Many countries across world have implemented procurement strategies that frankly leave the NZ market seeming two steps behind them. We are seeing a shift in thinking on the topic, and the largest businesses that control construction programmes and supply chain are doing best. With the overall busyness we are experiencing in the industry, arguably more needs to be done to ensure the cost of construction does not skyrocket out of control.
Now I am no Procurement specialist myself, but having spoken to some seriously knowledgeable people over the past few years I see how this skill is becoming ever more important. I found some info published by the Chartered Institute of Building that really breaks down the entire topic nicely for the layperson; https://www.ciob.org/sites/default/files/CIOB%20research%20-%20Procurement%20in%20the%20Construction%20Industry%202010_1.pdf
Procurement and construction logistics is often viewed as part of the engineering process or project management duties, and seldom a standalone discipline. That will change.
Walter Glass of www.corplogistics.co.nz is clear that this topic needs to be brought to the limelight. He wrote an article recently outlying some of the key points on the logistics topic are found at: http://www.constructionnews.co.nz/opinion/construction-logistics-an-emerging-perspective-by-walter-ass?A=SearchResult&SearchID=9251074&ObjectID=3339179&ObjectType=35
The businesses that are future proofing are developing strategies to buy the right materials, at the right times and the best price through best practices proven the world over. I look at the frightening scenario in the Wellington region, where the major civil projects alone, once in full swing in 2017-2018, will require more aggregate, asphalt, concrete, crane and transport services than actually exist. Add the building industry as well as the needs of Auckland and Christchurch and I foresee a hugely expensive problem for the entire country. That isn’t even looking at lack of tradesmen, engineers, site and project staff required to complete the work.
Those with the most foresight are building the right strategies to minimise risk and develop new methodologies, new materials and new supply chain relationships in the interest of minimising cost to the developers, and meeting the contractual timelines on future projects. Hopefully time is still on our side.