Are Commercial Departments Holding Us Back?

April 25, 2018

We’re in an industry rife with groundbreaking engineering and pioneering mega-projects, but we don’t use innovation to facilitate complexities.

In our struggle to modernise this inefficient industry, commercial departments, and more specifically forms of contract, are partly to blame for the reluctance of contractors to drive innovation to levels we all aim and aspire to be at.

As a former QS, the NEC contract (for example), and, more importantly, the Schedule of Cost Components, is a common problem. This schedule is effectively a list of ‘Defined’ costs which are ‘Providing the Works’, that can be spent by the contractor, and paid for by the client. With regards to software, it is all far too vague to be able to allocate certain technologies within these stringent categories. This can result in clients branding the cost as ‘In Fee’, meaning the Contractor will bare the cost as a reduction of their own margin.

The industry will not be able to make progressive steps towards a technological utopia if they’re being constrained by client’s procurement from the offset. A truly modern model will allow contractors to enhance efficiency and reduce cost through the introduction of intelligent software, without this threat of loss of margin. Thus, providing value for money for the client and a giant step forward towards our digital future.

Who’d have thought it… quantity surveyors may be the key to modernising this underperforming industry.

Carlos Carvalho
COO
Aphex

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