Archive for June, 2010

Tender dilemmas

Now here’s an interesting situation……….. I attended a meeting recently where a contractor who is bidding for a scheme has the scenario of understanding what allowances should be made for the level of renewables on a project.

The dilemma being what code level is the project being built too as it was not clear from the clients brief – nothing unusual there I hear you say. So what’s the solution?

Get it clarified and make sure everyone on the tender list understands the client’s exact requirements ……..or…….. ignore that and go with whatever the cheapest solution is, qualify the bid get your foot in the door and see if you can win the job…… worry about the environment and all that green stuff later, after all it won’t be in our lifetime that we will have to worry about these buildings …….. or will we? You see I’m not too sure this approach will win work for you in the long run. What are they doing I’m not telling as they haven’t finished it yet….but I know they asked a question. Does that mean they will win the project? Who knows but my book they have done the right thing. What would you do? Work is still hard to come by and at very difficult rates and prices for everyone…’s an interesting situation, or should I say awful situation!

If you are interested in this subject I found the Sustainable Homes website had some interesting articles within it.

Life is a Roller Coaster….

Just got back from having a few days away from it all as it was my wife’s 50th birthday and feel totally refreshed for the challenges ahead.

As a business we are finding things very much like a roller coaster at the moment, from one minute having every available resource busy, to the next thinking what are we going to do with these people??? Such challenging times for us all.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of attending network events where I can over these last few weeks and as a result I’ve met some very interesting and varied people that have turned out to be some very good acquaintances as a result. So thank you to the following people I’ve met that have given me some inspiration:

Martin Skinner

Bradley Knight

Steve McNulty

Keith Yexley

Philip Bailey

Iain Stevenson

Alistair Goddard

Andrew Hyett

Tony Hartley


I’m off to the RICS tonight for an event under the title of RICS Climate Change Series: Green Entrepreneurs Event at the Hub Kings Cross. So who know who I will meet there!


And no I didn’t take time off for the wife carrying contest!

Predictions – Who cares?

We nearly half way through twenty ten!

How time has flown by.

I thought I would look back at my first blog this year (struggling for inspiration really) and take a look at my predictions.

Well here they were/are:

  • House building will take off again in the middle of the year after a Tory victory in the general election; well now let me see which bit of that is right?
  • The new high speed rail link to Scotland and the north will get the go ahead; I think this is still going to happen, which route is it going to take though?
  • Hotel refurbishment and new build will start a mini boom in and around the London area as the run up to the Olympics kicks off; mmm not too sure about this, but, theres still time
  • The new rules of measurement will make no impact at all (but we will have to learn about them anyway though); now that’s true, (sort of) we have had to make some adjustments to our work
  • Prices will remain very tough in the first two quarters of this year after that there will be a rise as we all become more settled about the future and the industry will become far more stable; mmm prices still tough(bit of an understatement that) .. a more settled and stable future …. wait and see
  • ……Oh and England will win the world cup after Arsenal have done the double! Well you can dream can’t you! Ah well there’s hope yet for England sadly not even the Arsenal ladies did the double this year

Think I might give the second half of the year a miss on predictions!

On a more amusing theme, someone asked me the other day for some tips on dealing with a client who is being difficult in paying up monies they are owed (a familiar story for us too I’m afraid!) and after much debate here in the office as to the best advice we could give we opted for this story we found – challenge them to some shin kicking! You never know you might get the result you have been looking for! Failing that there’s always adjudication but it wouldn’t be as much fun as this. Would it?

Doom and Gloom????

Cuts doom and gloom seems to be the theme of our industry right now or should I say the media in general, nothing like a good old moan from us Brits- even the weather is doing its bit for flaming June!

The thing that bugs me though is the scale of the figures and the fact that like most business around we’ve made massive changes to respond and we are still here alive and kicking ….

Now I’ve been trying to find some stats to back me up, and perhaps someone can help me here but I remember attending an event organised by the sadly now defunct Contract Journal magazine about the Olympics (only 787 days to go). The stat was it was around £9bn of work over a 5 year period and that this represented less that 5% of the total construction output at the time. But what is the total output of the UK construction industry? That’s the bit I couldn’t find. I did find this graphic showing what’s happening to GDP though – looks like things are on the up!

So my point is that there is all this talk of multi billion pound cuts and the dramatic effect it will have on us but I remain to be convinced. The percentage of actual reduction is not that huge. How many of you out there have made huge cost savings and or cuts to your personal life and or business beyond say 5%? A huge number of us I’d guess. So for the government to make savings in it’s wasteful expenditure of our money is a good thing. Surely?

Anyway if you fancy a new mobile phone you could always take a look at how things have come on since 1922. I wonder what they were saying ………

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About Me

I’m now the Managing Director of Mynott Associates Limited my own specialist measurement business. I’ve been in the industry all of my life since I left school. My first job was with Bovis Construction as a management trainee where I trained to become a quantity surveyor. I’ve worked for contractors all through my career, I am FRICS, FCIOB and MCIHT qualified and act as an RICS assessor. I’m also a keen Arsenal supporter having followed them from a young boy

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