Supply Chain Management in the Construction Industry

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Email this article Login required. Email the author Login required. Printed Edition. Factors for implementing green supply chain management in the construction industry. The objective of this method is to achieve the most reliable consensus in a group of experts Findings: The research result is a developed framework for GSCM in the construction industry comprising five concepts, 22 dimensions, and 82 elements. Objectives of the research 1. Research methodology 1. Expected results and conclusions 1.

Structure of the dissertation Chapter 2 — Literature review relating to I the differences in leadership, governance and business culture between the GCC and the west and II origins, definitions and interpretations and adoption of the supply chain and supply chain management in the construction industry. Introduction 2. The GCC: background information 2. Business culture in the GCC 2.

Society, collectivist vs. Individualist 2. The origins of supply chain management 2. The supply chain and SCM definitions 2. Supply chain, definitions 2. The construction supply chain 2. Benefits and barriers to supply chain implementation in construction 2. Benefits of SCM in construction 2. Barriers to SCM in construction 2. Observations related to literature 2. End of chapter discussion Chapter 3 — Research and design methodology 3. Introduction 3. Desk study 3. Desk study approach part 1 3. Desk study approach part 2 3. Questionnaire 3. Rationale for the questionnaire research route and distribution methodology 3.

Questionnaire format 3. Participant selection 3. The survey 3. Organization specific 4. Client information 4. Contract information procurement information 4. Project information 4. Limitations encountered with the survey 4. Concluding comments on the survey Chapter 5 — Conclusions and recommendations 5. Introduction 5. General summary of the research 5. Aims of research 5. Objective 1 5. Objective 2 5. Objective 3 5. Conclusion 5. Limitations of the study 5. I would also like to thank my now 4 year old son Johan Teo van den broeke for demonstrating incredible understanding and support at such a tender age during my entire studies.

It is to him I dedicate this work to with unchallenged love, commitment and dedication with the hope that in the future he will draw inspiration from this experience. I would like to thank my immediate and extended families, who have all believed that I could achieve this objective and have in one way or another, offered their support. I would also like to thank my dear friends the Le Rest family for allowing me to use their home during the preparation of this dissertation and the staff at the Dubai Safa park library for their cheerful outlook during the long hours spent in their company while studying for the various modules of this course, there truly is an oasis in the desert.

I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor Dr Assem Al Hajj for the useful comments, remarks and engagement during my preparation of this dissertation and finally, I wish to extend my gratitude to all of the tutors that have steered me through this entire process, the excellent work of the Herriot Watt Dubai campus staff who work tirelessly to keep the wheels turning and to the many people and friends that I have met on this journey of discovery, success to you all.

It is a concept that has provided many industries with the opportunity to become more efficient and cost effective to the extent that over time earned itself an autonomous status in the concept of industrial management theory. The aim of this research is to determine the most effective current supply chain management concepts and theories applicable to the construction industry, to demonstrate the extent of their adoption by organizations in the construction industry within and outside the GCC, and to demonstrate the benefits and potential benefits when SCM is applied to such organizations.

The objectives of this research were to: i Present a comparative analysis of how SCM is applied in the construction industry and other industries, and to objectively identify the similarities and the potential benefits for the construction industry. The methods of research comprised of a detailed literature review of journals, books and publications. A regional specific GCC survey was also conducted with top management personnel from a broad range of industry sectors.

The findings of the combined literature and survey data show that the concept and practice of SCM in construction has yet to be established in its true context both externally to the GCC and within the GCC. Key words: Supply chain management, construction, industry, GCC, construction supply chain and organizational management, Logistics in construction, control, interdependency, concept, organizational change, culture, partnering, partnering and the supply chain, economy, governments, influence, change.

It is an industry that is of significant importance to economies not only from an employment perspective but also because of the financial contribution it provides to an economy as a whole. However, construction is also an industry which has, and continues to be, severely criticized for poor performance at almost every level of its operation. Indeed, its failure to keep up with technological and systems advancements which have been adopted by other industries has become a key focus of many governments during the past decade.

