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News & opinion

30 SEP. 2016

Using technology to yield better returns

“Technology allows for greater transparency in the market which in turn yields better returns for us all.”

This is the view of David Stapleton, CEO of TenderSpace and leading thinker within the property and construction sector. Below he talks about effective collaboration, early engagement and how to yield better returns.

Whether you’re a client, contractor or surveying professional, I'm sure that, in a quiet, unguarded moment, you would admit to close colleagues that trust issues can often be found within our industry; a ‘them and us’ attitude prevails amongst many and the rest of us seem to be powerless to prevent it.

However, I believe that this mistrust is to the detriment of all involved, and that a greater degree of transparency could yield better returns for us all.

The problem

Procurement is often a cumbersome and lengthy process. Pre-qualification can be time consuming and repetitive and the tendering process can be expensive. In such cases, trust issues can develop between both client and contractor: clients fear collusion and hunt for hidden traps in the responses they receive, while contractors speculate as to whether clients have already made their mind up on their preferred bidder before the whole process began. And then there is the lengthy negotiation and rewriting of standard form contracts.

BIM Infographic
Building Information Modelling

The solution

If clients could engage with contractors and specialists at the feasibility stage, projects could be value engineered and expensive redesigns could be avoided. In other words, if there was more transparency from the moment a project begins, contractors could negotiate openly, sharing cost information developed in partnership with the entire design team, therefore avoiding the costs of failed tenders.

If there was more transparency from the moment a project begins, contractors could negotiate openly, sharing cost information developed in partnership with the entire design team, therefore avoiding the costs of failed tenders.

A transparent and collaborative approach could save valuable time as well. Clients would receive reassurance and certainty much sooner in the project cycle – meaning work on site could start earlier. This in turn would lead to fewer sleepless nights analysing and worrying about fluctuations in the economic cycle, and inflationary pressures. Contractors would be able to better manage their workload and provide more accurate profit forecasts. In fact, the entire supply chain could plan with confidence.

Our industry has traditionally been reluctant to adapt to technological advances and new ways of working but Building Information Modelling is here to stay; and in years to come, the data and efficiencies it derives will be transformative. Its evolution has only just begun.

It takes trust, understanding and appreciation of others positions  but transparency, early engagement and greater collaboration could save us all unnecessary worry, wasted time and, most importantly, enhance both our reputations and our profits. And give us all a much better night’s sleep!