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A turnkey or a turnkey project is a project in which separate entities are responsible for setting up a plant or equipment (e.g. trains/infrastructure) and for putting it into operation. It can include contractual actions at least through the system, subsystem, or equipment installation phase and may include follow-on contractual actions, such as testing, training, logistical, and operational support. It is often given to the best bidder in a procurement process.
Turnkey projects can also be extended, known as turnkey plus, where there is perhaps a small equity interest by the supplier and it will later on continue its operation through a management contract or licensing.
Turnkey refers to something that is ready for immediate use, generally used in the sale or supply of goods or services. The term is common in the construction industry, for instance, in which it refers to the bundling of materials and labor by sub-contractors. A "turnkey" job by a plumber would include the parts (toilets, tub, faucets, pipes, etc.) as well as the plumber's labor, without any contribution by the general contractors.
This is commonly used in motorsports to describe a car being sold with drivetrain (engine, transmission, etc.). A vehicle for sale without these pieces is sold "rolling". A racer may prefer to keep the pickled pieces to use in another vehicle to preserve a combination. Similarly, this term may be used to advertise the sale of an established business, including all the equipment necessary to run it, or by a business-to-business supplier providing complete packages for business start-up
The term turnkey is also often used in the technology industry, most commonly to describe pre-built computer "packages" in which everything needed to perform a certain type of task (e.g. audio editing) is put together by the supplier and sold as a bundle. This often includes a computer with pre-installed software, various types of hardware, and accessories. See also Computer appliance
In Real Estate, Turn-Key is defined as delivering a location that is ready for occupation. The Turn-Key process includes all of the steps involved to open a location including the site selection, negotiations, space planning, construction coordination and complete installation.
In Canada, the Staff of the Student Life Centre at the University of Waterloo are called Turnkeys. They are situated in the Great Hall at the Turnkey Desk and act as the authority of the building. A Turnkey is someone who knows just about everything there is to know about what's going on around campus and in the wider community. http://www.studentlifecentre.uwaterloo.ca/turnkeyservices.htm The Turnkeys have kept the building open almost continuously since the building opened. The Student Life Centre is open 24 hours all year round.