Supply chains in the construction industry | Emerald Insight

This continued negative perception has more recently prompted a call for dramatic change in how the industry operates and functions, Egan, J. Today in many parts of the world, the industry is embarking on a period of adjustment in how it operates and functions and is making gradual changes prompted by the need to adhere to new legislations and regulations and the extended use of technology and management techniques and concepts.

The results of such changes indicate that traditional industry structure and practices are gradually changing course in an endeavor to reduce waste and to improve performance, delivery and overall client satisfaction on projects. Y , Egbu. The construction industry is one that is recognized as fragmented and distinguished by a collection of large and small firms, bulk material suppliers, and many other support professionals, Benton.

This type of environment is widely regarded as the main contributory factor to the waste and industry performance issues. Supply chain management SCM is aimed at the reduction of waste and improvement of performance, Koskela. SCM is a concept which first originated and flourished in the manufacturing industry. The concept was first demonstrated in the just in time delivery system developed as part of the Toyota production system, Shingo. This system was originally designed to regulate supplies to the Toyota motor factory, just in the right, small, amount, just in the right time frame.

The concept of SCM has since evolved resulting in it having an autonomous status in the concept of industrial management theory, Vrijhoef. As such, SCM is now being proposed and recognized as one of the key strategies that could be adopted in the construction industry to effect the many improvements that are needed.

It is this recognition that supports further research and analysis on the subject matter. To identify and determine any generic obstacles and barriers which may exist in implementing the process of supply chain management in the construction industry. To further investigate the current level of understanding and extent of adoption of supply chain management in the construction industry by organizations within the GCC.

To determine the extent and level of success or failure of organizations within the GCC when adopting the supply chain management concept, and identifying reasons for successes or failures. Relevant academic journals, papers and case study examples related to SCM implementation and application will be sourced using the universities electronic on line library resource, these will include, but will but not limited to, those identified in the reference section of this proposal.

The further use of industry relevant web based information will be used to ensure that the most current examples, narratives and statistical information, are obtained from industry to support the arguments set out in the dissertation.

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Field research will consist of: A multiple choice survey questionnaire which will be distributed to senior representatives of key industry organizations and management from various disciplines and operations in the GCC with the objective of gaining a current understanding to the industries thinking and application of SCM both in the GCC and, where applicable, in the respective organizations extended international networks. The survey will be equal in content for each respondent and will be designed to reflect the qualitative findings and contributions gained from the literature and desk research efforts, although any comparable quantitative data that is made available will also be presented to support the objectives of this dissertation.

The commonality of regional business culture is then compared to that of the West, before presenting a holistic historical view of the origin of Supply Chain Management SCM and the drivers which have expedited the more recent interest in the arena of SCM in the construction industry. The comparison of cultural business practices is picked up later again in this chapter when the future perspective of SCM in the GCC is considered. The chapter then critically appraises the literature reviewed by examining the various definitions and interpretations of what SCM is and what it stands for before presenting the arguments obtained from the review relating to the adoption of SCM in the construction industry and cross industry comparisons.

The chapter concludes by commenting on the key findings from the review with a focus on current and future perspectives of SCM in construction outside of and within the GCC. The chapter is broken down into six main sections, these are: i the GCC, background information, ii the origins of SCM, iii the supply chain and definitions of SCM, iv supply chain and construction, v benefits and barriers to SCM in construction, vi Observations related to literature, and finally, vii End of chapter discussion.

These are; i formulating similar regulations in various fields such as; finance, trade, customs, tourism, legislation, and administration, ii fostering scientific and technical progress in industry, mining, agriculture, water and animal resources, iii establishing scientific research centers; iv setting up joint ventures; v establishing a unified military presence; vi encouraging cooperation within the private sector and strengthening ties between their people.

The member countries of the GCC are largely dependent on natural fuel exports namely oil and gas, although there are varying degrees of dependency between them. Several countries have begun or are beginning to introduce diversification programs in an effort to move away from the economic reliance on fossil fuels as their main source of income. Such diversification initiatives include; investment in infrastructure, information communications technology ICT , banking services and renewable sources of energy, to name but a few, GCC powers of construction, The six countries which constitute the GCC are Islamic states; as such, the majority of their citizens can be considered as being of the Muslim faith.

