A reader writes: ‘I wonder if the Tier 1 contractors have the appetite for the risk that would be needed to make the proposals truly work’
Colin Harding’s proposal in Building magazine (“The new world order?”, 26 February), proposing a radical change to procurement of buildings in much the same way that the manufacturing industry works with high quality design teams, working alongside manufacturing/installation contractors in a single organisation, brings to the foreground many of the challenges we face in a fragmented construction industry and I am sure will raise heated debate.
While the logic is sound and it has always confused me why this has not been the case, in order for the proposals to be realised as intended they would rely on our Tier 1 contractors building up significant in-house design resource.
I wonder if the Tier 1 contractors have the appetite for the risk that would be needed to make the proposals truly work for the betterment of the industry, rather than being just an extension to the current working practice where the Tier 1s use the services of external design teams and don’t employ the designers on their payroll in order to manage their risk profile.
It would be interesting to find out, after 20 years of Egan and Latham, how many of our Tier 1 contractors carry sufficient in-house design resource to cover their base workload requirements. I would hazard a guess that you could count them on the fingers of one hand.
Perhaps rather than each side of this argument taking shots at each other, we should work together so that we can use all of our resources to the best of our abilities so that our clients repeatedly receive a positive experience.
GlaxoWellcome achieved this back in the early 1990s with their own style of partnering, long before partnering had become a buzzword. The documentation is still readily available for all to review and I would encourage it as bedtime reading: www.fusion-approach.com.
Steven Hale, MD of Crofton Design, via email