OUR KNOWLEDGE. OUR KEY ISSUES.
You can find here briefings on selected topics of commercial, contract and claims management. If you should wish to know more about other specific company informations, that are not related or declared within this site, please do not hesitate to contact us.
2018-09-25. The burden of proof – why should retrospective claim management be avoided?
The term burden of proof sounds onerous, appearing to involve a lot of time and trouble. Burden of proof often becomes troublesome as soon as it's a matter of retrospectively substantiating a fact with verifiable reasoning in such a way that everyone will then believe this previously only alleged fact and no longer be in any doubt about the truth of this fact. Read more.
2017-09-15. Claims-Management-Strategy: Structured decision-making-process in claim situations.
FOR-DEC. A decision-making model from manned aviation adapted to claims management in industrial projects.
FOR-DEC is a method for structured decision-making in manned aviation developed by members of the staff of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The FOR-DEC method aims at making decisions in a dynamic environment which are not influenced by precipitate impulses and are not based on the gut feeling of individual actors. Read more.
2017-07-19. The first claim is the most important.
The management of projects in special-purpose mechanical engineering always comes with substantial risks for the contractor. He will need to be circumspect in how to approach the project, as the machinery commissioned by the client tends to be highly innovative, not to mention the tight project schedule and fairly parsimonious budget. So to avoid slipping into the red, contractors must include the methods of structured contract & claim management as integral parts of the project as early as the quotation phase. The following article investigates the aspects that the contractor should certainly address. Read more.
2017-07-07. Scheduling requirements for industrial projects.
Industrial projects labour frequently under cost pressure that is merely compounded by extremely tight schedules during realisation. Project scheduling must adhere to certain structures in order to ensure that progress remains transparent for the purchaser and contractor alike. This article investigates what these structures are, and why clear scheduling procedures to manage disturbances in construction processes need to be firmly anchored in the contracts. Read more.
(This briefing has been published in German magazine "ChemieTechnik" on 2017-06-21)
2017-05-22. Business for engineers: The project contract.
Complex investment projects in plant engineering / custom-built machinery commonly experience significant volatility in terms of the contractual scope. Murky technical specifications, disruptions in building processes, obstructions of construction work and additional or reduced volumes in contractual performance ordered by the Employer require careful and judicious actions on the part of everyone involved. The following article explores which actions are necessary and who must know and implement them in practice. Read more
2016-12-03. Claims & Contract Management: Founded on good project management.
Claims & contract management requires teamwork in industrial projects. How must a company be organised to ensure high-quality claims & contract management as a team assignment? Excellent project management is the key to successful claims handling.
Everyone who has contributed to – not just industrial – projects will be familiar with the ‘Magic Triangle of Project Management’ and its three vertices of ‘Time’, ‘Costs’ and ‘Quality’. But what makes this triangle ‘magic’? It’s very simple: the degrees of these three vertices are individually dependent on the degrees of the other two vertices. Merely reducing the available time during which project objectives must be achieved will almost inevitably curtail the quality that can feasibly be reached in the project. Any attempt to alleviate this reduction will automatically increase the outlay needed to fulfil the project objectives, leading to greater costs. So it might not be entirely ‘magic’, but it is par for the course when working on projects. Read more.
2016-09-28. Contract Drafting for Major Plant Construction –How it's Done, published in "Process-worldwide".
Dear money and the darned time — Putting contracts into force — When two parties sign a contract for a major plant construction, the first step in the implementation of a project is done. But how the execution of such project contracts should ideally be designed in order to minimize risks for the subsequent project? Read more.
2016-06-30. The role of the design engineer in claims management, published in "Economic Plant".
Claims management involves, or so it seems at least, legal provisions and commercial issues in industrial projects. The purpose of claims management is to handle situations in project implementation where one contract party wants something that the other one does not want to give up, appropriately and in compliance with the contract. This sounds like hassle of a kind that no one really wants to deal with, particularly if one has been trained as an engineer and is responsible purely for the technical design of a system in a project. This article explains why claims management is not just a task for lawyers and commercial managers in a project and the range of tasks in claims management that are also incumbent on the technical disciplines. Readmore (pages 60 - 62)
2016-06-16. The Process Organisation in Claims & Contract Management (Part 2).
