How long do contractors really believe they can sustain a no benchmarking, no measurement approach? With the threat of PFI-related sector-specific benchmarking, growing international competition and increasingly educated clients, the clear message is measure up or lose out.

Research shows that 58% of clients refuse to work with contractors that do not benchmark their performance, and yet certain firms continue to carry on regardless. But clients are setting their own standards and leading by example – a staggering 89% are currently benchmarking themselves – and they expect the same of their partners.

Benchmarking isn’t for the select few anymore. More and more construction firms are benchmarking, and in business terms it pays. Look at MJ Gleeson for instance. On a recent project for Yorkshire Water, it employed lean techniques to achieve the best possible results for their client. And by measuring their performance throughout they could clearly demonstrate their success: 100% client satisfaction on product and service, and one of the best sets of industry KPIs to date.

Gleeson, and many other contractors like them, are providing the demonstrable achievements that leading clients look for. The help and guidance is there. For those contractors that continue to fail to benchmark, attitude remains the only barrier to change.

Peter Cunningham, director of productivity, Constructing Excellence