It is little wonder that 70 SMEs went bust in a month, as reported in Building recently (28 March, page 11). Despite the good intentions of Egan and Latham, the industry is imploding because of the ill-founded initiatives that were based on those reports.
Increasingly, we are seeing the profits of SMEs slashed to feed larger companies. Frameworks that contain only major contractors will kill off many good SMEs, as projects will be placed into the hands of a select few.
Partnering and frameworks were supposed to reduce adversity, but sadly the system probably encourages it now – just look at Wembley. Yes, there are some good examples of well-structured frameworks, but there are too many poor ones.
It is no good if only a few contractors and employers protest. There needs to be a wholesale review of procurement and SMEs need to shout louder. Meanwhile, 70 SMEs going bust is only the tip of the iceberg.