The Islamic culture is often mistakenly identified as being a religion; however, Islam is indeed more than just a religion. To those who follow Islam it is considered an entire way of life. It is a cultural belief which has direct influence on state governance, social institutions and social culture. Authoritative governance within the GCC is strongly based on three types; Shariah which is the predominant form of governance in modern society , Sunnah and Ijtihad.

Supply chains in the construction industry

This is of course purely a matter of perception based on a comparison with their country or countries of origin. It is true that the business model in the GCC does run on different tracks to that in the West, www. To successfully conduct business in the GCC or indeed the Middle East, it is important to appreciate and understand these differences without making judgment. It is not uncommon for GCC citizens to consider their professional and personal lives as equal, that is to say that there is no or little separation between professional and personal life.

For the majority, conducting business revolves far more around their personal relationships and their family ties which are heavily influenced by trust and honor. It is because of this that business relationships in the GCC are very much built on and around mutual friendship and trust, unlike the majority of business relationships in the West, www.

The structure of the GCC business culture is largely hierarchal whereby leaders are separate from the lower tiers of the structure forming a top down power distribution environment. As such, final decisions are almost always provided by the most senior person in the business organization.

Supply Chain Management in Infrastructure

In general, meetings will be attended by the individuals who make up the lower tiers of the structure. As such they provide a purely representative role with little or no authority to make decisions without referring back up the chain to the most senior person or leader of the organization.

As such, haggling or informal negotiation is not uncommon be this in the boardroom, or outside of the more formal business environment. It is almost inevitable that final decisions are slow to emerge from any business discussion. This along with often lengthy bureaucratic formalities often adds to further delays in reaching a final resolution.

In the west there is a tendency to attempt to move things along by deploying the use of high pressure tactics in negotiations. This is something which will be counterproductive in negotiations and should be avoided in the Middle East, www. To the majority of the Western world, time is of the essence, this is not the case in the Middle East. It is common for people in the Middle East not to start or finish at a scheduled time.

Indeed, the attitude towards time is far more flexible than can be observed in the West. Although punctuality is often expected from foreigners, it is fair to say that the same cannot be expected of Middle Eastern counterparts, www. The value placed on personal relationships in the Middle East is extremely high. An extraordinary amount of effort is employed in building these relationships.


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There is a sincere interest demonstrated towards others and a large amount of time is spent getting to know other people. This effort is extended in both a personal context and in business. It is not uncommon therefore that personal relationships are often used to further business interests, in fact, in the Middle East to refuse a request made by a friend is often considered as rude.

The business culture in the Middle East is also highly dependent on networking. This further emphasizes the importance of building and developing relationships, www. The Middle Eastern culture places significant value on someone's word, often this is regarded as more important than a written agreement. It is considered that a person's word is directly connected to their honor. As such, written contracts are viewed merely as memoranda of understanding rather than legally binding agreements.

It is imperative, therefore, that promises should only be made if one is sure that one can deliver, www. Individualist: Western culture is largely viewed in the Middle East and may be described as an Individualist society. As such; the individuals are generally regarded as self-oriented and independent as opposed to those identifying and demonstrating a group mentality. This type of society tends to see each other as only loosely linked, and will value personal goals above that of a group. Blood ties are considered much more important in the Middle East than that in the West, www.

This is not just to provide purely historical narrative, but to provide a platform to support arguments and perceptions set out in later sections of this chapter, and to introduce its transference across industries, in particular, to the construction sector.

In , during an address to Japanese industrial leaders at the Mt. Hakone Conference Center, Deming presented the theory that by considering long term relationships with, and working with a supplier to encourage and grow loyalty and trust between two parties, this would have benefits such as improvement of quality and a decrease in the costs of production. This address although more orientated towards the practice of quality control presented the message to Japan's then chief executives, that improving on quality would reduce production expenses while increasing productivity and market share, Deming.

Since then SCM has evolved to become a concept that has thrived in the manufacturing industries. First originating from just in time JIT production and logistics, Vrijhoef. This has provided scientific researchers and academics with a platform of reference which is now specific to the subject. Research reveals that the majority of academic literature on the subject of SCM has a tendency to orientate itself within the context of manufacturing and industrial production, in particular, the automotive and aerospace industries, Naslund.

