It’s been a while………but here’s a link to a guest blog I’ve done for Pauley Creative on my thoughts on BIM ……..
Posts Tagged 'Economy'
Tags: Bills of Quantities, BIM, business, construction, contractors quantity surveyor, Contractual Issues, derek mynott, Economy, Main Contractors, marketing, Quantity Surveyors, SMM7, tendering
Tags: Bills of Quantities, BIM, boq's, construction, contractors quantity surveyor, Contractual Issues, derek mynott, Economy, g f partnership, gf partnership, gfp, government construction strategy, Main Contractors, Quantity Surveyors, RICS, SMM7, tender, tenders
I’ve bemoaned the design teams before about the apparent lack of sending out co-ordinated information on cd’s/dvd’s and remote ftp servers and saying here it is go and get what you need we’ve given you everything you want.
These days though with the click of a few buttons we are being sent more and more information to wade through and less and less time to understand it. And it comes in such confusing layouts/styles/folders that sometimes you just don’t know where to begin.
I had a contractor call over to see me last week with another project to look at, and it made me stop and think about how we deal with things.
The scenario goes…. (insert the names of relevant folders or projects to suit your own story as you wish)
He hands me the cd of information, up pops the folder on screen and then the fun begins…..
What are we looking for?
Well some sort of guidance as to what we’ve got for a start would be good.
Where is that.
I don’t know have a look in that folder there marked folder 1
no, nothing in there…..says contract to follow
ok, look at that one there marked folder 2
Look it’s got dwg and pdf versions of the drawings!
Ah, good a nice list, what are the drawing titles?
I don’t know there aren’t any it’s just a list of numbers
Where’s the drawing register
There isn’t one, well at least not in this folder
And so it goes on…
Now I know the government is talking about making a 20% saving in its Government Construction strategy document that it has just published, but I seriously reckon that if we got our act together and introduced a standard way of issuing electronic information we could save many man hours of each of us trying to fathom out what on earth it was we were looking at that would go towards this target.
Perhaps that could be included somewhere in the very first item of the Action Plan on co-ordination and leadership?
Thanks to Zolna Murray for the inspiration for this blog for her discussion on LinkedIn ‘How to booby trap a contractor’ and the blog she posted on the 27th May with her list of her top 5 booby traps
Tags: Bills of Quantities, BIM, constructing excellence, construction, contractors quantity surveyor, Contractual Issues, derek mynott, Economy, g f partnership, gf partnership, gfp, Main Contractors, partnering, payment disputes, Quantity Surveyors, Recession, RICS, SMM7
And then you tell me if you agree with my views.
Working together in sweet harmony just isn’t working in the construction industry in my humble opinion, no matter hard all of us may try. It’s always been the lowest price that wins no matter what.
Well I believe every stakeholder, no matter who they are, has a commercial interest somewhere along the line in the outcome of any given project.
Don’t they?……….Think about it.
Forget about shared goals and fluffy stuff like that, at the moment its hard nosed business attitudes that prevail. Isn’t it?
And depending upon which end of the collaboration chain you’re on will depend upon how you view it to be working.
Wikipedia defines collaboration as: ‘working together to achieve a goal….’
Constructing excellence has a definition of partnering as: “Partnering is a management approach used by two or more organisations to achieve specific business objectives by maximising the effectiveness of each participant’s resources. It requires that the parties work together in an open and trusting relationship based on mutual objectives, an agreed method of problem resolution and an active search for continuous measurable improvements.”
So, the next project you are asked to work in collaboration with a client, design team, contractor, subcontractor, supplier are you all going to have the same goal? Well that depends on the goal doesn’t it I hear you say. Getting the building handed over on time, to the right quality and to budget are the normal acceptable goals aren’t they.
But making a decent return out of it too? Working on a cost-reimbursable, target cost, open book with a percentage addition for on-cost and profit?
Is that part of it? Yes, it should be.
So my point is, it’s a commercial world, everyone is looking after their own business interests at the end of it all. So to see true collaboration some big barriers have got to be broken down, and a truly trusting partnership formed between all parties.
Will that ever happen?
No, not at the moment……but wait until BIM really comes into its own, then you will see the cultural change that this will demand, that in my opinion will change the way we work in this industry in a very significant way.
Tags: Colin Elsbury, construction, contractors quantity surveyor, Contractual Issues, defamation, derek mynott, Economy, g f partnership, gf partnership, gfp, libel, Main Contractors, measurement, no win no fee, Quantity Surveyors, RICS, SMM7, super injunctions, taking off, twitter
Cut throat Tender Pricing
APC Tips and Techniques
What makes a good CV? 15 tips from the GFP Team
Measurement is for Dummies
Time for a Construction revolution
The reason I did that was I was looking back to see if a theme was developing on what people most like to read about.
