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Last edited 07 Dec 2020
In 2020, new processes and methods have emerged in all industries due to the need to work from home. Even construction has changed, prompted in part by clients who are embracing new technology. This, in combination with a range of other developments has resulted in the emergence of connected procurement, also referred to as procurement 4.0.
Instead of in-person meetings, people are now using web-based platforms to discuss, collaborate and plan. Even previously reluctant personnel and organisations have had to move to web-based alternatives, easing the way for greater digital transformation.
With a greater emphasis on data, clients may also demand greater transparency along with assurances regarding data protection and data integrity. However, those organisations that show a willingness to adopt new technologies may fare better both at finding new clients and creating new qualified partnerships.
 Connected Procurement: The Foundation of Construction Success
- The process of procurement: The survey found that contractor qualifications are one of the keys to winning projects.
- The value of trusted partnerships: The survey revealed an increased requirement for trust and a preference for a relationship with a single point of contact. Digital solutions were seen as an important part of preserving and relaying accurate information essential to building trust.
- The impact of COVID-19: In addition to compelling organisations to move forward with technology, the survey found that the current business climate has disrupted established partnerships. To create new partnerships, some companies have had to develop new relationships - some with digitally mature clients that may expect new ways of working.
- The view to the future: Technology was recognised as a leading factor in transforming the industry according to survey results. By creating networks, technology can help address issues around productivity, labour shortages and employee retention that survey participants have experienced.
 Sustainability and innovation
The report found that owners and general contractors are looking for new partners to adapt to industry-wide trends. It also found that approximately a third of owners and general contractors acknowledge the need to use more sustainable construction methods, which is one of the factors that is driving them to find new subcontractors and vendors.
In conjunction with the publication of this report, Autodesk has introduced the BuildingConnected bid management platform to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. The platform is already in operation in North America.
This information is based on a webinar entitled, 'Tackling Procurement Challenges in Preconstruction'. It was offered on 22 October 2020 as part of the Construction Manager 2020 Webinar Series, presented by Michael Hudson, Associate Director, Turner & Townsend and Chris Palmer (Technical Solutions Execution @Autodesk Construction Solutions).
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