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CRITERIA OF CHOICE FOR PROCUREMENT METHODS
Prof. Peter Hibberd Dr Ramdane Djebarni Centre For Research In The Built Environment University Of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan CF37 1DL, UK 1.

Introduction

Over the past fifteen years much work has been done on attempting to define procurement paths and Masterman (1992) provides a good background to some of this work. As the traditional procurement route came under closer scrutiny other procurement routes developed and consequently means for selection were considered. In 1985 NEDO set out general requirements for the selection of a procurement path and others including Skitmore and Marsden in 1988, Bennett and Grice in 1990 and ELSIE computer system in 1990 sought to assist in making the selection. More recently Morledge and Sharif (1996, a,b) have discussed procurement strategy, summarised procurement options and outlined a process to assist in the selection of the best procurement strategy. Gillespie (1994) questions the extent that rationality plays in procurement selection and suggest that other factors often influence choice. Some other researchers suggested the use of fuzzy logic to produce computerised systems to help practitioners (Peak et al., 1992; Russell, 1992). Turner (1990) provides an assessment of the risk inherent in procurement routes and it can be inferred that this is an important determinant in the route selected. It is known that procurement methods play a major role in defining and shaping contractual and work relationships between parties involved in the construction process. Therefore, a better understanding of those methods and criteria that practitioners use in their selection is a very important step in enhancing our understanding of the issue. This paper presents the results of a study into criteria of selection for procurement methods used in the construction industry in the UK, and investigates the issue of satisfaction with procurement methods. 2. 2.1 Background Procurement methods

A review of current practices in the UK shows different approaches to the procurement of building projects. A classification of these approaches is extremely complex because there are not clear and universally accepted definitions of what a particular procurement method is. This raises a major issue in that if there is no accepted definition of what comprises a particular procurement route, the possibility of establishing criteria to achieve specific objectives is problematic, if not remote. McCanlis (1967) pointed out the problems with the traditional descriptors of contractual arrangements but notwithstanding the acknowledged problems, ELSIE (1990) computer system and Masterman (1992) have defined the various procurement routes.

If the characteristics of a procurement route can be identified and the impact of these characteristics upon performance can be measured, then and only then, can the selection of a specific procurement path serve a purpose.

2.2

Procurement’ criteria for selection

The literature review on this issue reveals a wide spectre of reasons put forward for choosing a particular procurement method. Rowlinson & Newcombe (1984), in their research on the impact of procurement methods on performance, produced a table that provides a general overview of the respective characteristics of types of contractual arrangement (see table 1). This taken with Turner’s risk assessment and that set out in Latham (1994) provides a useful, albeit fairly crude tool. This paper describes research which has attempted to refine these issues and to provide a greater understanding of procurement decisions and needs.

Types of Arrangemen t Traditional Arrangemen t Design and Build Measureme nt Prime Cost

Price Certainty Fairly good Good Average to poor Poor

Level (inc. fees) Low

Design Parallel Working No

Changes Easy

Buildabilit y No

Time Before Start Slow

Medium Medium High

Yes Yes Yes

Difficult Easy Easy

Yes No No...
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