How depressing this 'macho' vocabulary of 'driving costs down' and 'squeezing profit'.
What an industry we inhabit!
I am sure many of my contracting colleagues would be quite happy with an assured profit of 2% on turnover. A much more important issue is the return on capital employed - which brings us into the field of timely payments within a well-structured commercial framework (client authority issues that need applying throughout the supply chain).
Rather than simply 'cost', the focus should be on driving out waste and improving efficiency, that is, good management. This is what I thought the Highways Agency's CAT process was trying to address.
The Agency's ECI initiative is a very brave step change in procurement. It now needs the whole industry to collaborate in its delivery.
Ian Hunt, Ian. email@example.com. com