Expanding construction project Supplier Organisations’ services


to deliver progressively increasing value

to customers: A case-study-based exemplar



By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia



In recent articles in this journal I have discussed differences between managing internal projects in Owner Organisations (OOs) and customer projects in Supplier Organisations (SOs) (Stretton 2024e,f), and of the importance of customers to SOs in delivering project management services (Stretton 2024b,c).

This article is concerned with project Supplier Organisations in construction industries, and with ways in which the range of their project-related services can be, and have been, expanded to deliver progressively increasing value to their customers. The main exemplar case study will be my old employer Civil & Civic (C&C), and we will follow the reasoning and actions of its CEO, G. J. Dusseldorp, in initiating and implementing these expanded services from the 1950s through the 1980s. I will also be making some inputs from my own experience in C&C and other organisations, together with inputs from the domain of mega construction projects.

The nature of Supplier Organisations (SOs)

Stretton 2024f described Supplier Organisations, and Owner Organisation, as follows.

Project-based Supplier Organisations (SOs) derive most (if not all) of their revenue and/or other benefits from creating and delivering projects/programs to external customers.

Production-based Owner Organisations (OOs) derive most (if not all) of their revenue and/or benefits from producing and selling products and services. They utilize projects to create new, or improve existing, products and services; enter new markets; or otherwise improve or change their organisations.

Stretton 2024f also noted that, although internal projects can also be undertaken within SOs, the latter is most closely associated with undertaking external Customer Projects (as described by Lehmann 2016). This latter configuration is followed in this article.

Terminologies: Clients and customers

There are some writers who distinguish between “clients” and “customers”. However, such a distinction would not appear to be relevant to the main purposes of this article – therefore the terminologies “client” and “customer” will be used interchangeably.

The context of this article is the construction sector

I will be discussing Supplier Organisations and their clients/customers in the construction sector, for two reasons. One is that construction has some characteristics not shared by many other sectors – including particularly a traditional separation of design from construction. Further, many of the examples I will be using come from the Australian building industry, about which Clark 2002:37 records the following:

In his history of the Australian building industry, written in 1992, Oscar Gimesy observed that ‘the dichotomy between design and construction practices are so pronounced in traditional construction practices that recent trends to integrate the two, which is taken for granted in other arenas of economic production, is considered a radical leap’.

This separation can have profound effects on value for client/customer organisations.

The other reason is that, in spite of the prominence and importance of Supplier Organisations, and of the construction industry at large, they still tend to be under-represented in some prominent sectors of the current project management literature.


To read entire paper, click here

How to cite this work: Stretton, A. (2024). Expanding construction project Supplier Organisations’ services to deliver progressively increasing value to customers: A case-study-based exemplar, PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue VII, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/pmwj143-Jul2024-Stretton-expanding-construction-supplier-services-to-increase-value-3.pdf

About the Author

Alan Stretton, PhD     

Life Fellow, AIPM (Australia)
Sydney, Australia


Alan Stretton is one of the pioneers of modern project management.  In 2006 he retired from a position as Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, which he joined in 1988 to develop and deliver a Master of Project Management program.   Prior to joining UTS, Mr. Stretton worked in the building and construction industries in Australia, New Zealand and the USA for some 38 years, which included the project management of construction, R&D, introduction of information and control systems, internal management education programs and organizational change projects.  Alan has degrees in Civil Engineering (BE, Tasmania) and Mathematics (MA, Oxford), and an honorary PhD in strategy, programme and project management (ESC, Lille, France).  Alan was Chairman of the Standards (PMBOK) Committee of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) from late 1989 to early 1992.  He held a similar position with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and was elected a Life Fellow of AIPM in 1996.  He was a member of the Core Working Group in the development of the Australian National Competency Standards for Project Management.  He has published 270+ professional articles and papers.  Alan can be contacted at alanailene@bigpond.com.au.

To see more works by Alan Stretton, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alan-stretton/.