IADC: New “Facts About Early Contractor Involvement – Revisited” (The Netherlands)

Facts About Early Contractor Involvement - Revisited

The preparatory work for large infrastructure projects often consumes an extraordinary amount of time, money and human resources and is not particularly cost-effective.

Some of this inefficiency is caused by traditional procurement methods which bring contractors into the process after many key decisions have been made. Often clients and consultants make design decisions with insufficient information and knowhow as to the available technology, equipment and potential innovative solutions. The contractors may be challenged because of insufficient knowledge of the physical conditions at the project site.

Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) provides an efficient means of designing and planning infrastructure projects in a cost-effective, more efficient and less adversarial structure.

Using ECI with a properly executed contract that reflects a relationship able to deal with project risks should increase transparency and therefore reduce risks, increase shared responsibilities and limit the reasons for disputes.

With traditional procurement a client/owner must make many decisions before accurate information has been collected. The experiential knowledge of contractors is rarely requested in the planning stages and is therefore seldom used. This ultimately leads to inaccurate conclusions, which may have an adverse effect on the project outcome in terms of price, time and quality.

Project designers – who do not necessarily know how to scope and cost – come on board first. Thereafter contractors brought in. Getting involved when a design has already been determined forces contractors to be re-active instead of pro-active. By telling the contractor what to do, by taking the lowest price and negotiating it downwards, project risks increase. Rather than negotiating the price downwards, prices and the risk of poor performance rise.

Frequently when project performance on an infrastructure project is less than optimal, the reputation of the construction industry in general is harmed: The public’s perception (and the client’s) may be that time schedules are not trustworthy, budgets will run wild, technical solutions are failing and the government, the authority and the industry seem to have difficulty getting it right.

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Press Release, June 4, 2013

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