Effective procurement helps guarantee that clients get the buildings they want, when they want them, at the right price and to the highest quality.

On the face of it, procuring HVAC products and services effectively seems relatively straightforward, at least for the client – define your needs, put the work out to tender and select the best organisation for the job.

Why, then, is it so notoriously difficult to achieve in practice? Too many projects suffer from inadequate or inappropriate procurement decisions and the result is massively over-priced buildings that overrun their build schedules and fail to meet their design objectives.

Best value over low price

The heart of the problem is our industry’s obsession with lowest price rather than best value. Best value does not relate purely to price; it takes into account other factors including sustainability, buildability, environmental issues, energy efficiency, the ability of the contractors and how much it is going to cost to run the building.

Unfortunately, all too often we insist on delivering our products and services through the same old tired, traditional means. As well as encouraging price cutting, traditional procurement is intrinsically adversarial and there are several negative consequences associated with this including the widespread use of retentions and unfair payment practices.

But the procurement problems don’t end there…

Traditional procurement is fragmented with everybody in silos so that a lot of people contribute to the delivery process, but they are all appointed, and operate, independently of one another.

It is difficult to dislodge traditional procurement largely because of inertia, conservatism and poor advice from lawyers. It is also seen as a vehicle for dumping risk; an attractive option in today’s rabidly risk-averse culture. On top of this, there is often a lack of confidence in organisations that do things differently and this militates against change.

Finally, arguably, we don’t have a sufficient level of competence in the industry to manage the design process effectively.

There are encouraging signs that a few enlightened organisations are beginning to procure in a different way, for example, through joint ventures, partnering and integrated working. However, this is not happening quickly enough, and inefficient traditional procurement practice remains stubbornly in place with all the waste that this involves (it has, for example, been calculated that for every pound spent on procurement another is wasted).

It’s time to radically re-engineer the way we do business to ensure we create a progressive industry that delivers efficiently, engages people effectively, creates profitability for everybody, and produces savings and quality for the client.

Is that really too much to ask?

Klima-Therm can help with the specification, supply, installation and maintenance of your HVAC schemes. Contact us for more information.