In Mining projects, the Structural Steel and Platework scopes of work are generally a substantial portion of the scope. Depending on the type of structure the steel portion of the scope can range from 50% to 80% of the contract value.

In light of this, special attention should be given to selecting the correct Fabrication Contractor for the project. The implications of choosing the incorrect fabrication contractor could have dire consequences for the project and will probably mean that the project deliverables of the Project Team will not be met.

Cost and quality

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
Let’s face it, it’s tempting to go with the lowest price and the tendering system only perpetuates this. Of course, the price must be market-related, and contractors need to be kept in check, but all too often work is awarded to the lowest bidder, who has absolutely no quality assurance in place to deliver on the requirements of the project. Too often the recurring story is of the lowest price contract award, the contractor fails to execute the project to the required quality standard, and invariably to project is delivered late.

Skilled procurement managers understand the importance of getting a fair and reasonable price while ensuring, above all, that the quality delivered is not compromised.

Safety Management Systems

Most websites of major EPCM or Mining companies chide the calling that people are their number one asset, yet little attention is given to the safety management systems of the off-site contractors with which they engage for their project.

Clients have a moral, as well as legal obligation to ensure that their work is being completed safely by the contractors which they appoint. We would suggest that at a minimum, clients should be doing annual safety audits on contractors with whom they engage.

Project Controls

Project controls are the backbone for successful project delivery. Choosing to work with a contractor who does not have the necessary controls, is nothing short of gambling on the success of your project.

Take material control as an example. At first sight, it seems simple but consider the consequences of having a site crew trying to install a structure (hundreds of kilometres away from the nearest town, with limited cell phone coverage) only to find that some critical items were not packed into the last container. This disastrous situation will only lead to massive time delays and have a massive impact on the completion of your project.
For this reason, Viva uses an integrated management system (StruMIS) with barcode scanning, which allows our clients to live track every single item, from detailing through to site installation utilising the 3D BIM viewer. This gives our clients peace of mind that everything has been accounted for and delivered.

Competence and Track Record

A well-known adage is “a leopard never changes his spots”. Understanding the track record of a contractor will give you valuable insight into their competence and what kind of work they are capable of handling. A few phone calls to references of completed projects will tell you all you need to know about your possible choice of contractor and the potential risks you may be facing.

It’s a reality – no project goes 100% as planned, but what separates an average contractor from a contractor with whom you want to partner, is how problems are handled and resolved.

At Viva, client satisfaction is a key outcome, and we define the success of a project by the level of client satisfaction achieved. Remember, people make it happen.

In conclusion

Considering who you will partner with on your next project is a complex decision process and should not be limited to a price-only consideration. The cost and consequences of a failed project are far greater than the possible few percent savings which seem so important at the start of the project.


Leave a Reply