In May 2011, I wrote about RICS Contract Administrator, a web-based service provided by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for managing JCT contract processes. At the time, the RICS told me take-up of the tool was mostly be small and medium-sized firms as larger firms tended to have other systems, and many users still apparently preferred to print out paper copies of the forms rather than send them electronically.
If you haven’t heard of this before and are keen to try it out, you’d better rush as the service is to be discontinued. No new projects can be created after January 2013. According to an email I received yesterday:
“RICS Contract Administrator has been running for three years, but unfortunately it is no longer commercially viable and we have had to make the difficult decision to close RICS Contract Administrator. RICS Contract Administrator will be closing on 31 July 2013, and you will no longer be able to use it for your projects after this date. … To reduce the risk of having partially completed projects at the closure date, you will no longer be able to start new projects in Contract Administrator from 31 January 2013.
“An archive tool is being created to allow you to export copies of all your past and current projects for further use or record-keeping purposes. You will be notified once this service is available.”
It is not the only RICS web offering to be under-used; as I have written previously (eg: in July 2012), the RICS eTendering service has faced stiff competition from rival services, some integrated with SaaS document collaboration services, and was used just 50 times in the 15 months following its launch.
The RICS Contract Administrator platform also faced competition from many of the same SaaS vendors. While NEC contract administration has been a key battleground, firms such as Asite also offer JCT contract administration as part of a wider suite of services built around document collaboration (post).
Update (2 August 2013): Email from RICS says RICS Contract Administrator will be closing on 31 August 2013 and a tool to export project data is now available at https://www.