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Majority of construction firms still resistant to e-tendering

Three-quarters of firms still post or email tenders to their clients, despite the fact that e-tendering can reduce their costs and streamline the overall tendering process, according to a report by the building cost information service of the RICS.

The BCIS e-tendering survey report released today showed the percentage of tender documents sent solely in electronic format has almost doubled since 2006, increasing from 8 per cent two years ago to 15 per cent.

However, the percentage of electronic documents being delivered by physical means, such as on a disk, increased from 2 per cent to 46 per cent while the percentage sent by email decreased from 64 per cent to 46 per cent.

The greatest barriers to switching to a web-based system seems to be the perceived costs associated with web based e-tendering and the assumption that clients are not interested.

“It seems clear from these results that a main concern is still the presumed costs of adopting this system,” said Joe Martin, executive director of BCIS. “The eTendering service that the RICS provides to its members was designed specifically to address these cost concerns by eliminating any set-up costs and offering the service on a pay-per-tender basis. The hope was that this would open it up to more people and in particular smaller firms. However there is clearly still an ongoing challenge to bring home the benefits to more practitioners.”

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