JOC, SABER, IDIQ – Efficient Construction Project Delivery – Job Order Contracting


Early and ongoing information sharing, from concept thru warranty and beyond, is the single most important aspect to achieving optimal construction outcomes.

Few experienced architects, engineers, contractors, or owners would disagree with the above statement.  Yet, the importance of the construction delivery method in enabling the above and driving greater productivity and satisfaction is rarely understood.

Collaboration, transparency, communication, actionable & current information, and skilled teams are fundamental requirements for renovation, repair, maintenance, or new construction projects.   All, however, require robust, LEAN best management practices and technology for appropriate support and consistent implementation.

While design-built (DB) and integrated project delivery (IPD) are suitable LEAN delivery methods for major new construction, they are not properly scaled for the numerous and ongoing renovation, repair, sustainability, and minor new construction projects that account for the bulk of real property management activities.

Fortunately collaborative construction delivery methods for smaller projects have been implemented and proven for over a quarter of century.  They go by various names, such as JOB ORDER CONTRACTING – JOC, SABER, IDIQ, TOC, etc.    All may be implemented is varying manners tailored to Owner requirements and market sectors, however, all stand ready to support the increased focus upon maintaining existing buildings and other forms of physical infrastructure.

Despite the availability of LEAN construction delivery methods for renovation, repair, and maintenance, few real property owners outside of the Federal Government sector apply them on a widespread and/or appropriate basis.  The negative result of lack of education, awareness, and best practice implementation on a widespread basis is a continuance of waste and low productivity endemic to the construction sector.

All real property owners and oversight groups, whether in federal/state/county/local government, education, healthcare, transportation, utilities, etc., would benefit from the cost and time benefits provided by collaborative construction delivery, especially JOB ORDER CONTRACTING – JOC.

The Federal Government developed and leads in the implementation of Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) construction delivery and procurement approaches, and specifically JOC.    JOC is a long-term contract (typically 3-5 years).  Work is delivered under multiple task orders, and the specific project needs are undefined at contract acquisition. A JOC does have a detailed, line item unit price book – UPB that is organized using industry standards such as CSI’s Masterformat.   The Contractor(s) is selected for the duration of the contract and is awarded work based upon performance and need.  A minimum and maximum dollar values is associated with the contract.  Benefits of this approach are clear.  The contractor(s) is more experienced with the owner’s buildings, requirements, and work methods/processes and both procurement and overall project delivery times are significantly reduced.   Higher quality and satisfaction also are benefits as both owners and contractors have a better understanding of actual job scope as well as mutual expectations.

Job Order contracting best supports ongoing renovation, repair, maintenance, sustainability, and minor new construction projects vs. other project delivery methods.

Individual JOC task orders average under $1 million, yet JOC contracts can range to $350M+.

The following graphic outlines a typical JOC process.

job order contracting

Owners request a contractor proposal, a joint site visit assures full understand of job scope, detailed line item costs are developed by the contractor and by the owner (based upon size of the job), owner issues a notice to proceed, and work is completed and approved.

Technology supports and embeds the JOC process and is mandatory for enabling optimal efficiencies. JOC-specific software versus spreadsheets drives collaboration, accuracy, transparency, information use and re-use, and assure appropriate reporting.

joc CERTIFIED

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