Navigating the Procurement Process in Construction

14th September, 2023

The procurement process plays a pivotal role in the field of quantity surveying. As construction projects continue to increase in complexity and scale, effective procurement strategies are crucial for ensuring cost efficiency, timely project delivery, and client satisfaction. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to navigating the procurement process in quantity surveying, highlighting key steps, challenges, and best practices. By understanding the intricacies of procurement, quantity surveyors can optimize their role in project delivery and contribute to successful outcomes.


  1. Understanding the Procurement Process – The procurement process in quantity surveying involves the acquisition of goods, services, and works required for a construction project. It encompasses activities such as identifying project requirements, sourcing suppliers, evaluating bids, and awarding contracts. Familiarising oneself with the different procurement methods commonly used in the industry, such as traditional, design and build, or construction management, is essential. Each method has distinct characteristics and implications for project delivery.


  1. Pre-Procurement Phase – Before initiating the procurement process, thorough preparation is necessary. This phase involves defining project objectives, establishing a budget, and developing procurement strategies. Key activities during this phase include conducting a feasibility study, preparing tender documents, and defining evaluation criteria. It is crucial to engage stakeholders, including clients, architects, and engineers, to ensure alignment of expectations and requirements.


  1. Procurement Methods – Different procurement methods offer varying degrees of risk allocation, cost control, and flexibility. Quantity surveyors must analyse the project’s unique characteristics and select the most appropriate method. Traditional procurement involves separate design and construction contracts, providing a clear division of responsibilities. Design and build procurement integrates design and construction under a single contract, fostering collaboration. Construction management procurement enables early involvement of contractors during the design phase, allowing for value engineering and cost savings.


  1. Tendering and Contract Award – The tendering process involves soliciting bids from potential suppliers and evaluating them based on predetermined criteria. Quantity surveyors play a crucial role in ensuring a fair and transparent evaluation process. Evaluating bids involves technical, financial, and commercial considerations, such as assessing the supplier’s experience, financial stability, and proposed contract terms. Once bids are evaluated, the contract is awarded to the successful bidder.


  1. Post-Award Phase – Following contract award, quantity surveyors are responsible for contract administration and cost management. This involves monitoring project progress, managing variations, assessing and certifying payments, and ensuring compliance with contractual terms. Effective communication and collaboration with all project stakeholders are vital during this phase.


Navigating the procurement process is a critical aspect of quantity surveying. By understanding the different stages, methods, and challenges, quantity surveyors can contribute to successful project outcomes. Effective procurement strategies can help achieve cost efficiency, minimise risks, and enhance project delivery. It is essential for quantity surveyors to stay updated with industry best practices, evolving procurement methodologies, and relevant regulations to ensure their role remains effective and valuable. By doing so, they can navigate the procurement process with confidence, enabling them to make significant contributions to the construction industry.


More information on Procurement and Management of Subcontractors can be found below:

Keys to Procurement and Management of Sub-Contractors | The Quantity Surveyor

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