Early contractor involvement (ECI), introduced by the Highways Agency in 2001 has commenced in Northern Ireland. The first five UK ECI schemes were investigated (Nichols Report, 2007) but there was an admission of limited piloting and research. Through an online survey and case study data this paper defines for the first time the success factors of the ECI procurement route against other UK Government approved procurement routes. It further shows cost savings of £59.3 m were achieved with an average saving per scheme of £5.4 m. ECI produces less time savings. The case studies confirm in larger schemes ECI supports risk management mitigating the costs accrued.However, there is often little benefit on smaller or low risk schemes. This research shows the negative issues relating to ECI costs and timescale stated by Owen (2009) are not shared by practitioners with initial opinions and statistics on the use of ECI being very positive.
Bibliographical noteReference text: Akintoye, A. and Fitzgerald, E. (1995) ‘Design and build: a survey of architects’ views’, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp.27–44.
Aritua, B., Smith, N. and Bower, D. (2011) ‘What risks are common to or amplified in programmes: Evidence from UK public sector infrastructure schemes’, International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp.303–312.
Atkinson, R. (1999) ‘Project management: cost, time and quality, two best guesses and a phenomenon, it’s time to accept other success criteria’, International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 17, No. 6, pp.337–342.
Bourn, J. (2007) Estimating and Monitoring the Costs of Building Roads in England, Department of Transport, National Audit Office, London [online] http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc0607/hc03/0321/0321.asp (accessed August 2013).
Bowden, S., Dorr, A., Thorpe, T. and Anumba, C. (2006) ‘Mobile ICT support for construction process improvement’, Automation in Construction, Vol. 15, No. 5, pp.664–676.
Bruce, D., Cali, P. and Woodward, M. (2012) ‘The history of deep mixing in New Orleans’, ‘Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Grouting and Deep Mixing’, International Conference Organization for Grouting, February, pp.15–18, New Orleans, LA.
Bryde, D. and Robinson, L. (2007) ‘The relationship between total quality management and the focus of project management practices’, The TQM Magazine, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp.50–61.
Bryman, A. (2004) Social Research Methods, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Bundgaard, K., Klazinga, D. and Visser, M. (2011) ‘Traditional procurement methods are broken:
can early contractor involvement be the cure?’, Terra et Aqua, September, No. 124, pp.25–30,
[online] http://www.iadc-dredging.com/ul/cms/terraetaqua/document/2/9/9/299/299/1/terra124-4.pdf (accessed August 2013).
Chan, D. and Kumaraswamy, D. (1997) ‘A comparative study of causes of time overruns in Hong
Kong construction projects’, International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp.55–63.
DFP (2006) Construction Procurement: Guide to Client Advisor and Project Management Service
Delivery, Central Procurement Directorate, Department of Finance and Personnel, Belfast.
Eadie, R., McKeown, C. and Anderson, K. (2012a) ‘The impact of the recession on procurement routes in the construction industry’, International Journal of Procurement Management, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp.24–38.
Eadie, R., Millar, P., McKeown, C. and Ferguson, M. (2012b) ‘The feasibility and rationale for using early contractor involvement ECI in Northern Ireland’, Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Innovation in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC), Sao Paulo, Brazil, Escola Politecnica, University of Sao Paulo Brazil [online] http://innovationinaec2012. pcc.usp.br/PROCEEDINGS/19%20The%20Feasibility%20and%20Rationale%20for%20using
%20Early%20Contractor%20Involvement%20ECI%20in%20Northern%20Ireland.pdf (accessed August 2013).
Eadie, R., Millar, P. and Toner, L. (2013) ‘Public private partnerships, re-evaluating value for money’, International Journal of Procurement Management, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp.152–169.
Ebbesen, J. and Hope, A. (2013) ‘Re-imagining the iron triangle: embedding sustainability into project constraints’, PM World Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3 [online] http://pmworldjournal.net/article/re-imagining-the-iron-triangle-embedding-sustainability-into-project-constraints/ (accessed August 2013).
Eddie, M. and O’Brien, E. (2007) Early Contractor Involvement: Providing Greater Certainty for Projects [online] http://www.lazuli.com.au/uploads/pdf/EarlyContractorInvolvement.pdf (accessed August 2013).