It is this evidence which appears to have generated increased discussion amongst governmental bodies, researchers and academics relating to its potential adoption into other industries, such as construction. Construction commentators also note that there appears to be increasing concern over managements understanding of the concept, which is being viewed as a hindrance to the ability to fully and successfully implement SCM.

This concern is further fuelled by the notion that most managers lack a strong theoretical foundation of SCM and how SCM could work to benefit their particular businesses. Commentators on the subject are increasingly presenting arguments supporting the observation that industry networks will invariably differ across industries themselves, Lamming et al, Research pertaining to the origins of the concept of SCM has revealed the most consistent findings on the subject.

Indeed, researchers and authors such as; Aloini. It is, however, the more recent evolution of the concept of construction supply chain management CSCM which reveals evidence which shows a fragmented view of the understanding of the supply chain and SCM, and how it should fit into and function within the context of construction. In the UK, in particular, this development is frequently attributed to the two government sponsored landmark reports, namely, the Egan report entitled, Rethinking Construction, and the Latham report entitled, Constructing the team, , Stock.

K following a plethora of government initiated project failures, the increased pressures of an ailing economic environment and an increase in feedback from clients on efficiency and value. The condition of the UK construction industry and its performance at this point in time had become increasingly public.

The afore mentioned Latham report had identified a number of industry related problems, such as, the role of the client, the management of the project process, the frequent use of competitive tendering, increasing industry fragmentation, and the failings of industry to attract and retain the best candidates, Latham.

Unlike its predecessor the Egan report delivered a more focused approach, concentrating mostly on the primary promotion relating to the integration of the project process. This integrated concept was constructed around four key elements; product development, project implementation, production of components and the partnering of the supply chain to work wholly in the interest of the project client, Egan.

A common theme in these reports was the focus on the barriers to efficiency within the industry. This ultimately delivered a clear message; that major reform in the UK construction industry was needed, in particular, with the procurement methods traditionally adopted in construction.

It was the ongoing development of various procurement options from this point which provided greater focus on the potential of CSCM being developed, Akintoye. However, as with many other aspects of potential development and adoption, the construction industry reacted slowly to the possible application of CSCM. Some commentators go as far as to state that industry participants were reluctant to consider the adoption of CSCM. With the vast majority of industry players struggling to survive recession, the effort needed to develop and work on improving relationships which were already marred by existing adversarial contractual bureaucracy would have appeared futile by the majority of construction professionals, Love.

Despite these ongoing economic conditions, the UK government continued to support the recommendations made by Egan. The most notable being the establishment of a number of pilot and demonstration projects through the constructing excellence program. The objectives of this program were to identify and publish member and funded projects that could demonstrate the inclusion of various published demonstration themes to projects, such as; client driven health and safety, delivery on time and on budget, fair payments, design and customer satisfaction and integration, corporate and social responsibility CSR and collaborative working, to name but a few.

Article excerpt

The objective of this focus is to develop a clearer understanding of how the supply chain increases in complexity when applying the concept of SCM in the context of construction. The presentation of the conceptual origin of SCM in the previous chapter is essential to understanding the various forms and definitions of the supply chain that are presented throughout the reviewed literature.

It provides the foundations for a clear understanding of how its application to the construction industry is evolving. In addition, it begins to develop a clearer understanding of where many of the emergent issues related to SCM in construction originate from. They make the observation that during the manufacturing of a product, several firms will participate in sequence to eventually pass the end product into the hands of the end user in the supply chain. The participants identified as members of the supply chain in such a process are proposed as raw material and component producers, product assemblers, wholesalers, retail merchants and transport organizations, La Londe and Masters, The second definition is provided by Lambert.

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The third definition suggests that the supply chain is a network of organizations involved in the upstream and downstream linkages which adjoin the various processes and activities required to produce value in the form of products and services delivered to the ultimate consumer, Christopher. The outcome of the research by Mentzner.

T et al, , although valuable in identifying the source of confusion related to multiple definitions, in reality just provided another definition to add to the mix. These examples are not exhaustive and are more orientated towards describing the process of production and manufacturing rather than that of the process of construction. This can be seen when undertaking a comparative analysis of the content of the descriptions. For example all descriptions make reference to the flow of goods, products and or services, in addition, all descriptions identify the customer and they all identify the existence of numerous organizations.

