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Construction Round Table draws up radical plan to slash unnecessary costs and boost performance Efficiency back on Agenda

CONSTRUCTION firms failing to meet criteria outlined in a new efficiency plan risk losing billions of pounds worth of contracts

Industry bosses were handed the warning by a team of high-profile clients this week. The Construction Round Table launched 'Agenda for Change' in a bid to cut unnecessary costs from construction. It represents 11 clients, including BAA, Railtrack and Tesco, responsible for £6 billion-worth of work each year.

Round table chairman Simon Murray said contractors which met the requirements set out in the plan would benefit. He said: 'Firms that demonstrate improvements will be well-placed to get work from CRT members.'

Mr Murray said agenda would seek to build on the efficiency environment created by the Latham report and use the impetus of the new construction taskforce, under Sir John Egan.

But Mr Murray criticised companies for failing to make the savings outlined in Latham. He said: 'We have yet to see the widespread commitments to radical change that will deliver the sustained improvements in performance.'

Proposals outlined in the new plan, include:

developing a common design process;

learning from the success and failures of previous projects;

using clear and value-based criteria to select suppliers;

using agreements to improve relationships and avoid conflicts;

jointly agreeing targets; and developing a common map of the construction process.

The measures will be costed and considered in more detail at a meeting of CRT members and leading construction firms next February.

Some firms at the London launch welcomed the plan. Keith Clarke, Kvaerner Construction chief executive, said: 'We need to increase efficiency, improve supply chain management and build up our skill base.'

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