Al Raha Beach Development

Improved Construction Cost Management for Global Construction Company

The Al Raha Beach development – a 10-year, 20 billion dollar scheme to develop the 11km waterfront site at Al Raha Beach, Abu Dhabi – is one of the first projects in the Middle East to be procured under the NEC 3 form of contract.

With responsibility for project management and construction of multiple major building and infrastructure projects at Al Raha Beach, one construction company recognised that it would need to improve its existing cost management system to meet the auditability requirements that a cost reimbursable contract demands.

Managing the Project Costs

The company commissioned a bespoke commercial management and financial reporting system – a software package it jointly designed and developed with a third party specifically for implementation on the Al Raha Beach development.

With assistance from CPC, this system has been further developed to provide enhanced functionality and is now being implemented across the construction company’s Dubai operations. The system supports requirements from initial estimation of concept designs, into project accounting of an awarded project, and right through to financial reporting and production of management accounts.

CPC’s Expertise Made a Good System Great 

Nick Curran at CPC worked directly with the client. As a qualified chartered quantity surveyor, Nick has a deep understanding of the day-to-day challenges facing a construction company working on a major development.The Al Raha Beach project team found CPC’s industry experience and independent knowledge of software to be central to developing the system for their needs. The result is a system that is both practical and functional beyond its fundamental requirements, for example, integrating with third-party software packages.

By applying software knowledge and technical skills, CPC advised and supervised development changes that made the construction company’s good system into a great system (and one with the potential for use across the entire construction group).

For the construction company a potential solution became a successful reality – CPC not only visualised the solution, but also saw through its implementation with the attention to detail that any successful IT system demands.

Practical Assistance from CPC

CPC arranged to be on site in Abu Dhabi for a 5 or 6-day period every 8 to 10 weeks. During these periods, CPC worked closely with the client’s commercial team, the financial team, the project accountants and also with cost consultants from the construction company’s client who required additional training and trouble-shooting sessions.

Through a series of workshops involving staff at all levels, CPC collected system requirements, including feedback on usability, issues and requests for improvements. To ensure the company developed a system ‘fit for purpose’ , CPC sometimes challenged how the system would be used and recommended changes to ensure better industry practices. With CPC’s guidance, senior managers within the Abu Dhabi construction team created a strategy for implementation and ongoing improvement.

One member of the client’s team described Nick as “an extremely affable and approachable individual whose technical and practical experience is exemplary”. In this way, Nick earns respect from all personnel working or co-ordinating with him. The client found that CPC’s approach worked extremely well and resulted in a system they are “very happy with”.

Reduced Risk of Commercial Exposure

The improved system provides a greater spectrum of usability and available cost data/information – and it’s more user friendly. With more efficient access to management data the company has greater visibility of costs and improved accuracy and speed of reporting. Any issues can be identified earlier, so reducing the company’s potential commercial exposure.

The system is robust, fully transparent and fully auditable which is a fundamental requirement for a project using a cost reimbursable form of procurement and for a company looking to implement a global, consistent approach to construction cost reporting.