As such, it can be concluded that consensus does exist despite the differences in definitions. This could be seen to support the argument that value is obtained in essence only when both upstream and downstream flows are operating. The typology associated with production and manufacturing supply chains is described as binary in structure, Tennant.

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This is attributed to the fact that in the context of production, the emphasis of the supply chain is placed on the transference of goods and materials from one source to another. In other words, a network of organizations is involved, through upstream and downstream linkages during the different processes and activities required to produce products and services to the end customer. The products and services in this instance are those which equate to value, Christopher.

Fig 2. Source: Vrijhoef. L, It is clear from the literature reviewed that SCM has gained both in momentum and importance over the past few decades and indeed that the field will continue to grow and develop, Naslund. However, in order for it to do so a consensus on the definition of SCM is needed. This is critical to facilitate and support the advancement of SCM theory and practice, Stock. This statement was made following the results of research carried out by Stock and Boyer who conducted a review of definitions of SCM throughout literature and journals published on the subject across industries.

The results of a literature review presented by Mentzer. This particular research presented descriptions offered by 6 key authors with a date range from through to Having reviewed the descriptions, one can conclude that although there is some commonality in their features, there is equally a significant degree of variance in interpretation see table: 2.

Responsibility for the various segments of the chain is not fragmented and regulated to functional areas such as manufacturing, purchasing, distribution and sales. Supply chain management calls for, and in the end depends on, Strategic decision making.

Supply is a shared objective of Houlihan, practically every function in the chain and is of particular strategic significance because of its impact of overall costs and market share. Supply chain management calls for a different perspective on inventories which are used as a balancing mechanism of last not first resort. A new approach to systems is required, integration rather than interfacing".

Supply chain strategy includes; …. The development of trust and commitment to the relationship; ….. La Londe and Masters, The integration of logistics activities involving sharing of demand and sales data; The potential for a shift in the focus of control of the logistics process". Supply chain management is; "an integrative philosophy to Cooper et al, manage the flow of a distribution channel from supplier to the ultimate user" SCM requires traditionally separate materials functions to report to an executive responsible for coordinating the entire materials process, and also requires joint relationships with suppliers across multiple tiers.

SCM is a concept, "whose Monezka, Trent and Handfield, primary objective is to integrate and manage the sourcing, flow, and control of materials using a total systems perspective across multiple functions and multiple tiers of suppliers". Table: 2. This also serves to support the argument that SCM does indeed defy universal definition. The Global Supply Chain Forum GSCF spearheaded by The University of Tennessee, claims to be home to one of the leading programs in supply chain management, providing international collaboration bringing together four internationally ranked learning institutes.

It also observes that SCM is often confused with the term logistics management, www. Likewise, the GSCF further emphasizes that SCM is in fact a new business model which, in order to succeed, requires everyone in the organization to be involved. As such SCM is identified as migrating from the traditional business function mindset to embrace an entirely new way of doing business. A requirement which has been identified as having difficulties in implementation and is seen as a challenging and difficult task, due to the complexity related to management of the various tiers of suppliers back to the point of origin, as well as the many customer tiers out to the point of consumption, Lambert.

However, they serve sufficiently to identify commonality to the key elements which attribute to the foundations that make up the supply chain, and, more importantly, they serve to support the observation that the single most prominent feature which is common to each of them, is in the fact that managerial efforts are required to extend beyond the boundaries of traditional management of the supply chain. In other words SCM requires an entirely different approach to management than that traditionally exercised in the more traditional role of the supply chain, in order to facilitate the entire supply chain or extended enterprise.

A large number of sub-contractors and suppliers are likely to be involved even more so at the corporate level resulting in an extremely complex network of organizations and participants. As such it is immediately possible to appreciate the complex variations that can exist, even from this presentation of the generic configurations. These illustrations further serve to endorse the argument that the more complex or specialized the building the more complex the supply chain becomes. However, it is not only the structural characteristics which differ when considering the construction supply chain, other more contextual characteristics exist.

