Retailer sets framwork contractors tough targets, including 25% off build times and elimination of defects.
Retailer Boots has set an ambitious series of Egan-style targets for its newly selected prime contractors.

Boots, which has entered into framework agreements with Carillion, Wates Construction and Styles and Wood, aims to cut project costs 30% and eliminate site accidents by 2004.

Colin Moore, director of construction at Boots Properties, said the targets were benchmarks that would be used to assess the firms' performance over the course of their three-year contract with the client.

Moore said: "These key performance indicators are goals that we would like to see realised in an ideal world and do not form part of the contractors' contractual obligations. But they demonstrate the progress we want to make."

Boots, which spends £150m a year on construction, also wants to see the length of projects reduced 25% and defects eliminated. Moore said he hoped that by working closely with a handful of contractors this could be achieved.

The retailer has signed further framework agreements with architect and interior designer Lewis and Hickey and QSs EC Harris and Firmingers.

Boots said EC Harris had been chosen for its advanced information technology systems. Moore said: "We want to see the QSs work collaboratively with the main contractors. "

He added that EC Harris' sophisticated intranet and extranet systems should help Boots to standardise project information and make it available throughout the supply chain.

Boots intends to invest in EC Harris' extranet to create a "bespoke" project information exchange within three years. Meanwhile, it is exploring the possibility of disseminating information through US-based online project management system Bidcom. Carillion, Wates and EC Harris are investors in this project, and Moore said this was a factor in their appointment.

He said: "An important criteria for selecting our partners was how they viewed the use of future technology in construction. This group all showed a willingness to make greater use of technology.

"Boots is a multiple client: some outlets are traditional stores, others offer dentistry services. This means it is essential to exchange project information effectively."

Boots confirmed that the main contractors are now responsible for selecting subcontractors and additional consultants. However, Moore emphasised that the retailer's list of partners is not yet complete.