Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A service money can’t buy! (stick around readers, I stopped moaning and am all action, again!)

Consider this question: How can a Sheik get the best car in the world, the fastest plane there is and a chef with the most of Michelin stars on his CV to cook his private dinner, yet no certainty when having any type of building built for him?

For years I’ve been accusing the global AEC industry of being rotten and corrupt.
Maybe, I was wrong. Maybe this IS the only industry operating globally that is truly transparent and egalitarian.
If you are a client of it, no matter how rich or poor you are, you get the same ‘crap service’.
OK, maybe not quite the same, money can get you a bit of a better ‘appearing’ service, consultant offices with flesh meeting rooms and leather chairs, Italian coffee machines, perfectly made up receptionist with cut-glass English accents and fly-in specialist in expensive suits and astronomical hourly charge-out-rates.
But higher likelihood that your building will be finished on time and to an agreed budget? Unlikely.

Now, if you belong to this servicing industry, that lets its clients down more often than not – you will have a list of great excuses why things in the AEC ‘are the way they are’.
Most of these will start with the world ‘unexpected’.
Unexpected site conditions, unexpected weather patterns, unexpected labour shortages, unexpected client initiated changes…

Since when has the world become so unexpectedly unexpected every step of a way from the idea of getting a garden shed in one's backyard to actually placing one’s shovels in it?

I have my theory on this question, of course – things started getting off the rails for AEC clients about 3 decades ago but the worst damage was done over the last 10 years and the emergence of the multi-disciplined-globally spread AEC servicing company phenomenon is at the root of the problem.

So, after spending the last 6 weeks of feeling very sorry for myself because one of those (Balfour Beatty) had been really ‘nasty and mean’ to me – it is time to get back to action.

I will get off the ground that missing service the AEC industry needs!
Call it ‘a consumer advocate’ or a ‘hired gun’, I don’t mind, but I’m onto it!


  1. You forgot the project managers in the "last 10 years ..." onwards ... although some of my best friends are those.

    1. No Djole,
      I just consider them to be in the same consultancy 'bucket' with similar values and loyalties...
      Of course, there are exceptions...but few...

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