|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 11|
An aspect of client expenditure management that requires attention is the level of accuracy achievable in design-stage elemental cost planning. This has been a major concern for construction clients and practitioners in New Zealand (NZ). Pre-tender estimating inaccuracies are significantly influenced by the level of risk information available to estimators. Proper cost planning activities should ensure the production of a project’s likely construction costs (initial and final), and subsequent cost control activities should prevent unpleasant consequences of cost overruns, disputes and project abandonment. If risks were properly identified and priced at the design stage, observed variance between design-stage elemental cost plans (ECPs) and final tender sums (FTS) (initial contract sums) could be reduced. This study investigates the variations between design-stage ECPs and FTS of construction projects, with a view to identifying risk factors that are responsible for the observed variance. Data were sourced through interviews, and risk factors were identified by using thematic analysis. Access was obtained to project files from the records of study participants (consultant quantity surveyors), and document analysis was employed in complementing the responses from the interviews. Study findings revealed the discrepancies between ECPs and FTS in the region of -14% and +16%. It is opined in this study that the identified risk factors were responsible for the variability observed. The values obtained from the analysis would enable greater accuracy in the forecast of FTS by Quantity Surveyors. Further, whilst inherent risks in construction project developments are observed globally, these findings have important ramifications for construction projects by expanding existing knowledge on what is needed for reasonable budgetary performance and successful delivery of construction projects. The findings contribute significantly to the study by providing quantitative confirmation to justify the theoretical conclusions generated in the literature from around the world. This therefore adds to and consolidates existing knowledge.
Meat Tenderness is one of the most important factors affecting consumers' assessment of meat quality. Variation in meat tenderness is genetically controlled and varies among breeds, and it is also influenced by environmental factors that can affect its creation during rigor mortis and postmortem. The final postmortem meat tenderization relies on the extent of proteolysis of myofibrillar proteins caused by the endogenous activity of the proteolytic calpain system. This calpain system includes different calcium-dependent cysteine proteases, and an inhibitor, calpastatin. It is widely accepted that in farm animals including chickens, the μ-calpain gene (CAPN1) is a physiological candidate gene for meat tenderness. This study aimed to identify the association of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers in the CAPN1 gene with the tenderness of chicken breast meat from two Malaysian native and commercial broiler breed crosses. Ten, five months old native chickens and ten, 42 days commercial broilers were collected from the local market and breast muscles were removed two hours after slaughter, packed separately in plastic bags and kept at -20ºC for 24 h. The tenderness phenotype for all chickens’ breast meats was determined by Warner-Bratzler Shear Force (WBSF). Thawing and cooking losses were also measured in the same breast samples before using in WBSF determination. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to identify the previously reported C7198A and G9950A SNPs in the CAPN1 gene and assess their associations with meat tenderness in the two breeds. The broiler breast meat showed lower shear force values and lower thawing loss rates than the native chickens (p<0.05), whereas there were similar in the rates of cooking loss. The study confirms some previous results that the markers CAPN1 C7198A and G9950A were not significantly associated with the variation in meat tenderness in chickens. Therefore, further study is needed to confirm the functional molecular mechanism of these SNPs and evaluate their associations in different chicken populations.
Conservation works in Malaysia that is procured by public organisation usually follow the traditional approach where the works are tendered based on Bills of Quantities (BQ). One of the purposes of tendering is to enable the selection of a competent contractor that offers a competitive price. While competency of the contractors are assessed by their technical knowledge, experience and track records, the assessment of pricing will be dependent on the tender amount. However, the issue currently faced by the conservation works sector is the difficulty in assessing the competitiveness and reasonableness of the tender amount due to the high variance between the tenders amount. Thus, this paper discusses the factors that cause difficulty to the tenderers in pricing competitively in a bidding exercise for conservation tenders. Data on tendering is collected from interviews with conservation works contractors to gain in-depth understanding of the barriers faced in pricing tenders of conservation works. Findings from the study lent support to the contention that the variance of tender amount is very high amongst tenderers. The factors identified in the survey are the format of BQ, hidden works, experience and labour and material costs.
Contracting authorities in the public sector are obligated to apply the principles provided for in the Polish law for the evaluation and selection of contractors. In order to analyse the methods of contractors selecting applied in practice by public clients, the notices of contract award results for construction works were analysed. The analysis shows that the procedure selected more and more often is open competitive bidding, where the assessment of the competence of contractors is not very precise, as well as noncompetitive bidding, i.e. single source procurement. The share of procurement procedures, where the only criterion is price, is increasing. The solution to the problems existing here might be the introduction of one of the forms of pre-selection of contractors. The article also briefly discusses verification systems for companies applying for public contracts used in EU countries.
Challenges resulting from an international and dynamic business environment are increasingly being passed on from manufacturing companies to external service providers. Especially providers of complex, customer-specific industry services have to cope with continuously changing requirements. This is particularly true for contract logistics service providers. They are forced to develop efficient and highly flexible structures and strategies to meet their customer’s needs. One core element they have to focus on is the reorganization of their service development and sales process. Based on an action research approach, this study develops and tests a concept to streamline tender management for contract logistics service providers. The concept of modularized service architecture is deployed in order to derive a practice-oriented approach for the modularization of complex service portfolios and the design of customized quotes. These findings are evaluated regarding their applicability in other service sectors and practical recommendations are given.
Construction projects can be implemented under various contractual and organizational systems. They can be divided into two groups: systems without the managing company where the Client manages the process, and systems with the managing company, where management is entrusted to an external company. In the public sector of the Polish market there are two ways of delivery of construction projects with the participation of the manager: one is to assign operations to another party, the so called Project Supervisor, whilst the other results from the application of FIDIC conditions of contract, which entail appointment of the Engineer. The decision is to be made by the Client and depends on various factors. On the public procurement market in Poland the selection of construction project manager boils down to awarding the contract for such a service. The selection can be done by one of eight public procurement procedures identified by the procurement law. The paper provides the analysis of 96 contracts for services awarded in 2011, which employed construction management. The study aimed to investigate the methods and criteria for selecting managers, applied in practice by the Polish public Clients.
Building conservation work generally involves complex and non-standard work different from new building construction processes. In preparing tenders for building conservation projects, therefore, the quantity surveyor must carefully consider the specificity of non-standard items and demarcate the scope of unique conservation work. While the quantity surveyor must appreciate the full range of works to prepare a good tender document, he typically manages many unfamiliar elements, including practical construction methods, restoration techniques and work sequences. Only by fulfilling the demanding requirements of building conservation work can the quantity surveyor enhance his professionalism an area of growing cultural value and economic importance. By discussing several issues crucial to tender preparations for building conservation projects in Malaysia, this paper seeks a deeper understanding of how quantity surveying can better standardize tender preparation work and more successfully manage building conservation processes.