The Simons Group chairman feared Tesco's reputation as a client but found a firm willing to work to Egan's principles of delivery

When prices are falling so quickly, due to lack of workload and competition to secure projects; it is slightly disingenuous to hear clients like Tesco being criticised for taking advantage of their position.

Not only should this include ground workers and steel or cladding contractors, and main contractors; but consultants as well need to be challenged and asked to contribute to a lower cost of delivery.

Tesco shopping trolleys

We have been a new partner in the Tesco stable for only a few months. Before we joined we were very concerned about their reputation as a brutal procurement business.

What has transpired is that they are methodical and consultative but focused on their ultimate end position. This makes them a good client and their teams, both on the professional and contracting/procurement side are clear about what they expect and logical in their application of their values and rules of engagement.

Of course, we are now “inside the tent” and therefore our view is biased; but they have a core team that they work with and allocate work to in a systematic way.

With this comes transparency of workload, and systemic initiatives to collaborate, share best practice and innovate, to reduce cost, optimise time and improve quality impacts on their workload – they are a good example of the Lathan/Egan principles of team construction delivery.

They are, when all is said and done, a commercial operation, run very well and making tough commercial decisions. In this market we need more companies like Tesco.