NBS Contracts survey mute on contract tools

Opportunity missed, I think, sums up my view of the findings from the the NBS National Construction Contracts and Law Survey 2012, at least so far as construction collaboration technologies are concerned.

I was hoping that, following recent years’ growth in the use of web-based platforms to support project team communications – and contract administration in particular – that the survey (conducted among 1000 UK industry professionals) might have revealed how many projects were using collaboration platforms. Also, it could have shown, within that number, how many were using contract change management applications (such as the officially licensed NEC3 tools provided by 4Projects and conject, and rival systems from vendors such as Sypro, MPS, etc – post).

But the survey is largely mute on the whole area of technology, apart from tendering, where the survey:

“uncovered a wide, but not universal adoption of electronic tendering. Fifty-eight per cent of consultants, 58 per cent of clients and 74 per cent of contractors use electronic tendering to some degree, for at least some of their projects. So, while three-quarters of contractors use electronic tender documents (and so, presumably, are able to deal with electronic documents from all of the construction team), over 40 per cent of consultants and clients are still not using electronic tendering at all.”

At least BIM gets some mentions in the report, and my fellow Constructing Excellence Collaborative Working Champion, Nick Deeming, an architect and partner at Newcastle-based FaulknerBrowns, is hopeful of the changes that may result from wider adoption of BIM:

“BIM will change the way we work, collaborate and contract with each other. … BIM requires us to engage with one another in a different way and in a way that is fundamentally collaborative. At last our industry will evolve from a wasteful, inefficient and cost-focused mind set to an IT enabled and enriched, value added, collaborative environment.”

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