Last edited 12 Jan 2021

Procurement team for design and construction

Procurement is the purchasing process for goods and services. On a construction project, procurement may be used to purchase design services, construction works, goods, mateirals and so on.

The team that carry out this process (or part of it) may be described as a procurement team. Their functions are typically conducted via a tendering process and may involve; defining procurement packages, preparing tender documents, identifying suitable suppliers, assessing tender submissions, negotiating and agreeing terms and so on.

They will typically work for contractor or developer, and ensure the design and construction of a building is procured according to a strategy that meets both their own commercial needs and the objectives of the client. Typical considerations are likely to include speed, cost, quality, specific project constraints, risk, ownership, financing, insurance and warranties, track record, market conditions and so on.

A procurement team (which my range from a single individual to a whole department) is usually necessary as projects are complex, with many suppliers and defined timescales, and contractors may be inundated with offers from suppliers. It is the job of the procurement team to manage suppliers and develop purchasing strategies that meet the requirements of the project.

The procurement manager who may lead the procurement team will usually be responsible for developing a clear procurement strategy for the purchase of goods and services. They may be part of a wider finance team and will typically be a qualified, mid- to senior-level management individual.

The members of a procurement team will usually be professionals who are experienced in providing essential services and skills related to the purchase of materials and supplies for the building project. They may have relevant educational qualifications in business, purchasing, quantity surveying, construction managment and so on, but usually, there are no specific requirements to have procurement-related qualifications. Some procurement managers and team members may simply have long and valued experience in the area. However, qualifications options are available, for example through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).

The individuals working for a procurement manager may be organised so that each is responsible for procuring certain aspects of a construction contract e.g materials for substructure, superstructure, fit-out etc.

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