Construction companies operate in a complex network consisting of clients, suppliers and subcontractors, but also other stakeholders as funding agencies, donors and their own workforce. Development and management of long-term buyer-supplier relationships are challenging because project teams and product designs and specifications change from project to project. Moreover, construction companies operate in a tender market which makes long-term relationships with clients complex. The international context ads an additional complexity due to cultural differences resulting in, for instance, varying tender procedures.

In view of this context, NABU is a strong supporter of sustainable procurement and developing long-term relationships. Not the lowest price should be decisive, but adding value for money in the long run (life cycle approach) and sustainability aspects (social and environmental aspects) should be taken into account in order to make a more balanced decision. This leads to an improved quality of projects, better relationships with suppliers and subcontractors and a positive impact on working conditions and the environment.