Edwards, R. (2008) Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) Contracts in the South Australia Transport Infrastructure Construction Industry [online] http://www.alliancecontractingiq.com/downloadSecureContent.cfm?ID=100 (accessed August 2013).
Emerson, H. (1962) Survey of Problems before the Construction Industries, Ministry of Works,
Grey, S. (1995) Practical Risk Assessment for Project Management, John Wiley & Sons, West
Halcrow (2008) N8 Motorway, Cashel to Mitchelstown [online] http://www.halcrow.com/Ourprojects/
Project-details/N8-motorway-Cashel-Ireland/ (accessed August 2013).
Hellowell, M., Price, D. and Pollock, A. (2008) The Use of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Northern Ireland [online] http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/64358/AAA_PFI-PPP_Booklet_12-08.pdf (accessed August 2013).
HM Treasury (2004) Value for Money Assessment Guide, HMSO, London, UK.
HM Treasury (2010) Spending Review HM Treasury [online] http://www.hm treasury.gov.uk/spend_index.htm (accessed August 2013).
ICE (UK) (2009) Procurement and Contract Strategies, Institute of Civil Engineers, NEC, Thomas
Telford Ltd, London [online] http://www.neccontract.com/documents/Procure_press.pdf (accessed August 2013).
Johnston, W. (2011) A5 Dualling Londonderry to Aughnacloy [online] http://www.wesleyjohnston.
com/roads/a5omaghstrabane.html#updates (accessed August 2013).
Kelly, J., Male, S. and Graham, D. (2004) Value Management of Construction Projects, Blackwell
Science, Oxford, UK.
KPMG (2010) Delivering Value for Money through Infrastructural Change [online]
http://readingroom.lsc.gov.uk/SFA/VFM_Infrastuctural_Change_Report.pdf (accessed August 2013).
Kraft, E. and Molenaar, K. (2013) ‘Fundamental project quality assurance organizations in highway design and construction’, Journal of Management in Engineering, in press [online]http://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/(ASCE)ME.1943-5479.0000197 (accessed August 2013).
Kwak, Y. and Laplace, K. (2005) ‘Examining risk tolerance in project-driven organization’, Technovation, Vol. 25, No. 6, pp.691–695.
Lewis, M. and Roehrich, J. (2009) ‘Contracts, relationships and integration: towards a model of the
procurement of complex performance’, International Journal of Procurement Management, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp.125–142.
Lloyd-Walker, B. and Walker, D. (2012) ‘Understanding early contractor involvement (ECI) procurement forms’, in Smith S. (Ed.): Proceedings of the 28th Annual ARCOM Conference,
3–5 September, pp.877–887, School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading.
MacDonald, C., Walker, D., and Moussa, N. (2013) ‘Towards a project alliance value for money
framework’, Facilities, Vol. 31, Nos. 5/6, pp.279–309.
Mashiah, G. (2008) ‘Ensuring ‘buildability’ of sewage treatment plant designs: Clarence valley
council’s ‘early contractor involvement’ process’, Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, pp.1–8, Edinburgh, Scotland [online] http://web.sbe.hw.ac.uk/staffprofiles/bdgsa/11th_International_Conference_on_Urban_Drainage_CD/ICUD08/pdfs/559.pdf (accessed August 2013).
McDonald, M. and Crawford, K. (2010) ‘Rail duplication and construction: New Lynn Rail Trench’, Proceedings of CORE 2010: Rail, Rejuvenation and Renaissance, pp.637–646, Engineers Australia, Wellington, N.Z. [online]http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=770735204272544;res=IELENG
(accessed September 2013).
Molenaar, K., Triplett, J., Porter, J., DeWitt, S. and Yakowenko, G. (2008) ‘Early contractor
involvement and target pricing in U.S. and UK highways’, Transportation Research Record:
Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vols. 2040/2007, pp.3–10.
Mosey, D. (2009) How to Be Good when Times are Bad: Early Contractor Involvement [online]
3135802.article#ixzz0gamXqvpv (accessed August 2013).
Nichols, M. (2007) Review of Highways Agency’s Major Roads Programme, Report to Secretary of
State for Transport, The Nichols Group, London [online] http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/pgr-roads-nicholsreport/nicholsreport.pdf (accessed August 2013).
