FACE-TO-FACE contact with clients, such as that offered at next May's Civils 2000 exhibition, is a vital step in forming the lasting partnerships necessary in today's competitive construction industry, contractors said this week.
As the industry moves towards negotiated contracts, partnering and alliances, personal relationships are becoming increasingly important in business.
Bigger firms are already pressing ahead with such new procurement routes and finding increasing favour in the public sector, a spokesman at groundwork specialist Bachy Soletanche said. He added that specialist subcontractors also needed to demonstrate the value of close, direct relationships to private clients.
Specialist knowledge brought to bear on a project at an early stage can help to optimise efficiency and reduce cost. However, conventional tender procedures often preclude discussion at a stage where it could make a significant difference.
The Bachy Soletanche spokesman said the company would be looking to develop relationships at Civils 2000 with a view to increasing work by negotiated contract and in partnership with the client. 'Based on our experience at Civils 98, we view Civils 2000 as a good platform for talking to clients,' he added.
Contractors exhibiting at Civils 2000 include specialists such as Makers Keller, Roger Bullivant, Colas, Ham Dredging and Van Elle, as well as Costain, Amec, Norwest Holst, Dean & Dyball, Nuttall and Jackson Engineering.