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„Red lights“ impede contracts

„Red lights“ impede contracts

Technical projects are always unpredictable to a certain degree. In every project, you will run into issues that simply could not have been prevented – not even with impeccable planning and risk minimization. Contracting out to suppliers tends to make the project even more susceptible to mishaps. In fact, quite a few projects already have a “red light” status at that point.

Take the Berlin Brandenburg airport for example. It’s riddled with a laughable number of issues, including problems with control technology, short escalators, a faulty design for the smoke extraction system, a baggage claim area that ended up too small and even a timing plan that has already been through countless overhauls. How could this have happened?

When you look closely, you notice that these kinds of projects often involve minor planning errors that simply accumulate due to time constraints, transfer of duties or unexpected developments. It is mainly the process of devolving duties out to suppliers and sub-suppliers that is frequently over- looked as a major factor affecting the future course of the project. “The reality is that a large number of technical projects have a ‘red light’ status after the contracting stage,” says Peter Schnitzer, Managing Director of the Schnitzer Group.

Why is the nomination process such a critical point in the project workflow? “At this point in time, there usually isn’t enough information available yet for implementing a successful project workflow. People are often wrong in estimating the impact of their decisions, for example, if tools for Europe are being sourced from Asia,” explains Peter Kienzle, another Managing Director of the Schnitzer Group.

The project team selects the partners they believe are the best and ventures into the unknown. Then it suddenly occurs that one supplier is having quality issues and will not be able to provide increased delivery. The project team selects the partners they believe are the best and ventures into the unknown. Then it suddenly occurs that one supplier is having quality issues and will not be able to provide increased delivery