These words are uttered from on high usually post the company’s annual results, so who can do it?
There are few countries in the world that have a role in construction called ‘Contract Administrator’. We have them here in Australia. They are a part quantity surveyor, part accounts clerk. They get involved in procurement, signing up subcontractors, issuing head contract variations and managing subcontractor payments. We do not need them. If they were good quantity surveyors then that is what they would be. They are in place to manage dollars and using commercial acumen they should increase the bottom line. But they do not yet get paid very well.
We should employ top notch quantity surveyors for all claims, payment and variation assessments, delay and EOT submissions. The day to admin is for site clerks and leave increasing the bottom line to people who understand construction methodology, programming and sequencing, resource management and have the experience to find every dollar. Large projects need an accountant to prepare cash flow, accruals, work in progress and manage the payment process.
I suppose this rant is due to having spent so much time finding good contract administrators and I have. But the good ones are wasted shuffling paper as they are project manager potential and that should be there goal. By the time the contract administrator starts letting trades the haemorrhaging of the budget has usually started. We make our money before we start on site and the deals are done with suppliers and subcontractors preferably at tender stage and by people far more senior and experienced than the contract administrator.
My preference is to get project staff out of constrained boxes and develop teams that understand the whole process from submitting tenders, conversion, setting up budgets, programming, procurement, managing the construction process, delivery snd client satisfaction.
And increasing EBIT. Profit is not a dirty word.