with our clients. With many of our consultants and leadership team each having over 25 years’ experience across commercial contract management, bid, procurement and supplier management we have, generally, been there and done most things and understand the role and right person for the role.

What are your aims for the business?

To be the go-to source for commercial contract lifecycle advice and delivery across multiple industries from both sides of the buyer or supplier fence.

To do this, I want to continue bringing together likeminded people, with a shared Clear ethos, to make a difference and enjoy doing it. We will encourage and develop thought leadership and debate and to strive for continuous improvement in everything we do.

Overall, though, our daily objective is to help organisations overcome pain points and to do better business. By doing so we enhance the reputation of the commercial contract, procurement and supply chain profession as key trusted advisors.

Our tagline is ‘Trusted advisor. Solutions delivered.’ This encapsulates what we are about and what we want to be known for.

What is your background?

Like others who operate at a senior level in commercial contract management and procurement, I started in another area and jumped around before ending up doing what I do now…

Some 25 years ago, I started out as a Chartered Surveyor in the construction sector, working for a top 4 multi-disciplinary professional services provider. I qualified in project management along the way, then gained legal qualifications about 10 years ago.

In terms of home life, I am married with a daughter who has just started at secondary school. Rugby Union is my sport, formerly as club, school and county Captain but nowadays as a spectator at Sale Sharks. I like to walk the dog and enjoy playing tennis at our local village club where I am currently the Chairperson and Club Secretary.

How do you find working opposite people in a tough negotiation, but then in the same team on a different assignment?

The key is that it does not have to be emotional and it is never personal. You always have the client’s best interests at heart but often the way to a sustainable solution is finding a win win, so that there is an element of mutuality to the negotiations. You are likely both trying to find common ground, so having open and honest conversations about requirements, blockers and possible flexibility will allow for a much quicker resolution.

How do you plan to make a positive impact to the world of contracts?

Clear have developed an extensive industry network, and intrinsic understanding of commercial contract challenges in today’s economy. Key to this is an engaged talent community – we provide wide ranging thought leadership content and network extensively, peer to peer, about topical subjects of the moment.

Each time we are able to share into this network and open discussion around an interesting point – we feel the power of the community and I see how this network can support organisations of any size to navigate complex projects and deliver innovative services.


Thanks to David for his time to answer these questions. If you have a question for David or simply want to get in touch to discuss how Clear can help you, contact – [email protected]