Building today reports that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors‘ e-tendering system has been used only 50 times in the 15 months since its launch. The institution is said to be ‘baffled’; its executive director Joe Martin remarks: “never underestimate the power of inertia.”
Drivers Jonas partner Mike Cuthbert is scornful of the RICS becoming a tender provider: “There are lots of well used e-tendering services. Why would anyone go to the RICS? I can’t believe that’s the main purpose of a professional institution.”
I hate to say “I told you so”, but … I told you so. When it was launched in October 2007, I said ricsetendering.com would struggle against existing e-tendering services offered by several of the established vendors of construction collaboration technologies (eg: 4Projects, Asite, BIW [my employer] and Sarcophagus). These, unlike the RICS system, allow tendering to be fully integrated with other electronic project information exchanges, and many project team staff use them routinely so don’t need additional training to use an external system.