The process of procurement
On many UK construction projects, the procurement team has considerable power, often to the detriment of the ﬁnalised project. The mantra will be to deliver the project at a cost – normally the cheapest possible. Cost plans that are produced quite often do not reﬂect the real cost of the project, and right from the outset the race is on to deliver to the cost plan. This is never more obvious than during the procurement process. The UK industry
has become used to chasing cheaper and cheaper targets, regardless of the long-term outcome. Procurement teams are, after all, doing their job. They need to ﬁnd suppliers who will supply the required item at the price they determine. However, more often than not any or all requirements suffer due to price. Most procurement teams have no idea of the technical issues involved, let alone the
aesthetics of design signiﬁcance. It is therefore a process akin to a lottery of performance issues. If the team is strong enough, and well organised, these points can be challenged – although the challenge is often defeated or modiﬁed – and it is the building that suffers. So why is life-cycle costing so neutralised by money? It is largely because the issues
have been taken over by that part of the industry. We are therefore left with an analysis that is largely removed from the real, practical and everyday world.