Last week I mentioned the NCCTP supplement to Building magazine (published Friday 14 September). After a slight delay due to technical problems, the whole supplement is now viewable online.
I noticed a small coincidence between the supplement and the main magazine. The latter included a lengthy piece by Davis Langdon‘s Simon Rawlinson: “Procurement – Target price contracts“, which talks at some length about the use of the New Engineering Contract (NEC) to support what Simon calls “co-operative working”. He stresses the need to manage information flows effectively and highlights the role that construction collaboration platforms might have:
“The NEC workflow is extensive and complex, so a management system should be in place to support the project manager and contractor in meeting timescales and updating reports. On projects worth more than £10m, web-based extranet systems designed to support the NEC workflow are invaluable.”
The coincidence? Well, one of the case studies in the NCCTP supplement – the BIW case study on p.8 – relates to the use of a collaborative platform to support an NEC-managed project undertaken by Davis Langdon’s Milton Keynes office (another version is available here).
Contract administration is a great example of where the more sophisticated construction collaboration platforms are moving away from just being regarded as document and/or drawing management repositories (it also helps differentiate construction-oriented systems from more generic ones unable to support the range/complexity of processes involved in construction contracts). Some UK clients, contractors and project managers are now looking to use online systems to support business-critical project processes, and thus extranets’ “co-operative” capacity (making processes and all the associated paper-work more transparent, accessible and auditable) and their support for contract-related workflows can add real value.