However given all the current talk about super injunctions I thought I’d do a post that I’ve had in my head for a while.
I really did have it in my mind to do a posting about a recent case involving twitter and a local councillor in South Wales. Seems a bit corny to do it now, but hey ho. I’m not going to talk about the super injunction stuff, but about the twitter case.
The case in question was about defamation and involved councillor Colin Elsbury at the local elections earlier this year, and mistaken identity.
There are loads of places to read about the facts of the case, and I suppose if you are going to read about it anywhere The MailOnline would be a good place to go!
I had also seen an article in March written by CMS Cameron McKenna too titled ‘Can you damage a reputation in 140 characters?’ This interestingly was also looking at the ‘no win, no-fee’ conditional fee agreement in the case too.
The principle message behind this is simple, as stated by the judge in the case at the time.
‘Anything posted on twitter is in the public domain and subject to libel laws’.
The fine ultimately worked out to be just more than £2,400-a-word!
Which brings me full circle to the blogs I’ve done! I don’t think I’ve posted anything to upset anyone, but if I have, do please accept my apologies……
So finally, be warned, and think before you tweet……….
Tags: Bills of Quantities, construction, construction products association, contractors quantity surveyor, Contractual Issues, CPA, derek mynott, double dip, double dip recession, Economy, g f partnership, gf partnership, gfp, IMF, Lego, PMI Index, Quantity Surveyors, Recession, Temporary Recruitment
Here we go then….the Construction Products Association is saying we are in for a rough ride again this year and next year too. They predict that this year output will fall by 0.8% and next year by 2%. This will make it the most miserable time for many of us if that’s true.
‘The Mail’ on line even predicts the same (but don’t they always) stating that construction output in the three months to end of February fell a massive 18.3%, fuelling fears that things are about to get even tougher as this is all before the government’s austerity measures kick in.
The IMF has also downgraded it’s 2011 growth forecast for the UK to 1.75% (it’s third downgrade this year)
Yet here is some contradictory evidence.
Take a look at this from the Train4TradeSkills News section. They quote from the Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI Index ‘UK construction companies reported a strong end to the first quarter, with activity rising at a similar pace to the eight month high recorded in February’.
So what’s going on?
What do you think?
Is it all doom and gloom out there or are there chinks of light for you and your business?
I know for us it’s one hell of a rollercoaster ride, one moment you are really busy and the next you are in the doldrums, but then that’s the joys of being in this game isn’t it?
And on a lighter note perhaps we should all go to Brazil and build Lego towers instead…
Tags: argos, Bills of Quantities, building, Building charter 284, Building Magazine, comet, construction, contractors quantity surveyor, derek mynott, Economy, g f partnership, gf partnership, gfp, government waste, harrods, increased costs, Main Contractors, material prices, Quantity Surveyors, Recession, rising material prices, smm, SMM7, Temporary Recruitment, tender lists, tendering, waste
Why is it, that assuming exactly the same product is available, if you went to buy it from say, Harrods as opposed to any other high street retailer such as Argos and the like, you’d expect to pay more for it at where?
Well Harrods of course, everyone agrees on that.
So far so good.
Then why is it that a current trend I’m picking up on is to line up the likes of Harrods and Argos against each other and expect Harrods to give you the cheapest deal? Now substitute those names with any diverging set of Contractors or Subcontractors or Suppliers you care to name. Oh and then also have a very extensive list too, don’t just go to Harrods and Argos. Now I can hear you all groan as you say we’ll never win that project with ‘X’ on the tender list they are ‘buying’ work all over, what an unfair listing.
What damage is this practice doing to the industry as a whole?
Well here’s my take on a bit of that.
Part of our State of the Economy Survey we carried out recently contained a question ‘Whats the single biggest likely area for costs to increase this year for you?’ We had the usual expected answers of fuel, steel, concrete and the like, see the recent building article we are living in a materials world for more on that….…but, one of the other top answers was ‘the increasing cost of putting together a bid to win a project.’
Well we know for sure about that in a small way for our contribution of providing bills of quantities to contractors bidding on design and dump, errr sorry, design and build projects these days. Let alone the pqq’s that go before that, the subsequent bid team that is needed and the various documents that everyone seems to require for the bid and then no longer refer to for the duration of the project. As after all who considers those when ‘X’ has put in a bid so much cheaper than anyone else………you go with ‘X’ don’t you……… it’s such a bargain you cannot refuse it.
