An Evaluation of Early Contractor Involvement in Procurement

Durkin, Alex (2016) An Evaluation of Early Contractor Involvement in Procurement. [Dissertation]

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The purpose of this study was to identify if existing standard forms of contract allowed for the use of Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) within procurement. A critical review of existing literature was undertaken and was structured using the following key headings;
1. The Definition of Early Contractor Involvement.
2. How Early Contractor Involvement sits among other forms of procurement.
3. The intervention point of Early Contractor Involvement within the RIBA Plan
of Works 2013.
4. Benefits and challenges of Early Contractor Involvement.
Structured interviews were then conducted using knowledge gained from the literature review to gather findings in relation to the current perception of ECI within the industry, including but not limited to, a) the definition of ECI; b) the processes of ECI; c) a comparison of ECI against other forms of procurement and d) benefits and issues associated with ECI. The qualitative findings were reviewed by undertaking a content analysis method, specifically focusing on the reoccurrence
of certain topics, phrases and words. Furthermore, the benefits and issues were ranked in order of importance using relative importance indices. The results showed that the awareness of the contractual element of ECI was minimal with the main barriers of the implementation of ECI being resistance to change and the awareness of the existence of ECI as a procurement route. It was clear however the benefits were glaringly obvious with there being no noticeable difference between the benefits of ECI discussed between, the client, QS’, Project Managers, subcontractors and designers. Results highlight that the contractual side of Early Contractor Involvement requires much further development however by creating a new contract solely for the use of Early Contractor Involvement, the results could in-fact, be detrimental to its inclusion within the construction industry.

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