Construction Information Technology Blog

P3 Datarooms and the Internet

Posted by Dave Robertson on Oct 14, 2011 8:00:00 AM

There is an increasing trend in North America towards the Private Public Partnership (P3) model for the construction of public infrastructure. Typically the processes used to select the successful proponent include Requests for Expressions of Interest, Requests for Qualifications and Requests for Proposals, all followed by some sort of evaluation and selection process. The projects themselves typically tend to be large ones as they need to meet the market test of being “interesting” enough financially to be worth the significant risk and expense of participating in the selection process.

The organizations that compete for these opportunities are usually joint ventures of companies who do finance, design, construction and operation of the asset or facility. The consequence is that these are highly collaborative efforts requiring large teams of people to access and work with large amounts of data and documentation. That is where the Dataroom comes in. In order to provide all the proponents with equal access to the large volume of background documentation necessary to the process, Owners need to assemble it in a central location that is secure yet still accessible by those involved in the response.

dataroomsWe have been fortunate enough to have been involved in a large number of these types of projects and have been able to identify a few critical requirements for datarooms. They have to be absolutely secure with controlled access. They need to be easily accessible with minimal administration, which rules out many network dependant options. They require an easily reviewed audit trail that can quickly demonstrate exactly who saw what and when. Finally, they need to be able to support virtually any type of file format to make sure everything necessary is shared. Given these criteria, a web accessible document control system that meets these critical requirements is an obvious solution.

 

 

Topics: Construction documents, Online prequalification, Online planroom

What Public Owners want from Online Bidding Systems

Posted by Dave Robertson on Nov 18, 2010 8:33:00 AM

One of our clients recently contracted with a professional research firm (The Mustel Group) to survey public agencies to find out, among other things, what elements of the online bidding and procurement process are important to them.

The three aspects that were rated most important by agencies include ensuring suitability of the bidders, control of the overall procurement process by the agency and minimizing the cost of the process to the agency.

VRCA Planroom Service Survey Source: VRCA Planroom Services Survey conducted by the Mustel Group, October 2010.

Digging deeper into the results reveals a very interesting insight. Some agencies noted that they like the concept of an easily accessible system open to a wide variety of bidders however they are also unhappy about the number of unsuitable or non-compliant bidders they receive bids from. This is clearly a challenging issue for public owners who are faced with trying to be as open and fair in allowing competition for publicly funded projects while at the same time needing to be confident that those performing the work do so in a competent manner.

One of the answers to this issue may well be incorporating an effective prequalification process into the vendor management tools in the bidding system. Judicious use of prequalification for contractors using a fair evaluation process may be a good option for some owners. Using the right system and tools enables a high level of fair competition that when combined with other good project management practices delivers a reasonable level of assurance that the project will be delivered by a competent contractor.

Topics: Online bidding, Electronic document management, Construction bidding, Online prequalification