Our "Process Organisation in Claims & Contract Management (Part 1)" journal article published on 12.05.2016 described the organisational tools that are required during the tender-phase in order to assess the potential risks and anticipated execution complexity of a future project. Our article also dealt with the need to prepare the contract negotiations for a future project as a team, and with the structure of transferring information from the tender to the execution phase (engineering & construction/ manufacturing phase) of a project once a contract has been received. Part 2 of our previous journal article focuses on which tools are required for the process organisation of claims & contract Management during the project execution phase. Read more.
2016-05-26. “Anti-Claims-Management” vs. “Claim Management”.
In the past 4-5 years, the term “anti-claims-management” has attracted more and more attention from those that deal professionally with the execution of complex projects in construction, plant engineering and custom-built machinery. In the present article, the term “anti-claims-management“ is examined as to whether, in our opinion, it is well-chosen or perhaps actually counterproductive for joint projects of Employers and Contractors. Read more.
2016-05-12. The Process Organisation in Claims & Contract Management (Part 1).
In May 2016, our article "Claims & Contract Management als Teamaufgaben" (“claims & contract management as Team Tasks”), published in the German trade magazine Chemietechnik ("Chemical Technology"), looked among other things at claims & contract management as an integral management system within project management that needs to be organised both in its set-up and its execution. The setting-up of claims & contract Management describes the tasks, competences and responsibilities of the various team members in the claims & contract management of the project. But what is covered by the execution workflow of claims & contract management and why is it needed? This present article gives an overview of these instruments for the tender phase of a project. Upcoming articles will look at the instruments that are used in the engineering and the engineering/manufacturing phases. Read more
2016-04-19. The Importance of Documentation in Claims Management. Interview of Mr Jürgen Hahn, expert for claims management, conducted by SOBIS Software GmbH.
The German term “Nachtragsmanagement”, better known in professional circles simply as “claims management”, has had in the past and to an extent continues to have negative connotations in the German-speaking countries. It is associated with notions of confrontation, unjustified demands, judicial conflicts and poor client relations. As a result, many companies neglect or circumvent concrete discussion or active implementation of effective claims management.
In order to provide our readers with an insight into the importance and status of documentation for efficient claims management in the execution of industrial investment projects, Mrs Annabell Degler of SOBIS Software GmbH interviewed Mr Jürgen Hahn, an expert in this area. Read more.
2016-03-31. The Claims Management Handbook for Projects.
Our specialist article, "The Mission Statement for Claims & Contract Management in Companies", is aimed at ensuring that all employees involved in project acquisition and execution act in a concerted and methodically uniform manner with regard to claims & contract management. It emphasises the importance of a claims & contract management mission statement for a firm. This mission statement inserts a framework for action for all staff regarding claims & contract management. The definition of a mission statement and its significance for a company is an almost metaphysical approach, which must be applied during day-to-day project business The question justifiably is raised as to how this strategic corporate mission statement can be anchored in daily project business for all those involved. And how can this still-metaphysical approach help make project execution what it should be: contractually compliant and low-risk? Read more
2016-03-11. The Magical Triangle of Claims Management.
"Magical triangles" are familiar from many subject areas. Project management is no exception. Here, the interactions of the three factors, "time"; "budget”; and quality”, must be harmonised in the project. However, it is less known that this "magical triangle” can be adapted to the matter of claims management as well. Read more
2016-02-26 The Contract Analysis. A "wild thing"?
Besides identifying the mutual performances that the parties are obliged to render to each other, it is important to identify what rights and obligations one’s own company has under the contract and what opportunities and risks arise from them. In the case of project contracts consisting of numerous documents, this can involve varying degrees of difficulty. A structured approach can be a great help. This article describes what such an approach might look like. Read more
2016-02-12. The risk of contract award for the Contractor.
It is certainly more than gratifying when the work that goes into an extensive offer regarding the design, production, delivery, installation and commissioning of technical systems leads to an order being placed by the customer. However, a project can be overshadowed from the outset by obstacles arising long before the actual problems involved in the project implementation. This specialist article explains how the contractor can avoid such obstacles. Read more.
2016-01-31. The mission statement for claim and contract management in companies.
If there was a such a person as the best claims & contract manager in the world, or better still if you could find him/her and employee him/her in your own company, what would his/her expertise be worth? Would he/she be able to single-handedly improve the commercial results of project implementation? This is rather unlikely, after all both project implementation and project initiation are team-based tasks, of which claims & contract management should be integral components. This specialist article elucidates some basic aspects of the permanent anchoring of claims & contract management in companies in the industrial project business. Read more.