For example, the construction supply chain consists of and represents a complex network of stakeholders involving multiple organizations and relationships, Xue. As such it is acknowledged that it is different from that of generic production and manufacturing supply chains. This is not only by virtue of the extent of the complexity and number of participants but also by the obvious amplification of the uncertainty in the environment in which the construction production system operates as a result of these factors, Fearne.

Further differences which exist relate to the transitory site configuration described as being managed by a temporary supply chain configuration , Love. The characteristics described here are not exhaustive but are presented as being some of the key differences between the context of production manufacturing and construction production. These observations are made by way of an introduction to the arguments and observations which are presented in the next chapter relating to the adoption of SCM in construction. This is presented as one of the most complete descriptions to emerge from the literature review conducted, as it descriptively reflects the elements presented in fig 2.

All construction companies, be they client, main contractor, designer, surveyor, sub-contractor, or supplier are therefore part of a supply chain. Because of the project based nature of construction and the way that procurement normally operates, they are usually members of different supply chains on different projects. A consequence of this is that the focus tends to be strongly orientated towards the logistical aspect of the supply chain in particular the buyer, supplier element of the chain. The most cited benefit appears to be the rationale that effective supply chain management will lead to a competitive advantage which can be maintained through effective SCM, Akintola.

Although other potential benefits have been observed, such as, improved return on investments ROI and returns on assets ROA. These notional benefits are often supported with the argument that for organizations to compete in the current global market economy they are increasingly reliant on successful and effective supply chains, Naslund. The results of such targets are given as being; improved process performance and enhanced product quality, customer service, market responsiveness and market access, lambert. The supply chain is considered as the flow of goods from supplier through manufacturing and distribution chains to the end user, Christopher.

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Supply chain management: a review of implementation risks in the construction industry

However, and despite the relative simplicity of the concept, there is a relative lack of empirical evidence which supports or provides evidence of the extent or nature of benefits that can be attributed to the application of SCM in construction, Stock. These findings support the argument that if current literature fails to demonstrate the benefits of SCM in the relatively binary context of production and manufacturing, actual demonstrated benefits in the context of construction are unlikely to be found.

Indeed, throughout the literature reviewed many of the benefits presented for SCM and SCM in construction are largely theoretical and expectant based on conceptual ideas and methods of adoption. However, on a more positive note there does appear to be some level of optimism for CSMC. As mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, the U. The program publishes an annual report which identifies a successful project winner. In the report published for — they presented the following project case study due to its success in demonstrating the application of techniques that made it eligible for selection within this particular category.

Case study: St. During the preparation of their first stage tender for one of the project buildings, Shepherd construction identified that the construction would require a total of weeks to complete and the project would require a total of two tower cranes. They approached their supply chain partner and through careful collaboration devised a solution to this problem.

The solution required the use of a relatively new product which was an innovative bi steel core and although this presented a higher initial material cost than the original construction proposal, reduced the overall project duration to 84 weeks thereby, saving 21 weeks off of the original program. This solution also facilitated the use of only one tower crane as opposed to the original two.

As a consequence of this action, Shepherd construction were invited to carry out the second stage tender on an open book basis giving the client access and full transparency to all costs. Also through the controlled application of value engineering, costs were successfully reduced without compromise to quality, constructing excellence This particular case study does indeed appear to demonstrate that contractor — supplier collaboration provided the turning point in favor of project success and client benefit.

In addition to this, the demonstration of contemporary SCM as previously presented in table 2. Therefore should the success of the project be attributed to CSCM, or to the fortunate application of successful value engineering? The most frequent arguments relating to the adoption or at least the pace of adoption in the construction sector is that SCM is difficult to implement because the sector is so fragmented, Green.

Fragmentation within the sector is largely attributed to the number of organizations and individuals involved in the procurement, design and delivery of a project, Mentzer. A further observation often made in relation to the implementation of SCM in the sector relates to the nature of the industry. It is correctly observed that it is adversarial in nature.

This is attributed to the methods of procurement which often tend to focus on best price award rather than on best value, Benton. Other factors attributing to the adversarial nature of the sector have been identified as, inadequate selection of tenders, lack of project pre-planning, inappropriate identification and allocation of risk and a lack of clear contract strategy, Cox.

