Last year, Peter Rogers, director of Stanhope, and Paul Morrell, senior partner in Davis Langdon & Everest, both criticised Carillion and Tarmac’s lack of involvement in Schal projects.
Schal’s recently appointed chief executive, Paul Reeder, conceded that the move to forge closer links was prompted by the views of clients.
He said: “We’re emphasising the fact that we have the support of Carillion in all that we do. Carillion has a wealth of experience that I want to be able to offer to clients.”
He added: “Carillion is seen as more friendly towards clients these days. Tarmac was primarily seen as a materials supplier, whereas Carillion is seen as a services supplier. As a company, it is now more service-oriented than materials-oriented, and clients like that.”
Reeder said he believes that the lump-sum contract will give Schal a competitive advantage over other construction management firms that do not have the kind of financial backing that Carillion gives Schal. The construction management market has seen a shake-up over the past year, with Bovis bought by Australian developer and contractor Lend Lease.
Employee-owned Mace has also launched a fixed-price guarantee to clients, through an insurance cover scheme.
Stanhope’s Rogers welcomed the closer links between the two firms. He said: “It will give Schal a good deal of extra clout in procurement and in giving clients fixed-price positions.
“It will also mean that Schal has a knowledgeable skills base to tap into within Carillion on major projects. They should be able to transfer a lot of good knowledge between each other.”