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We’re supporting more customers than ever to work through the backlog of projects delayed during the pandemic.

As the market begins to react, Contractors have alerted us to challenges they’re facing with material supply, labour shortages and delays. In some of these cases, these challenges have come hand-in-hand with increases in price.

Our focus has always been on helping SEC Members to deliver intelligent procurement. To help you adapt to the changing environment, and make sure your project isn’t impacted, we’re working with our suppliers to produce a market impact report which will help you with your procurement pipelines. This will be ready for you in the Summer.

In the meantime, here’s some insight into our experiences and the potential for impact –

Some merchants are experiencing shortages of certain building materials. The majority of these are being managed and overcome before they affect you (the end customer).  However, it’s always a good idea to keep an open dialogue with your own merchants and plan ahead to account for any possible delays. When speaking to us about your projects we’ll always keep you up to date with any changes.

Contractors are also experiencing skilled labour shortages. This is causing some delays in tender returns, and in some cases a decrease in the number of organisations bidding for work. Contractors are having to be more selective.  They have to take into account your project timescales, its location and their own available resources.

In order to mitigate delays –

  • Carry out more pre-market engagement – This is in line with the Cabinet Office’s Green Paper on ‘Transforming Public Procurement’. Speak to the supply chain. Ask them if they are feeling the impact of these challenges. Speak to us at SEC. We’re engaging with the market daily on a number of different projects. This gives us great insight into what’s happening. We’ll always help you with this when using our frameworks.
  • Give early notice – Speak to us ahead of time about your upcoming pipeline. We can publish your EOI (Expression of Interest) early so the market can prepare.
  • Allow more time for tender returns – Please allow enough time for contractors to return their bids. This will make your project more attractive to them in the current environment.
  • Prepare good quality documentsEnsure that your tender documents are complete, comprehensive and well thought through. This will help contractors to fully understand your project. In a more challenging tender environment this will also make your project more attractive. Speak to us if you need some help with this – we have a Technical team on hand to support Members.

Material supply and labour shortages can be managed through good planning so it’s always best to follow the advice above.

Our Head of Business Partnerships, David Smith is speaking to our suppliers and Procurement team on the current situation. He has provided the following update –

Providing cost certainty and value for money is at the heart of what we do. And, we urge customers to work to take note of the ideas we’ve shared in this article – it’s all about good planning.

We’re working closely with our framework suppliers to support them and fully understand the causes behind the delays they’re experiencing. Many have already spoken to us about scaffolding and materials in particular. We continue to encourage them to get in touch with us so we can further assist our customers when new enquiries arrive and also at the EOI stage.  We’ll be able to assist in managing customer expectations.

We’d also welcome contact from any of our stakeholders who’d like to contribute to our market report.

David Smith, Head of Business Partnerships, South East Consortium

If you’d like to speak to us about this in more detail please get in touch – we’re happy to help. We are currently in the process of liaising with framework contractors and consultants who will be contributing to our summer report.

Ellie Park
Marketing & Communications Partner   /   020 8036 2948
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