About six weeks ago, I noted (NEC3 Licensed Content partners announced) how quick off the mark construction collaboration technology vendor 4Projects was to announce its new role as an NEC3 Licensed Content Partner, which it followed by a concerted campaign on Twitter, LinkedIn and its blog (indeed, 4Projects has nominated its PR campaign for a Be2Award – post). By contrast, fellow content partner BIW Technologies has waited until well after the Christmas construction break to issue its own news release, which highlights adoption of its NEC capability by some customers: Promanex, The Clarkson Alliance and Mace.
However, the NEC’s decision to license two partners does not mean that the NEC contract administration battleground is now between just two companies. BIW and 4Projects may have the advantage of official endorsement by NEC, and will be able to integrate NEC3 operational detail and guidance into their applications, but alternatives remain. The NEC Licensed Content Partner process was contested by several other firms; NEC specialists such as MPS and Sypro (post), and workflow or vendor document modules delivered by rival collaboration technology vendors such as Asite, Sword-CTSpace and Aconex, will help project teams manage their NEC processes (indeed, I wrote about contract management as the new ‘extranet’ battleground in October 2008).
Let’s face it, over the past decade industry experience in deploying the NEC suite of contracts has grown, and the collaboration vendors have both seen an opportunity and have been pressed by their customers and professional end-users to support NEC workflows.
Potentially, continued adoption of the NEC3 contract, with its rigorous control and reporting requirements regarding issue and response to notices, could also help promote the use of online tools, even on projects or among consultants, contractors and suppliers which hitherto have had little or no exposure to such platforms. For example, UK-based web news service Construction Enquirer has today reported that Sypro is to teach supply chain organisations across Yorkshire about NEC compliance.
YORbuild is a series of collaborative construction frameworks for the procurement of new build, refurbishment and design/build construction works for the Yorkshire and Humber region’s 22 local authorities and other regionally based public sector bodies, including third sector organisations. It has appointed local firm Sypro to train trade contractors in use of the NEC contract, and YORbuild will use the firm’s specialist software to run contracts.