2016 closed with positive news for Construction in the UK as we enjoyed our largest growth in new orders according to an industry survey by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).
The survey concluded that improving order intake and a rebound in business conditions generally had helped lift construction output to its highest level since the referendum on Britain’s status within the EU.
CIPS described the figures as a “robust and accelerated expansion” of the sector and this is positive in terms of providing job certainty into 2017. Growth forecasts for the next year however are less positive: accountants PWC have forecasted this slowing to 1.2% in 2017 and further, it seems much of our success will hinge on the British Government’s Brexit strategy.
Procurement challenges ahead
What is becoming a concern for Construction Buyers and Quantity Surveyors is what CIPS described as “intense cost pressures” being placed on them due to the weaker pound. The fall in the value of sterling has driven up the cost of materials and services to its highest point for five years and this is only likely to worsen.
This is of particular concern to Construction Buyers working on those projects secured in late 2016 as they will now face significant challenges as raw material costs fluctuate seriously in 2017.
Construction Buyers are therefore being encouraged to re-think their buying trends in order to deliver greater productivities. The UK Government recognised, as part of its Construction 2025 report, that Construction Buyers could make “the biggest efficiency gains from early engagement of its supply chain” and therefore, Buyers are encouraged to forward-plan for the year ahead.
To this end, Construction Buyers are pointed to new technologies such as the procurement platform, C-Link.
Described as a “highly useful and effective tool”, the free of charge service allows Quantity Surveyors to build their procurement schedules online and to search the entire construction supply chain with one click.
C-Link is allowing Quantity Surveyors to better understand the Specialist market and in turn, tender to a wider pool of Specialists in order to maximize time and cost savings.
Find out more at www.c-link.com.
About Paul Heming
Paul was a Quantity Surveyor who gained 10 years experience of managing £200 million worth of flagship UK projects, including 20 Fenchurch Street and Battersea Power Station. In 2015, Paul founded C-Link with the intention of sharing his expertise of managing major projects with the SME market.