Application of analytic hierarchy process to the evaluation of logistics factors and their contribution to improvements in construction materials supply

As the most important element among logistics elements is customer service, all logistics activities should ensure the highest level of customer service at any given total cost of materials supply. Achieving efficiency and cost-­effectiveness in materials supplies at any preferred level of customer service involves trade-off decision-making among various logistics elements. Thus, managing construction materials efficiently requires an understanding of elements that contribute most to customer service. An evaluation of the importance UK contractors attach to the contribution of various logistics factors to improved customer service in the supply of construction materials has been presented. The analytic hierarchy process was used to quantify the subjective assessment made by contractors on the contribution of various logistics factors to overall improved customer service. The general view of surveyed buyers was that improving contractor-supplier relationships would contribute more to improved customer service in the supply of construction materials by ensuring better reliability, cost-effective sources of supply, increased flexibility, improved lead times and greater value-added service. Traditional elements (such as capability of suppliers (viewed in terms of financial strength. technical ability, and experience), administrative and management ability, quality management systems, quoted prices and locations in relation to projects) were also considered important. The interviewed buyers considered information and communication technologies to have less influence in improving customer service as were health and safety, and environmental records of suppliers.