A common stumbling block of laboratory refurbishment projects appears when the contract is awarded and issues arise which have to be amended, addenda and appendices added, and continual refinements made to contracts. Here is where ECI is invaluable.

ECI is a highly successful procurement process which is being used increasingly across all industries, particularly where large-scale infrastructure projects are involved. This is where the principal can gain knowledge and detail from the contractor to ensure the contract is relevant, sensible and achievable for both parties. Benefits are many and varied.

Supports improved team working

ECI involves heightened and refined collaboration, in the early stages of consultation on a project. Whereas normal collaboration would strictly involve details being refined after a contract is awarded, ECI allows pre-contractual refinements which not only save work later on in the piece for both parties, but saves significant time when awarding a contract, and greatly improves understanding between the parties. True innovation can be achieved with this small change, such as input from the experts to increase ROI in this short space. ECI thus brings greater knowledge and understanding to all parties involved of what specific requirements are and what needs to be taken into consideration.

Value for money

By allowing professionals to be involved through ECI the principal can ensure proper investment is being made and true efficiencies are developed early on in the piece. While the spend value of goods and services delivered may not be significantly different, true value for money can be delivered through collaboration.

Such values exist in areas such as

  • Lean engineering
  • Industry knowledge and standards
  • Enhanced understanding between parties
  • Advanced refinement in goods delivered
  • Greater understanding of needs between both principal and contractor

Fewer variations through construction

Variations, as any contracts administrator would be fully aware, are both annoying and costly in time and money.

Decreasing variations provides the ultimate efficiency and is like a lean process in itself. Moving this one step by implementing a goal via ECI provides the aforementioned value for money, and efficiency in time. As the cliché suggests, it is good to have your ducks in a row and this is what ECI delivers. Make sure that everything is fully approved and stable before initiating the contractual process.

Risk mitigation

Reducing the risk is achieved further through the above points. Early involvement in contracts, by eliminating the ‘change’ steps after issue of contract, provides the assurance needed to the principal in that the party will not face the possibility of any damaging variations potentiating after the contract has been formally agreed to.

This will save both time and money. Instilling that trust between the parties will ultimately lead onto the next points of agility and speed. All round, ECI will deliver greater satisfaction and less hassle.

Agility, and faster turnaround times

Agility is what is ultimately looked for in most suppliers. Being cumbersome is what is going to hold up the works in any situation, particularly in this context. Laboratory installations and construction projects will ultimately have the objective before them of ensuring that risk in any situation is mitigated, which requires agility. Speaking practically, financials and operations will also rely on the agility of the installer for whether it disrupts the company or laboratory’s operations significantly – which can make it or break it.

Next Steps?

If you are working on a large-scale project involving contractual agreements, ECI is the way forward. It galvanises relationships and ensures success in the whole contract process.

Speak to a specialist or start engaging directly between principal and contractor, so that any oversights can be rectified before any contractual agreements take place.

About Westlab

Since 1993, Westlab have been dedicated to supplying the laboratory sector with innovative and reliable products and services.

Building on a proven reputation, having reliably served the needs of the scientific and medical community, in 2011 Westlab introduced its Projects division. Leveraging our extensive industry knowledge to design future-focussed, modular lab solutions that deliver industry-leading results, across the scientific and medical community.

Westlab is an ISO 9001 certified company, giving clients an extra layer of assurance that the equipment and services provided is timely and of the highest quality.