Process-Waste-Reduction of the Construction Supply Chain Using Proactive Information Network
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Construction projects require the generation and communication of an ever-larger amount of information. Unfortunately, present project organisations do not foster proactive approaches to preventing costly production waste derived from communication problems. To address this, the effective exchange of information needs to be performed across all different parties, as the construction project commonly includes concurrent progresses along its supply chain. This article proposes a new concept that integrates feed-forward control with the principle of network science. Referred to as supply-chain information network, it aims to comprehend the correlations within a sequenced supply chain network, in order to identify the critical communication links supporting a preventive control. Its effectiveness was verified by applying the model to an actual case: the rebar supply chain from a multi-story building in Sydney, NSW, Australia. The analysis recognised four problematical players in the supply chain: (1) rebar factory linemen, (2) radio crew, (3) senior steel fixers and (4) steel fixers, based on four centrality measurements. Consequently, the experimental data confirm the hypothesis that proactive management of the supply chain will produce drastic improvements, achieving up to 23.3% reduction in waste time during placement. The relevance of this research lies in the operational introduction of network science to the construction supply chain, and its proactive culture resulted in significant improvements of process performance. In addition, the developed communication backbone suggests an actualised test bed of concurrent information exchanges that tried to escape the spatiotemporal limitation in a chained attribute in the construction industry.
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