Analysis of the use of e-procurement in the public and private sectors of the UK construction industry

Robert Eadie, Srinath Perera, George Heaney

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Summary: Eadie (2010a, 2010b) identified 20 advantages in the adoption of e-procurement within a construction organisation. The Glover report (2008) indicated that by the end of 2010 all public sector procurement should be electronic. The use of e-procurement within the construction industry has been inadequately researched. Martin (2009) examined quantity surveying organisations perspectives on the use of e procurement across the United Kingdom. This paper seeks to address the knowledge gap that exists in the analysis of the level of usage of e-procurement within the construction industry. It compares the findings for the construction industry with other industries on company size and spend. Martin (2009) does not seek to investigate the size or spend on procurement activities of those quantity surveying organisations who have adopted e-procurement. This paper investigates the correlations between size, procurement spend and adoption of e-procurement in construction organisations comparing it with other industries. It concludes that the findings of Griloa and Jardim-Goncalves (2010) and European Commission (2007) were correct in suggesting that the AEC sector has been lagging behind other sectors in the adoption of e-procurement and provides a breakdown of the different types of organisations who currently use e-procurement. It further identifies the size of organisations which have implemented e-procurement within construction. On the client and consultant side in traditional contracts, company sizes of 21-50 employees make the highest use of eprocurement. This confirms that when analysing according to the size of organisation, construction organisations perform in a similar way to other industries as reported in Batenburg (2007) and Gunasekarana and Ngai (2008). However, this study indicates that very small companies may still be put off by the costs of software (corroborates De Boer et al, 2002; Kauffman and Mohtadi, 2004). The study proposes the types of construction organisation most likely to be utilising the benefits of eprocurement in construction by procurement spend and size. It also indicates that the deadlines in the Glover report (2008) relating to e-procurement in construction are unlikely to be met.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-686
JournalJournal of Information Technology in Construction
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


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