More than three quarters of contractors believe clients are not sufficiently knowledgeable about procurement in construction, an industry survey has found.
A report exploring procurement in the construction industry, commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Building, reveals 77 per cent of builders believe clients do not understand procurement, while the vast majority of the industry believes clients are often unaware of suicide bidding.
The report calls for accessible information and guidance to be made available to “educate the [clients] who believe that buying a building is the same as buying paperclips.”
Almost all respondents said they had been involved in projects that overran in terms of both cost and time, and many attributed overruns to the chosen procurement method.
The CIOB has called for standardisation and simplification of public sector procurement, beyond the government’s recent announcement to simplify the pre-qualification questionnaires via the voluntary PAS91 standard.
CIOB deputy chief executive Michael Brown said: “Getting clients more bang for their buck should always be at the forefront of the industry’s mind. But to make that work clients have to listen to the advice given by industry as well.
“There is clearly a need to look beyond any immediate gains and towards those longer term benefits that can be achieved from the right type of procurement. If the industry is squeezed to get the cheapest tender then you’ll end up getting what you pay for.
“These are testing times but at such moments it’s a good idea to step back from what’s gone before and find new ways to create greater efficiencies. If we knew what we know now about programmes like Building Schools for the Future then we would have approached it differently. The challenge for the industry and clients is can they adapt quick enough to take advantage of the opportunities out there.”