APPRAISAL OF THE CHALLENGES OF E-TENDERING SYSTEM IN QUANTITY SURVEYING PRACTICE IN NIGERIA

APPRAISAL OF THE CHALLENGES OF E-TENDERING SYSTEM IN QUANTITY SURVEYING PRACTICE IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

E-tendering is a veritable tool for increasing productivity and empowering construction industry professionals to take better control of the tendering process. However, despite the administrative and managerial benefits obtainable by the adoption of e-tendering, the challenges and associated risks are rife. Thus, this study set out to appraisal of the challenges of E-tendering system in quantity surveying practice in Nigeria. Using a cross- sectional survey type of research design, data was sought from quantity surveyors in the industry. From the analysis most of the respondents observed erratic power supply as the major problem that hinders e-tendering process having a mean of 1.40 which is categorized as extremely severe, another challenge acknowledged from the analyses of data collected is inadequate training of staff. It was observed that 50 % of the respondents had no e-tendering system training. Also indicated that there is low computer literacy by the professionals, inadequate e-tendering equipments and insecurity of the channel. It was observed that erratic power supply is a major hindrance of e-tendering. This is due to unstable power supply that has become a norm in Nigeria. The respondents lamented the unavailable power supply with few hours of electricity especially during working hours in Kaduna metropolis. Based on the analyses it was observed that there was insufficient e-tendering training for the staff employed. However, it was observed that the top management is in support of E-tendering system but is reluctant to use the system in their respective organizations. It was also examined that low computer literacy by the professionals and insecurity of the channels does not encourage the appreciation of e-tendering systems. Base on the result gotten it was recommend that the Nigerian Government should intervene by introducing legislation so that all construction projects sponsored by the federal government will be handled using e-tendering systems and also should be constant power supply in Nigeria; this will reduce the fear of disruption of the e-tendering process. Quantity Surveyors should develop an interest in the system and efficiently support the system. This will help in coming at par with latest trends and developments in the international community. Workshop and seminars should be organized to bring practicing professionals up to date with the e-tendering systems and ensure that they are abreast with latest development. It was also observed from the analysis that apart from Quantity Surveyors Contractors should be at the forefront of using E-tendering system.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0       Introduction

1.1       Background of the Study

Electronic (E-tendering) system has been introduced as an effective platform for information flow it is also a communication tool during the process of tendering it is used to achieve better collaboration coordination, control amongst construction team player and to also ease work load and reduce paper work (Industry Science Resources 2012; Love P.E.D. 2012)  Instead of using paper to send the tendering documents to the contractor, the electronic tendering is done in that is using e-mail, fax machine to send the documents to the contractor (Industry Science Resources 2012; Love P.E.D. 2012).

The construction industry is categorized as being an information-intensive industry and described as one of the most important industries in any developed country, facing a period of rapid and unparalleled change (Industry Science Resources 2012; Love P.E.D. 2012).

Towards the end of the 1980’s most disciplines within the industry had access to basic software to assist in carrying out relatively complex designs and calculations. During the1990’s the use of e-mail (as an electronic communication device) and the World Wide Web (as an electronic communication device and source of knowledge) was introduced to the Industry (Russell J.S. 2010; NOIE 2011; Murray M. 2011).

Today’s construction industry sectors (both public and private) are following a definite and increasing trend towards adapting traditional business methods and processes to the ‘new’ electronic ways of doing business resulting in many ‘divides’ being created: paper to electronic media; local to global commerce; management to a leadership focus; and reactive to a more proactive state (Russell J.S. 2010; NOIE 2012; Murray M.2013).

These ‘e-activities’ can generally be described as being about eliminating inefficiencies in traditional processes and communications, finding ‘smarter’ ways of undertaking these activities in an electronic environment, and generally requires industry organizational commitment, change and investment (NSW Government 2012). Unfortunately, there still exists within today’s construction industry a considerable lack of knowledge and awareness about innovative information and communication technology (ICT) and web-based communication processes, systems and solutions, which may prove beneficial in the procurement, delivery and life cycle of projects (NSW Government 2010; Kajewski S. and Weippert A. 2010).

