Last edited 23 Jul 2021

Main author

ECA Institute / association Website

Materials shortage prompts extra planning



[edit] Introduction

Increasingly long lead times for many products in mid-2021 has prompted ECA and SELECT to alert their members to the extended delays and urge them to plan ahead and order early. SELECT is the trade association for the electrical contracting industry in Scotland.

The joint call comes after ECA and SELECT met to identify key strategies and discuss how to continue their close collaboration. The two electrical trade bodies examined skills, training and the green revolution during the virtual meeting as they debated priorities for the second half of 2021 and beyond

[edit] Extended shortages anticipated

The warning by the trade associations comes hot on the heels of an alert from BEAMA that demand was likely to outstrip supply for some period of time.

The manufacturer’s trade association said a dramatic reduction in global steel production in the early days of the 2020/2021 pandemic had led to severe shortages. It added that, since mid-2020, the call for the types of steel used in cable management products, along with other applications, has increased as businesses attempt to meet a growth in demand and complete unfinished projects.

[edit] Comments

Both organisations are urging any members who are experiencing issues or want to find out more, to get in touch. ECA and SELECT are committed to offering advice and finding solutions to help members overcome obstacles created by these unprecedented times.

ECA’s CEO, Steve Bratt said: “When planning a project, bear in mind the world has changed. Delays in availability of some materials are impacting on cost and completion time. Our advice is to order the materials you need in good time to ensure you can finish as planned.”

Alan Wilson, managing director of SELECT, said: “Shortage of materials is an issue that will affect all contractors, so it’s vital for everyone to plan ahead and take proactive measures now.

“We join ECA in urging all members to keep abreast of any updates and recognise that this could well be an issue as the year develops. Ordering well in advance and factoring in for potential shortages and rising costs will help if there is any ongoing disruption to the supply chain.”

This article originally appeared under the headline, 'Materials shortage - ECA and SELECT warn Members to plan ahead'. It was published on 10 May 2021.


[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki


Material Shortages Are Your Responsibility!

A common question asked by Specialist Contractors is: “Do material shortages and extended delivery periods entitle me to claim for an extension of time on the basis that this was unforeseen circumstances outside of our control?"

The short answer is no, it probably doesn't!

Extension of Time Explained

Most construction subcontracts allow the construction period to be extended where there are delays that are not the Specialist Contractor's fault due to matters set out in the contract. This is described as an extension of time. Commonly abbreviated to EOT.

Not all Sub-Contracts are the same, and you need to be particularly careful when it comes to contracts drafted by the Contractor, or if the Contractor has heavily amended a standard form contract.

Crucially, even in a Standard Form JCT contract there is no provision for extension of time due to inability to obtain materials!

Is There A Way You Can Avoid The Consequences?

If you delay the Contractor, you become liable for a big thick sandwich of costs.

These are:

• Liquidated Damages (if the delay results in the Contractor incurring them)

• The Contractor's own costs

• Any other Subcontractor's cost (if delayed by your delay)

So, it's imperative that you look carefully to see if there are other arguments to run, such as "force majeure".

One things for sure, and that's it isn't straightforward, because when it comes to risk and money, Employers and Contractors like to pass the former down the supply chain and hang on to the latter!

More information is available at:

Designing Buildings Anywhere

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