Construction and Design – Update

For the last 7 weeks the UK has been put on lockdown by the government and life has seemed quite unfamiliar. Up until Sunday evening we had been asked to “Stay Home, Save Lives and Protect the NHS” which, understandably, has amounted to lots of fears and uncertainty regarding health, economy and personal income. In terms of sectors, none have been more uncertain about how to comply with instructions than Construction. Most people have adapted, and life has gone on for those of us who can work from home, but for those unable to have this opportunity, making the decision whether to attend the workplace or site has not always been a simple yes or no.

Principal contractors have made their interpretations of the guidance of whether to carry on working, with many going in different directions to each other. They have taken advice from not only clients and the government but from their own supply chains, as if they cannot rely on resource such as subcontractor services or materials then they may be unable to operate efficiently or at all. If they do find reassurances from all other areas, then they need to ensure they can operate within the government guidelines including social distancing. This is an issue not only while on sites but travelling to and from them too. Some sites have been suspended; others have continued but each one will have been affected in some way as a result of this pandemic.

The Prime Minister announced on 11th May that lockdown restrictions are slowly being eased to allow life to get back to some kind of normality. With that of course comes the requirement of assurances from the UK Government of what safe practices look like and how each of us can adhere to them. The recent publication of the “Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)” guidelines with the objective that “Everyone should work from home, unless they cannot work from home”.

We are all hopeful that the economy will not be affected more than anticipated. The Chancellor has advised that a significant recession is forecast and at the time of writing GDP is down 2%, however with the return to work for construction hopefully the construction and manufacturing industry will kickstart our economy as a whole and we can all begin to see signs of what the new normal looks like.

Architects have continued to design from home and cost consultants have priced projects despite being away from their desks, the professional services side of the industry has stepped up and have continued to deliver throughout the chaos. Bloom can help you engage with such professionals. We offer a dynamic supply chain providing the public sector with a marketplace to buy and manage services. We ensure delivery of quality outcomes from our pre-approved and ever-growing network of suppliers and consultants and appreciate that there will be times when you need to ensure that best value is being achieved and internal governance met, this is not a problem – our fully compliant open access marketplace is outcomes based meaning the public sector only pays for what is delivered.

We can offer a supply chain of over 6,500 consultants, meaning you are not limited to a set number which other framework providers may offer which include businesses and SMEs local to you (in fact 70% of projects awarded by Bloom are to SMEs!).

We always encourage new suppliers to join Bloom and actively assist them with the accreditation required.  It’s important to know that we allow clients to direct award to named suppliers to allow a quick and efficient process whilst always meeting regulations or we can ensure maximum savings by carrying out a mini competition on your behalf, inviting any number of providers you require to bid for your project you can be assured of best value!

Bloom Category Managers will assist you in perfecting your specification initially and then fully manage your procurement process from beginning to end, providing visibility to each stage of the project via our digital platform.

Whatever the requirement please contact Bloom to see if we can help, I look forward to speaking to you in the future, until then please stay safe.