What Does Procurement Mean in Construction?

March 18, 2024

The procurement process ensures that all materials, equipment and services needed to complete construction projects are purchased at the appropriate price, delivered within the required timeframe, and in compliance with quality standards. In construction, procurement involves a wide variety of parties, including project owners and clients, design teams, contractors, and suppliers.

Procurement helps to ensure the correct quality of materials and equipment through rigorous vendor selection processes, detailed specifications, performance monitoring, and contract terms that are responsive to both market conditions and project requirements. Using the right procurement strategy can also help to mitigate risks by encouraging long-term relationships, establishing clear contractual protections, and fostering collaboration among project stakeholders.

Construction projects are complex, and the procurement process must take into account a variety of factors such as the scope, complexity, budget, and delivery timeline. Selecting the appropriate procurement method is critical, as it will affect how well a project is managed and executed. A good starting point is assessing the level of risk a client is willing to take, their desire for collaborative process, and how much control they need over the project.

The first step of the procurement process is to identify what needs to be procured, which is done during the design phase of a project. This is when the specification book is created that defines all of the material requirements and sets the stage for the procurement process. Depending on the project structure, procurement may be the responsibility of the project owner or shared between the client and the design-build team.

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