NEC contracts have become increasingly popular for managing construction projects due to their collaborative and preventative approach to disputes. However, the implementation of NEC4 can come with its own set of challenges. One of the key ways to overcome these challenges is through the use of technology, which can help to improve governance, communication, and data management.
In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of technology for NEC4 project management and how Causeway Commercial Management can help unlock the full potential of these contracts.
What is NEC?
The NEC is a series of contracts designed to manage projects from start to finish, with the first edition released in 1993 and subsequent editions published since then.
The primary objective of NEC contracts is to prevent costly disputes that may arise during a project's implementation.
Unlike traditional construction contracts, which are typically adversarial, NEC contracts aim to promote collaboration and prevent penalties that can lead to companies going out of business. They are endorsed by both governments and industry bodies and have a strong track record of delivering large-scale projects successfully.
What has changed since the introduction of NEC?
Since the introduction of NEC, it has become evident that the principles of the contracts have stood the test of time. NEC has grown in popularity, with more and more organisations recognising the benefits of using these contracts to manage their projects.
One of the key changes since the introduction of NEC is a shift towards more collaborative ways of working, which has been facilitated by the principles of NEC contracts. This approach encourages parties to work together, communicate openly and share information.
Additionally, the greater use and acceptance of technology have supported this shift towards more collaborative working, making it easier to share information and track progress throughout a project's lifecycle.
Challenges of NEC4
Derived from two decades of user feedback, NEC4 aims to encourage and facilitate project collaboration both domestically and globally. Despite its many advantages, however, NEC4 is not without its own set of challenges.
During a recent webinar on how technology can support the successful delivery of NEC contracts, 25% of attendees admitted that “lack of understanding of the contracts was their biggest challenge” and around 20% said “that managing data and information was the biggest challenge”.
Speaking on these challenges, NEC Consultant and Director at Trebes Consultancy Limited Barry Trebes said:
“Managing data and information interlinks with other challenges such as ‘timescales’ and ‘Implementation. To optimise decision-making and ensure successful outcomes when working with NEC4 contracts, it is crucial for all stakeholders to have the necessary training and education, a well-thought-out implementation plan, and careful consideration of which systems to use."
How can technology help support the NEC journey?
By leveraging technology, project managers can improve governance and facilitate effective communication between parties. Client inspections of accounts and records can also be made more accessible through technology, making it easier for clients to monitor and verify project progress.
Furthermore, technology can also help to manage data and information more efficiently, providing real-time access to critical project information. This can help to ensure that projects stay on track and that everyone involved is up to date on progress.
With technology like Causeway Commercial Management contractors can connect disparate data into one source of truth, getting complete transparency over their project performance. The solution removes manual data processes by automating application for payment based on contract specific requirements, ultimately enabling contractors to reduce operating costs and get paid faster.
Senior Product Manager at Causeway, Juan Simpson has said:
“There are lots of basic systems out there that will manage the communication between client and contractor. Aside from alerts and warnings, Causeway has created a game-changing solution that really targets the challenges NEC4 presents to contractors while allowing users to manage costings upfront and configure the contract from the very beginning.”
Unlock the full potential of NEC contracts
Overall, the use of technology can significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of NEC4 project management.
If your business is looking for support in this area, click here to learn more about how Causeway's Commercial Management solution can help support the delivery of NEC contracts.