I refer to your letter from Christopher Vickers entitled 'Cut costs by joining Constructionline' (NCE 4 May).
Quite clearly, Mr Vickers has never attempted, as a client, to obtain a shortlist of tenderers for a mediumsized project using Constructionline. It grinds extremely slowly. Furthermore, the shortest list I have ever managed to produce contained the names of 92 firms.
In order to view the firms, one then has to call them up 20 at a time with each batch taking several minutes to surface. The more firms that register with Constuctionline the longer such lists will become and the more tedious and long-winded the operation. Sadly, I find it difficult to envisage any logical way of reducing the lists.
I can see only one sensible use for Constructionline in avoiding the necessity for firms to prequalify in order to be added to clients own inhouse lists. Forget about using it to produce project specific short lists - it does not and cannot work.
Peter Simmonds, design and programming manager, County Property Services, Northampton County Council, PO Box 128, County Hall, Northampton NN1 1AS