The strengths and weaknesses of enterprises in general French

SURVEY. Well-organized, reliable and state of the art, the general contractors are also considered to be expensive and hardly manageable for their clients. On the occasion of the Meetings of the Construction in 2017, EGF.BTP has published a survey carried out among partners in order to better understand their expectations and their perception.
Business French generals grouped in the trade union EGF.BTP want to show up to listen to the masters of work, a little bit more than a year after the entry into force of the new code of public procurement. To better understand the needs of these customers, Qualimétrie has launched a qualitative survey that will help define the actions to be undertaken in the coming years, and the results of which have been discussed in this June 28, 2017, during the Meetings of the Construction. Aymeric Bayart and Amandine Roquancourt, of the institute of survey, detail : “The sample of 204 owners who responded is representative and robust across the different categories represented : 48 % of local authorities (municipalities, inter-municipal associations, departments and regions, WK), 28 % of social landlords, 21 % of state agencies and administrative authorities and 3 % of public companies“.


General contractors : expensive but reliable


Questioned first on the reform of the public procurement code, the owners see it as “binding” and “disturbing“. For them, the major issues of the construction projects that they lead are the aspects related to sustainable development (44 %), concern for the consistent quality at a competitive price (29 %) and issues of innovation and digital transition (27 %). But what is the opinion of these sponsors focus on companies in general ? They recognize first of all a good organization, where the method of the dispute to the rigor (58 %), and appreciate the fact that you only have a single point of contact and allows a finer control of the project (53 %). The control of costs and deadlines, thanks to the optimal performance of the general contractors in phase starts, appears in the third position in the points with positive (46 %). The owners also hire theexpertise of general contractors (34 %), able to manage complex issues, and they are, therefore, trust to limit the risk of failures (24 %).


Despite this portrait, ecstatic, the communities are still reluctant to appeal to the general contractors. The investigation reveals all of the brakes identified : first, the extra cost, for more than half of the respondents (55 %), which is estimated to be +10 %. Then, the thorny question of the sub-contract (34 %), while the masters of public works wish to promote micro-enterprises/local SMES and show themselves to be risk-averse in the face of the choice of the “lowest bidder” at the expense of the “better saying“. For 30% of the respondents, the legal framework would still be inappropriate, despite the adoption of the new code of public procurement, while for others (15 %), businesses in general – often for heavy-duty construction – would result in an imbalance in the strength ratio. Points that the members of EGF.BTP will need to improve to convince even more.


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But on what subjects will be expected ? The responsibility, first of all (76 %), for their ability to promote the insertion of unemployed or to ensure the training of young people, and all that pertains to the observance of labour law, the directive of the posted workers, or even the clause Molière, for some regional councils. On their capacity for innovation (76 %) and their propensity to adopt new materials and methods, including BIM. Finally, on the aspects of sustainable development in the broad sense (70 %), with the expectation of irreproachable management of the building, which – ideally – do not generate no nuisances, not even the waste ! The contracting authorities also intend to draw on the expertise of companies to better control the reuse of materials in a perspective of local economy and circular, and to apprehend all of the analysis of the life cycle.


Véronique Liné, head Environment/sustainable Development at Eiffage, analysis : “The expectation expressed is very strong. It is the ransom of success. A collaborative approach will reassure those owners“. Gilles Dupont, director-general of Rabot Dutilleul Construction, stated : “It is necessary to create the nearby, promoting trade, and further improve the responsiveness“. For the social responsibility of businesses, she continues : “It should go even further and commit themselves, perhaps on assurances of performance“. Gilles Dupont points out, for its part, that the companies general record five times fewer accidents than companies who are involved in separate batches. Assets that could definitely tip the balance in their favour.

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