Opinion: What construction can learn from horse meat scandal

Grant Prior 11 years ago
Share

One of the root causes of the continuing horsemeat scandal is the relentless drive to cut costs throughout the supply chain.

And the parallels are ominous with construction where below-cost-bidding is still rife as contractors desperately chase work.

Companies found selling horsemeat have put the emphasis on price as consumers demand ever-cheaper meals.

Food supply and catering contracts have been slashed to the bone leading to corner-cutting in the supply chain as it struggles to turn a profit.

Construction has been heading down this road since the downturn hit as contractors are forced into fearsome tender races where quality is sacrificed on the altar of lowest cost.

The upshot in the world of catering has been the odd bit of dodgy meat making it into your meals.

In construction the consequences could be far worse.

Scores of trade contractors have already become the financial victims as suicide bidding sends firms to the wall.

But forcing firms to work at non-existent margins means safety during construction could suffer or final buildings may not be up to the required standards.

Suicide bidding is an unsustainable blight on construction and needs to end now before a site tragedy turns it into a crisis.

Pre-recession, the talk across the industry was of partnering, frameworks and quality in construction.

That all went out of the window when the credit crunch hit and price once again became the over-riding factor in winning work.

Clients obviously have a pivotal role to play here.

Public sector construction projects should never be built on the foundations of financially ruined companies while private sector clients should pay the proper rate for a quality project.

The results of the race to the bottom in the catering world should send a clear message to other industries like construction.

Cut price contracts lead to bankrupt businesses, poor quality buildings and unsafe sites.

We need to stop the rot now.

 

 

Latest news

Lendlease veteran is latest new McAlpine director

Paul Sims joins as Operations Director after 40 years at rival contractor
14 hours ago

BAM go-ahead for Leeds 200,000 sq ft office

Latitude Yellow will complete final plot at Doncaster Monk Bridge site
13 hours ago

VolkerFitzpatrick wins £30m logistics job

Latest deal to build five distribution units for Prologis UK
15 hours ago

Precast firm FP McCann cleared after immigration raid

Home Office takes no action after public raid on construction site
22 hours ago

Wates-owned SES restructure delivers record profit and revenue

Building services contractor revenue soars to almost £300m
21 hours ago

25 groundworks firms win £100m Places for People deal

M&J Evans, Carmac and Churngold Construction feature in housing association's line-up
22 hours ago

Energy efficiency firms angry at lack of CITB support

SME contractors funding bid "does not meet the current criteria for supporting productivity or EDI"
22 hours ago

£400m South Cambridge science park approved

Outline approval allows former sewage treatment works to be demolished
22 hours ago

McLaren gets green light for 45-storey Leeds tower

Landmark Wellington Square scheme will see 464 flats built with 360,000 sq ft of offices
4 days ago

Heavy rain causes 1.9% construction output fall

Hopes remain undampened of a resi-led recovery this summer
4 days ago

Taziker restruture to return to profitability after £1.2m loss

Founders bought the business back from private equity after last year's loss
4 days ago

£220m London wharf homes scheme approved

285 homes to be built beside protected Albert and Swedish Wharves in Wandsworth
4 days ago

Major project veteran named civils director for Sizewell C

David Speight previously worked on Hinkley, Heathrow and HS2 client teams
4 days ago

Morgan Sindall lands £19m Milton Keynes hospital job

Crane lifts to be carefully co-ordinated to ensure air ambulance remains active
4 days ago

Clancy bolsters civils leadership team

Daniel Tonkin and Simon Hyams join as operation directors of water and infrastructure
5 days ago

Balfour names new project boss for HS2’s super-hub station

Steve O’Sullivan replaces Nigel Russell who was promoted to CEO of Balfour's HS2 ops
5 days ago

Buckingham Group supply chain hit doubles to £256m

Total owed to unsecured creditors soars as surety providers finalise claims
5 days ago

Builders demand an end to police plant bans

Call to suspend all embargoes on moving mobile cranes and large site kit
5 days ago

Green light for £65m Blackpool multiversity campus

Education campus of 350,000 sq ft will be delivered in phases
5 days ago

Vinci signs £138m Sheffield steel forge expansion deal

Sheffield Forgemasters signs landmark contract after two years of pre-construction works
5 days ago

McAlpine hires HS2 programme boss to head defence arm

Armed forces logistics expert Mike Hickson takes role as MD of defence
6 days ago

£200m carbon capture plan for Deeside site

Energy from waste operator enfinium looking to invest in North Wales plant
5 days ago

McAleer & Rushe promotes five staff to contracts directors

Design and build contractor targets £500m revenue next year
6 days ago

Consultant quartet win Government estate upgrade deal

Government Property Agency selects Arcadis, Tetra Tech, AtkinsRéalis and McBains
6 days ago

Resi towers pioneer to transform Liverpool site

Beetham founder Hugh Frost to help develop 1,200 new homes
6 days ago

Construction Manager of the Year crowned

Galliford Try's Barry Kingscote wins coveted prize: Full list of winners
6 days ago

Landsec £250m London terraced office job approved

Skanska tipped for 20-storey Hill House scheme near Fleet Street
6 days ago

Lendlease tops March contracts league

BAM and ISG rank third with big contract wins
6 days ago

Vistry strikes deal with Homes England for 1,000 units

Firm's timber frames factory will supply most of the Midlands houses
6 days ago

Morgan Sindall go-ahead to build 23-storey Salford resi job

Funding deal with CBRE allows latest project on bank of River Irwell to proceed
7 days ago

Contractor services