The impact of information technology on supply chain capabilities and firm performance for construction companies. The impact of information technology on supply chain capabilities and firm performance for construction companies Information technology involves application of computers and computer based equipments to store, access, organize, and transfer data among parties. It is one of the contemporary dynamics that continues to evolve as organizations pursue efficiency and effectiveness in their operations and as providers of the technology’s products seeks to meet their client’s needs. Construction companies rely on their supply chains for selection of their requirements and delivery, as well as delivery of finished products to their clients. These identify significance of information technology to the companies’ supply chains potentials and form the focus of this literature review.
Risks in construction projects are some of the major challenges to supply chains in the industry for delivery of value that can meet customers’ expectations. Supply chains have different risks and while little literature exists on their effects and possible solutions in the construction industry, Gosling, Naim, and Towil (2013) suggest the role of information technology in understanding the scope of the uncertainty in construction supply chains and possible solutions. According to the authors, an empirical approach that involves data collection and analysis can help in identification of the risks and roles of information technology in statistical methods is instrumental (Gosling, Naim, and Towil 2013). Consequently, implementation of information technology in construction supply chains could help in predicting and managing challenges for effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery. In addition, information technology, through use of Automated Materials Locating and Tracing Technology, helps construction companies to overcome uncertainty challenges that arise from visibility problems (Young et al. 2013, p. 7, 8). Meng, Sun and Jones’ proposed model for managing supply chain relationships in the construction industry further supports the role of information technology in constructions’ supply chains (2011). The authors’ Maturity Model empowers construction companies to effective management that is associated with better performance, greater opportunities, and minimal conflicts. Implementing the model for these benefits however requires complex data analysis that identifies the need for information technology.
The construction industry also identifies need for collaboration among stakeholders, especially between contractors and sub-contractors, for successful projects and application of such technologies as the Construction Collaborative Technologies play an important role (Timothy and Kathryin 2013). Challenges also exist, in the industry, on the relationship between buyers and suppliers, a factor that has direct impacts on supplies delivery and may spill over to developed products. Bemelmans, Voordijk, Vos and Buter explains existence of gap that stakeholders can bridge to strengthen the relationship together with existing motivational factors (2012). Application of technologies for data collection and analysis, such as in customer relationship management, can bridge this gap for manufacturer utility and the satisfaction can be transferred to the final consumer (Li, Ford, Zhai and Xu 2012). Bryan, Sinkovics and Kim (2010) supports the technology based approach to strengthening relationships in supply chains for better performance in the construction industry.
Aims and objectives
Supply chain plays a significant role in operations and derivable utility in the construction industry. Application of information technology in the industry’s technology has potential benefits such as strengthened relationships, tracking of supplies, and forecasting of uncertainties for better risk management. Empirical studies can therefore be conducted on contemporary information technologies in the industry with the following aims and objectives.
To ascertain the benefits of information technology in the construction industry’s supply chains
To determine level of significance of comparative technologies to a supply chain benefit in the construction industry
To explore additional benefits of information technology in the construction industry’s supply chains
Bemelmans, J., Voordijk, H., Vos, B. and Buter, J. (2012). ‘Assessing buyer-supplier relationship management: Multiple case-study in Dutch construction industry.’ Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, 12(1), 163-176.
Bryan, R., Sinkovics, R. and Kim, D. (2010). ‘Drivers and performance outcomes of relationship learning for suppliers in cross-border customer-supplier relationships: The role of communication culture.’ Journal of International Marketing 18(1), 63-85.
Gosling, J., Naim, M. and Towil, D. (2013) ‘Identifying and categorizing the sources of uncertainty in construction supply chains’. Journal of Construction Engineering & Management 139(1), 102-110.
Li, L., Ford, J., Zhai, X. and Xu, L. (2012) ‘Relational benefits and manufacturer satisfaction: An empirical study of logistics service in supply chain.’ International Journal of Pproduction Research 19(1), 5445-5459.
Meng, X., Sun, M. and Jones, M. (2011) ‘Maturity model for supply chain relationships in construction.’ International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing 27(2), 97-105.
Timothy, S. and Kathryin, C. (2013) ‘The influence of technology on the development of partnership relationships in the Irish construction industry.’ International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing 26(1), 19-28.
Young, D. et al. (2013) ‘Improving construction supply network visibility by using automated materials locating and racking technology.’ Journal of Construction Engineering & Management 137(11), 976-984.