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An industry perspective

Measuring your answers against those of an industry expert.
The definition of procurement basically is the way in which we procure or commission buildings in the construction industry, so buildings and infrastructure. It’s a process we go through from start to finish in getting that building, or that piece of infrastructure built, designed and built. The types of procurement route that I have used over the years, mainly its traditional, we still use the traditional route where the the client commissions the design to happen first and then the contractor comes on board at a later date and then does the build. That’s the traditional route and it’s the one we use the most and we still do use a lot, particularly on the smaller jobs.
On other jobs, a few years back there was a move to use some design and build where the design aspect goes to the contractor. The main idea really was the client thought they were going to save money by doing this but it didn’t transpire that that was the case and what really happened was the design then goes more for the way the building is built, as opposed to designing it for utility or designing it for aesthetics reasons and that’s not necessarily what the client wants.
It’s great for some buildings but maybe not for others and there’s a bit of a drive recently to go more towards using partnering as a route, it’s not used as much as it should be but where I’ve known it to be used, it’s actually been very successful and come up with some good results. OK, the procurement route decision, the person who decides that ultimately is the client. Its always the client that gets the advice, takes the advice from everybody, maybe uses their own experience and then chooses whichever is best.
They do this based on advice from usually the PQS that’s giving them the main advice, it could be the Project Manager, it could be the architect and this advice quite often can be biased because the quantity surveyor, the PQS, the architect will want the project to run in the way that they want it to run and not necessarily what’s best for the client. So as PQS’s we have to make sure that we are very unbiased and we are looking at everything as a fresh new project when we are making this and giving this advice.
There’s a whole variety of tendering methods that we use in the industry and it does depend upon the client, the client’s desire for retaining or passing on the risk so it all comes down to risk element at the end of the day. If the client retains that risk then they might do something like a cost plus type procurement or tendering arrangement and the prices will be lower because of that or they might decide to pass the risk off to the contractor fully using something maybe like a lump sum and then the risk is totally with the contractor.
What I have found is on the smaller jobs we tend to use a lot of lump sum because the smaller clients want to know cost certainty, how much they are actually going to pay for the job at the end, whereas on maybe some of the larger jobs they might use two stage tendering, they might use some sort of partnering type arrangement, where, or construction management, where the risk is shared and there is less cost certainty but usually the prices are kept a little bit lower so it does depend.
In the video, Dave Roberts, a quantity surveyor with 16 years’ industry experience, answers the same questions we gave to you in the previous step.
How do your answers compare with his? Is it a matter of experience or something you missed in the course?
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Procurement Strategies and Tendering

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