Which companies did your firm work with on your last job? And for your next job, who will be your accomplices in the construction process? Third and most importantly - are any of these companies and personnel the same?
'What difference does it make?' you may ask, but as Fagerhult Lighting Group general manager Gary Turner explains in this issue such details can have a huge effect on a project.
Being able to take the lessons learned from one project directly to the next can give both design and construction teams huge advantages in terms of time and costs saved. And in an ever-competitive marketplace with the incredible time constraints that are placed on project completion, this is surely an opportunity not to be missed.
One way to ensure such continuity is that outlined by Turner: collaborative working; and on a greater scale, the establishment of strategic alliances. Both of these terms can be grouped under the overall heading of partnering.
This is a subject that has been covered before in this column and it is likely to be again in the future if the market continues along its current path. For several firms within the Middle East construction sector have now begun embracing the process and are already reaping the benefits.
And when some find success, it is surely inevitable that others will try to emulate their methods of achievement.
The general principle of partnering is that every member of the team sits down together at the earliest stage of a project and works openly and honestly together to achieve the best final result possible.
By taking this a step further and setting up strategic alliances firms and individuals are basically agreeing to a long-term relationship for the benefit of all firms involved and the projects on which they work.
The only way to gain maximum success from such processes is by getting everyone that is contributing to the project involved. Contractors, consultants, clients and architects are the obvious first stage for such relationships, but as Turner demonstrates the product manufacturers and suppliers can make a major difference to the cost, design and final building achieved.
Who could better determine the best technology available for a project than the people involved in designing and making the actual products? And by setting up established agreements, it has been proven that the individual product cost comes down as manufacturers' risks fall.
In addition, delivery times are guaranteed due to the early involvement of the suppliers and their knowledge of the project needs. With the current supply and demand issues being experienced in the market, this has got to be another major advantage. So who will you be working with in the future?
Alison Luke is the editor of Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Middle East.
RELATED LINKS:Working together for changeFor all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.