Construction Industry Supply Chain

Construction Industry is a complex, dynamic and multidisciplinary organization that is characterized by uncertainty and very innovative due to the uniqueness of its products. The industry faces a lot of pressure in the areas of improved processes that will encourage efficiency in the project success criteria.

This assures its Clients of a timely delivery of a project on budget and to the required quality and standard. (Latham, 1994), in his report, ‘Rethinking Construction’ had elicited his concern on the need for effectiveness in Construction Industry. The reflection of this in practice has nevertheless awakened the consciousness of some practitioners in the Industry whereas many are still enshrined by the traditional rule of thumb practices.

In modern business environment like Construction Industry which is characterized by an accelerating competition and globalization, Organizations are looking for innovative strategies that will achieve and sustain a competitive edge. The philosophy of strategic supply chain management (SCM) has been appraised as a means of beating and sustaining the market share in manufacturing Industry (Chan et al, 2003). Construction Industry is multidisciplinary and involves unique projects.

Could this be the reason why Construction has not been performing satisfactorily as decried by Egan in1998? The interfaces between differing supply chains within the organization are commonly very prone to adversary, sentience, etc which mostly result to delay in project delivery. Another of the problems of SCM in Construction is not being able to measure or understand the various supply chains. Sink & Tuttle, (1989) cited in (Chan et al, 2003) argued that it is impossible to manage what one do not understand. The extent at which the participants of SCM in UK are aware of this management principle will be explored, hence creating an avenue for learning.

Supply chains are independent on each other in a complex manner (Dubois et al, 2004), and for this purpose requires experienced and informed professionals to coordinate and manage for efficiency to be guaranteed. (Lintukangas et al, 2009) argued that experienced coordination of diverse supply chains in an organization is instrumental to a success of the organization.

This study will seek to unveil the importance of SCM in any organization via informal and formal interviews with key practicing personnel in the UK Construction and also by analysis of some of the researches carried out on the SCM. Attention will be focus on the various activities of SCM with a view of determining the various factors affecting the effectiveness of this practice (SCM) in the UK Construction Industry.

The association of Project Management advocates provision of sound SCM in any organization as this ensures best supply chain design, good communication flow across the supply chains and beyond, good material management, good procurement of services, etc. Perhaps there is urgent need for a better method or an effective way of practicing SCM in other to salvage Construction Industry from the shackles of “Under performing” as described by Egan’s report in 1998.This research will explore the effectiveness of SCM in the UK construction and also fathom the effectiveness of the prevailing practice while contributing to the body of knowledge available to project managers in the successful delivery of projects.


To evaluate the applicability of supply chain Management with a view of determining its effectiveness in the UK Construction Industry.


The following objectives will be achieved in this research.

➢ The determination of level of awareness and the perception of SCM in the UK Construction Industry. ➢ Evaluation of the applicability of SCM in the UK Construction Industry. ➢ Identification of factors affecting the effectiveness of SCM in the UK Construction.

Outline Research Methodology

This research will combine both the documentary and empirical methods. The documentary aspect of the research will entail literature reviews from relevant journals, publications, books, etc. Focus will be on the definitions, processes of supply chain design, factors affecting SCM, and any relevant areas. The empirical aspect of the information will be in form of Questionnaires and interviews with the key personnel in SCM in some UK Construction.