OGC (2003) Achieving Excellence Guide 6: Procurement and Contract Strategies, H.M.S.O.
Oppenheim, A. (2001) Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement, Continuum,
Owen, E. (2009) ‘Highways agency to review ECI’, New Civil Engineer [online]
http://www.nce.co.uk/highways-agency-to-review-eci/5200210.article (accessed August 2013).
Oyegoke, A., McDermott, P. and Abbott, C. (2009) ‘Achieving sustainability in construction through the specialist task organisation procurement approach’, International Journal of Procurement Management, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp.288–313.
Oyegoke, A., McDermott, P. and Dickinson, M. (2010) ‘The myth behind integration in the UK
construction industry’, International Journal of Procurement Management, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp.247–264.
Pritchard, C. (2010) Risk Management: Concepts and Guidance, 4th ed., ESI International, Arlington, USA.
Pryke, S. (2006) ‘Legal issues associated with emergent actor roles in innovative U.K.
procurement: prime contracting case study’, Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering
Education and Practice, Vol. 132, No. 1, pp.67–76.
Rahman, M. and Alhassan, A. (2012) ‘A contractor’s perception on early contractor involvement’,
Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp.217–233.
Rubin, A. and Babbie, E. (2004) Research Methods of Social Work, Thomson Wadsworth, UK.
Sanchez, A., Lehtiranta, L., Hampson, K. and Kenley, R. (2013) ‘Sustainable infrastructure
procurement in Australia: standard vs. project practices’, Proceedings of the CIB World
Building Congress, 5–9 May, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland
[online] at http://eprints.qut.edu.au/59834/ (accessed August 2013).
Scheepbouwer, E. and Humphries, A. (2011) ‘Transition in adopting project delivery method with
early contractor involvement’, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2228, No. 1, pp.44–50.
Sheenan, K. (2001) ‘E-mail survey response rates: a review’, Journal of Computer-Mediated
Communication, Vol. 6, No. 2 [online] http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol6/issue2/sheehan.html (accessed August 2013).
Song, L., Mohamed, Y. and AbouRizk, S. (2009) ‘Early contractor involvement in design and its
impact on construction schedule performance’, Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp.12–20, ASCE.
Sullivan, M. (2007) RICS Contracts in Use Survey A Survey of Building Contracts in Use 2007,
London, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors [online] http://lcbuilding.com/wpcontent/uploads/2011/06/RICS_Contracts_in_use_6__2_.pdf (accessed August 2013).
Trigunarsyah, B. (2006) ‘Case studies on implementation of constructability improvement by
construction project owners in Indonesia’, in Brown, K., Hampson, K. and Brandon, P. (Eds.):
Proceedings of Clients Driving Innovation: Moving Ideas into Practice, Second International
Conference of the CRC for Construction Innovation, Gold Coast, Australia, 12–14 March, pp.1–10 [online] http://eprints.qut.edu.au/6540/1/6540.pdf (accessed August 2013).
Van Valkenburg, M., Lenferink, S., Nijsten, R. and Arts, J. (2008) ‘Early contractor involvement: a
new strategy for ‘buying the best’ in infrastructure development in the Netherlands’, Proceedings of 3rd International Public Procurement Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 28–30 August [online] http://www.ippa.org/IPPC3/Proceedings/Chaper%2022.pdf (accessed August 2013).
Whitehead, J. (2009) ‘Early contractor involvement – the Australian experience’, Construction Law
International, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp.20–26.
Williams, T. and Samset, K. (2010) ‘Issues on front end decision making on projects’, Project
Management Journal, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp.38–49.
Wolstenholme, A., Austin, S., Bairstow, M., Blumenthal, A., Lorimer, J., McGuckin, S., Rhys Jones, S., Ward, D., Whysall, D., Le Grand, Z., Guthrie, W. and Davies, R. (2009) ‘Never waste a good crisis’, Constructing Excellence, London [online] http://www.constructingexcellence.org.uk/pdf/Wolstenholme_Report_Oct_2009.pdf (accessed August 2013).
- government policy
- government procurement routes
- government procurement
- early contractor involvement