The procurement process is one of the most significant improvement opportunities identified in the Construction Playbook. In more straightforward terms, the view of the authors was that the procurement process is broken and no longer fit for purpose.
While it’s tempting to look at this as something that clients and procurement teams need to sort out, there are practical steps that contractors and supply chains can take too.
Procurement reform is identified as a way to speed up the adoption of offsite manufacturing processes into construction. The benefits of this will be reduced costs, better margins, faster delivery and better outcomes in terms of quality and building performance. Everyone wins.
So the question is: what can we do on the supplier side to make the transition easier? Not surprisingly, the answer lies in partnerships and collaborative working.
Imagine if at the start of the procurement process you knew exactly what products and methods would be used to execute the project. Not only that, your offsite construction partner is sitting alongside you. They’re helping to identify the best ways to leverage the product to deliver the project faster and cheaper while delivering better quality and performance outcomes for the client.
This is surely the type of procurement process the Construction Playbook has in mind. One in which specialist expertise in delivering projects with innovative methods is involved from the outset, rather than being brought in once the contract is awarded.
The next question might be whether this collaborative model is deliverable in practice?
It’s not only deliverable, it’s being delivered already. Innovaré’s preferred approach is to establish long term partnerships with contractors so that we can bring the full benefits of our shared expertise and knowledge to every bid. This means we can also apply the lessons learned by the partnership during one project to the next bid.
This approach delivers a better end product for the customer. We also know through experience that we can price competitively while maintaining sustainable margins.
To leverage the advantages of offsite throughout the bidding process, specialist suppliers need to be involved from the outset. That’s not a particularly radical thought – but neither is it the way that most of the industry is used to working… yet.