Which workplace procurement method will work best for you?

When it comes to the design and fitout of your new space, there are two routes that can be taken – Traditional, or Design and Build.

The one you choose all depends on the demands of your project, we compare these two methods to help you make a better decision…

What does ‘Traditional’ mean?

Traditional workplace procurement remains the most commonly-used method of procuring building works. It comprises a tripartite arrangement involving a client, consultants and contractor.

The traditional workplace procurement route involves separating design from construction. The client first appoints consultants to design the project in detail and to ensure cost control and inspect the construction works as they proceed. Contractors are then invited to submit tenders for the construction of the project on a single-stage competitive basis.

What does ‘Design & Build’ mean?

Design and build is a workplace procurement route in which the main contractor is appointed to design and construct the works, as well as the M&E package on most occasions. Design and build can be attractive to clients as it gives a single point of responsibility for delivering the project.

Design and build projects can follow either a single-stage or two-stage tender process.

More details can be found on each procurement method here.

Benefits of Traditional Workplace Procurement:

  • Cost-Comparisons: Greater level of cost comparison between tendering parties and therefore allows you to choose based on the lowest price or the best quality or the combination of both that fits your needs.
  • Control: Client has more control over the various contractors and suppliers throughout the project.
  • Design: Close working relationship with your chosen design team to get the design right.

Drawbacks of Traditional Workplace Procurement:

  • Time-Consuming: Generally the traditional procurement route is more time-consuming, mainly in the pre-construction period – when developing design and tender packages.
  • Initial Investment: Engaging with a project team such as an architect and a project manager can be an expensive up-front investment before you have sight of project costs/ feasibility.
  • Multiple Contacts: There are usually more parties to communicate with throughout a project, generally including – Architect or Interior Designer, QS/ Project Manager, Main Contractor, IT Consultant and a Furniture Provider.

Benefits of Design & Build for Workplace Procurement:

  • Communication: one company takes accountability and ownership of the entire project.
  • Speed: the fitout of the space can be planned alongside the design process as well as saving time preparing tender documents.
  • Less expenditure and up-front engagement required on professional fees.
  • Up-front knowledge of costs involved for the entire project at very early pitch stages. Most D&B Contractors will insist on establishing and working to your budget for the overall project.

Drawbacks of Design & Build for Workplace Procurement:

  • Limited opportunity to see like-for-like cost comparisons.
  • Greater reliance on single provider, therefore more trust needed in the team you appoint.

There are a number of factors to consider whenever making the choice between ‘Traditional’ procurement or ‘Design & Build’ procurement. We explore some of these further:

When Should You Use the Traditional Procurement Method for your Project?

If you are:

  • Looking for like-for-like cost comparisons on the fitout.
  • Running a specialist or challenging project and feel utilising the knowledge of various specialists might be best.
  • Wanting to retain as much control as possible over the supply chain throughout the project.

Then the traditional method could be for you.

When Should You Use Design & Build for your Project?

However, if you are:

  • Running short on time or working to a tight deadline.
  • Looking for one point of contact to take overall responsibility for the entire project.

Then procuring your project through Design & Build might work best for you.

It is important to remember that there is no right or wrong way, both procurement methods have their place and there are plenty of quality suppliers in the market who can support you in whichever route you choose.

Talk to our team today for further assistance and to answer any questions:

+44 (0) 28 9442 5200 |


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