Now where does everyone think these costs end up?
Well on the face of it with the contracting party.
But in the long run?
Well the end user of course.
What a waste of time, money and effort.
Who advises clients on this?
Well professional advisers naturally. So come on guys instead of lining up Harrods with Argos, make the competition realistic and keep the numbers bidding to a sensible list. Stand up to Clients who insist on having you compile unbalanced tender lists. You’ll be surprised about the outcome.
And a final thought, what practice came about as a result of extensive tender lists and contractors not wishing to decline a tender opportunity………..
Tags: Bills of Quantities, construction, contractors quantity surveyor, Contractual Issues, derek mynott, Economy, g f partnership, gf partnership, gfp, infrastructure, Main Contractors, payment disputes, Professor brian cox, Quantity Surveyors, Recession, refurbishment, Retention monies, Temporary Recruitment
Let’s start with Professor Brain Cox and his wonderful programme on Sunday evenings Wonders of the Solar System, all burnt up in the sun is the most likely outcome but that’s billions and billions and billions (or whatever he says)…….of years away.
By the way is it just me or does he send you to sleep too, and you have to watch the programme again to understand it?
Well enough of that, we did our annual State of The Economy Survey again this year and one of the questions we posed was where do you think the work is going to come from this year?
And without giving names of anyone away, I thought you all might like to see the most popular answers we received and whether you agree with them or not, so here goes…..
1. High End Residential –and/or high income private clients with money to invest
2. Refurbishment – all sectors
4. Schools, including Free schools
5. Student accommodation
7. New office developments
9. Regeneration of brownfiled sites
10. Infrastructure – power, rail, utilities
Now if any of these rock your boat or are in an area you were or were not thinking about you’ve got some like minded people out there. The wittiest comment of them all however I liked was ‘Finding oil!’
All I can say is the very best of luck for what is going to be another challenging time ahead for everyone associated with the construction sector
If you missed the link above full details are on our website www.gf-partnership.co.uk/news/
Tags: Adjudication, Building charter 284, Building Magazine, construction, contractors quantity surveyor, Contractual Issues, derek mynott, Economy, g f partnership, gf partnership, gfp, insolvencies, insolvency, letters of intent, Main Contractors, payment disputes, Recession, Roberts vs Frohlich
Well I could be writing about anyone you know in construction right now…..
I read the article The Eye Test in last Fridays ‘building’ magazine, page 42/43 if you happen to get a paper copy, or here’s the link if you subscribe.
It’s a message for all company directors out there, don’t take risks at the expense of the support of your creditors.
The gist of the case was about a property company continuing to trade beyond the point any reasonable person would, on the blind belief ‘that something might turn up’ and the consequences this had.
The thing is it really is quite a difficult call to make, as if you are certain you’ve got a deal that will make you a fortune, and you’ve got all your eggs in that basket, and bang! All of a sudden things don’t quite fall into place. Suddenly you could be in a very cold and lonely place! And who wouldn’t think…..something might turn up……..as invariably if you put the effort in, make a few calls, ask a few favours ………..it does. But be warned it might not, and there are consequences…..
The judgment in the case itself is a message to company directors, but the key principles apply to anyone involved in running a business these days when they get to that point of no return.
So the messages from the article that came out to me were:
- Look after you creditors and their interests – surprising that to some people you might think
- Monitor your cash flow intensely, identify any irregularities that highlight the company cannot make its payments by the due dates – basic common sense isn’t it?
- Investigate all available options for putting the company back on track – and don’t delay in doing so, it takes time
- Hold regular board meetings, and keep notes of why you have decided to act in that way, what facts did you have that made you take a particular decision – you’ll never remember in time to come.
- Consider the need to keep all stakeholders in the business informed at the appropriate times – everyone has an interest in keeping the business alive
- Don’t place orders for work when there is no prospect of you paying for that work – common sense again!
- Don’t put personal or any other interests before those of the company – difficult one to judge but don’t go for short term greed
And………….don’t continue to trade on the basis that ‘something might turn up’…..
For anyone interested to read more on this, the case is Roberts vs Frohlich and if you do read it, it has some great insights into the way or industry works with developers and contractors jostling in the formation of contracts. It also has around paragraph 43 a great quote from the letter of intent and the problems of naming individuals in any such letter. Fancy naming the Chairman of an organization as the only person you could negotiate commercial matters with!
Couldn’t resist this one either……….there’s also a Spanner in the works too!