The survey cited, lack of senior management commitment, lack of appropriate support structures and wide spread ignorance of the supply chain philosophy, as key issues which are preventing the industry from rivaling the success seen when adopting SCM in other industries. These were made based on responses to a specific request to the survey participants to comment on SCM within the industry.

And although the findings were used in the context of the client - contractor relationship, they were, directly correlated to the nature of the tendering process and the focus on competitive bidding. The research concluded that the fundamental objective that SCM was to create value for the whole supply chain and not for individual organizations is not a message which the industry has yet understood. It is observed that the continuing reluctance or unwillingness to change the management mindset from singular, that is to say managing individual supply chain functions, to a more integrated function with integrated activities, will continue to hamper progress within the sector, Lambert.

There are further barriers presented throughout literature. These include the relationship and the many influences from other disciplines or the interdependence of SCM to other disciplines such as; organizational theory governance , economics Supply — demand , sociology Confrontational — trust and management culture, routines, history , EPSRC These influences and interdependence make it almost impossible to see how SCM within the construction sector can be successfully implemented.

The view taken here is that, without achieving full alignment of the complex issues presented by these disciplines across the supply chain, especially when considering construction and the sheer volume of participants, a truly integrated functional supply chain cannot exist, Tennant. A and Yakova. These are; trust sociology , decision making management , information sharing governance and goal congruence economics. These views serve to support the further tier of discussion on supply chain configuration, introducing considerations related to issues such as communication, coordination, collaboration and cooperation.

N, In essence the typology of supply chains presented go some way to support the argument that it is the managers involved in the supply chain configuration who are required to be aware of and to fully comprehend how to manage the elements which establish this typology. This is a situation which is viewed within the sector itself, as one that is unlikely to prevail for some time. This is because the majority of organizations are struggling with internal process management, therefore, successful cross-organizational management is unlikely, Naslund. This is an issue which is further elaborated on by Vrijhoef.

They observe that supply chains in construction continue to be full of waste and problems caused by the myopic control of the organizations involved. Indeed, it is identified that building relationships is a lengthy process and one which will often be developed based on trial and error, Lejeune. This is arguably not conducive to an industry which has an embedded reliance on the economic cycle.

The reliance of the sector on the economic environment is a further barrier to the successful implementation of SCM observes Tennant. He cites continuity of work as a major barrier. In other words industry participants take a short term view on gain to balance the longer term pain. There is an underlying assumption present that the transfer of the concept from its origins into construction is a straight forward exercise.

As such many of the peculiarities associated with the construction sector are overlooked. The literature that is construction specific, Koskela. Much of the literature is, therefore, focused on how to address these problems from a singular standpoint, rather than taking account of the entire supply chain. There appears to be no empirical evidence to suggest that the entire supply chain from the client, consultant, contractor, sub-contractor, suppliers and end users has been fully investigated outside of the many conceptual models presented throughout literature.

Similarly, given that one of the identified objectives of SCM is to gain a competitive advantage in the global market, the issue of cross cultural considerations and evidence of success in construction receives little attention. This is to support the results of the GCC specific research analysis presented later in this paper. Another key objective of this chapter is to introduce the differences in both historical development and business development between the Middle East and the West, by focusing on the cultural business differences. This is to provide a clearer understanding of how these cultural differences could contribute to the actual adoption of the concept of SCM within the GCC.

The first part of this chapter introduces the member states of the GCC and how the coalition came into existence to deliver the key objectives of the GCC. From this section it can be seen that the unification of the member states is regarded as being in its infancy. Having said this, the GCC, which was only established in , has come a long way in achieving many of its initial objectives. The diversification programs of many of the member states has generated what can be described as unprecedented growth in a number of sectors during this time, particularly in construction.

This growth has attracted a large amount of international attention arguably more so from the Western world. Due to the relative shortage of expertise and resources throughout the GCC, there was a requirement to engage services from outside of the GCC. Consequently this has led to the introduction of many different cultures and ideals to the region.

Techniques associated with design, procurement, management, quality and standards still have a strong Western influence. Despite this, the cultural back bone of the region remains traditional. The chapter then goes on to look into the early emergence of SCM, the original objective behind the concept and the development of the concept over time.

This is to provide background information to set the scene for the increase in interest for the adoption of SCM in construction.

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