Planning for construction projects involving large sum of money is a challenging and complex chore faced by both internal and external stakeholders involved in a project. According to Mohemad et al. (2010), a construction project life cycle consists of three phases, namely as pre-construction, construction and post construction. The pre-construction phase involves the planning and tendering process (Mohemad et al., 2010:35). The tendering stage in construction industry is considered a crucial and important stage throughout the project lifecycle (Vee and Skitmore, 2003, p.118). This stage forms the contractual and legislative agreements between client, design engineer, contractor and other stakeholders of the project (Choen and Alshawi, 2009:101).

Tendering in construction was portrayed simply by Connell (2010) as a process that connects the client to the construction firm. Tendering is carried out most importantly to adjudicate competent contractor to undertake specific construction and design activity at the best reasonable cost, realistic time and acceptable quality.

Decision making during tendering has great impact in the successful execution of a construction project (Mohemad et al., 2010, p.35). Mohemad et al. (2010) proceeded to say that managing tender is very cumbersome and uncertain. It involves the coordination of several activities and tender participants with different priorities and objectives. Bias and inconsistent decision are unavoidable during tendering if decision making system is dependent on intuition, subjective judgement or emotion (Mohemad et al., 2010:35). This unavoidable decision is one of the major reasons why e-tendering should be encouraged and widely used by construction practitioners.

Consequently, through increased knowledge, awareness and successful implementation of innovative systems and processes - such as electronic / internet-based tendering (e-Tendering).

1.2       Statement of Research Problem

In spite of the fact that previous researchers generally conclude that e-tendering system is effective, the question is why tendering process is still based on manual activities i.e. traditional tendering system. Despite the benefits of e-tendering and the contribution to the procurement phase of a project, there are factors and challenges that affect the wide use of e-tendering. One of the factors that hinder the used of e-tendering is the isolated nature of processes without extensive integration prior or after tendering (Chilipunde, 2013). However, majority of the construction and consultancy firms are still skeptical of the potential benefits mainly due to limited human resources as regards the operation of the e-tendering process. These includes, erratic power supply, financial resources, accessibility of internet, computer literacy amongst tendering participants, e-tendering software not user friendly, ineffective e-tendering infrastructure, legal and security issues, lack of government policy and the people. These are the main factors that hinder the use of e-tendering in the developed countries (Mohemad et al., 2010:35). Research has shown that no extensive study has been conducted on this ineffectiveness and wide use of e-tendering in the South African construction industry.

1.3       Aim and Objectives

Aim

The aim of this research is to appraise the challenges of E- tendering system in Quantity Surveying practices in Nigerian construction industry.

Objectives

1.         To Identify the challenges of E-tendering system in Kaduna metropolis.

2.         To Examine the challenges of E-tendering system in Kaduna metropolis.

1.4       Researcher Question

1.         To identify the challenges of E-tendering system in Kaduna metropolis.

2.         To examine the challenges of E-tendering system in Kaduna metropolis.

1.5       Significance of the Study

This research will be useful to Quantity surveyors in Kaduna metropolis and also it will help them to practice e-tendering effectively in their profession.

1.6       Scope and Delimitation

This study intends to look at the challenges of E-tendering system in quantity surveying practices in the Nigerian construction industry. Emphasis was laid on the level of involvement of people, technologies and process aspect of an organization in Quantity Surveying practice and the construction industry in general within Kaduna metropolis.

1.7       Limitation

There is tendency to receive biased information from the respondents which is common to any self-assessment exercise, as this may affect the validity of the result (Samuelson O. 2011). In order to mitigate this limitation, experienced professionals were involved to obtain quality and reliable responses.

The accuracy of the information used in this research is limited to data supplied by the respondent.


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