Looking for Construction Supply Chain Hacks?
The lack of coordination or communication between the supply chain entities – project management, supplier, and field teams have consequences resulting in less than 40% of the projects being delivered successfully (Cigolini et al., 2020). The information-sharing activity between the construction site and the supplier is affected by many traditional factors.
Studies have shown that the real problem for the construction supply chain is the availability of information (Backstrand and Fredriksson 2020). The effects of low information availability have been found at both ends of the supply chain. Suppliers with limited information suffer from a lack of presence on-site, thereby increasing stressors on performance. However, suppliers that have continued access and maintain a presence on the site, increase their service offerings. This enables them to improve their supply chain performance resulting in increased performance for the project.
The number of increasing new risks might hurt the project performance and cannot be dealt with by the traditional project risk management techniques. To negate these risks, new approaches that leave room for uncertainty and unpredictable scenarios should be accessed.
How to understand if the supply chain has coordination or communication issues
- Is the material order information fragmented?
If the project material information is on multiple files, sheets, applications, indicates the information is siloed. Getting the material information on a common source and visibility to actors involved in the process will improve your material supply chain.
- Facing increased order status issues?
Not being able to track what is shipped, delivered, or pending, can cause delays on the project. Being able to track the material needed is one of the key drivers to successfully reduce inefficiency towards the project deadlines.
- Lack of communication and material delivery status between team members?
Not knowing where the materials are delivered on-site is as damaging to the project timeline, as not being able to track your materials en route. In an optimal supply chain, on-site team members should be notified when, where and to whom the material is being delivered.
Ordering your project materials alone will not guarantee timely construction or installation, hence, project delivery. We need to investigate how to address the coordination issues in the supply chain progress and adopt a common platform.
Evaluating a ‘Common Platform’
A common platform is an intelligent ecosystem where the project material information and teams live together until project close-out. In a recent survey by McKinsey & Company, respondents evaluated the ‘winning moves in the future of construction’, and results highlighted the importance of construction supply chains. 68% of the respondents rated ‘Setting up for new supply-chain/logistics landscape’ as very beneficial (McKinsey, 2020).
Connect, Communicate, Coordinate on a Common platform
Construction supply chains have many entities that work in different companies, locations, time zones. It is not easy to track your progress end-to-end if your project teams, suppliers, distributors, and field crew are not connected. The first step on supply chain progress tracking should be connecting these entities on a common platform like AECInspire. Then, let these entities communicate and coordinate on the platform until the project materials are delivered to the job site and successfully installed.
AECInspire is a cloud-based procurement ecosystem that provides full visibility and access to your supply chain. A unified platform that connects teams, enhances workflows and tracks materials.
Read our next blog to learn how you can track your construction material supply chain progress with AECInspire.
- McKinsey survey of 400 construction-industry CxOs; expert interviews; McKinsey analysis
- Backstrand, J., and A. Fredriksson. 2020. “The Role of Supplier Information Availability for Construction Supply Chain Performance.” Production Planning and Control (forthcoming).