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Achieving effective project delivery through improved supplier relationship management

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conference contribution
posted on 2013-10-08, 12:44 authored by Mesut Pala, Francis Edum-FotweFrancis Edum-Fotwe, Kirti RuikarKirti Ruikar, Nathan Doughty, Chris Peters
Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) has a critical and unique role in the management of construction supply chains. Within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry contractors generally rely on formal legal arrangements to manage their relationships with subcontractors and suppliers. As a result of the reliance on legal options, it is common to find confrontational and adversarial relationships in many projects. The disputes and claims that arise from such confrontation tarnish the reputation of the AEC industry and more importantly have a significant impact on project processes, with regard to cost, time, and quality. Despite the efforts to have better interactions within and between different supply chain actors, few attempts have been made to understand the variables that help develop, maintain and re-build more co-operative and collaborative relationships. Within this paper the authors provide a review of progress in construction specific supply chain management as a backdrop to an empirical investigation on improving project delivery by AEC companies. The paper is based on a study aimed at developing a framework that can serve as a roadmap on how supply chain relationships can be better monitored, controlled and managed, which is a research partnership between academia and an industrial sponsor. It reports on the first phase of the study which addresses the attributes of various types of relationships where relationships are categorised into four categories. Without an understanding of the different levels of relationships that a contractor firm has with its supply chain firms, management strategy for various relationships will not be effective as every relationship is composed of different entities that make up its ‘DNA’. The discussion on four types of relationships point out that further empirical study is needed with regards to the processes and technologies currently being applied in construction projects as well as identification of roles and responsibilities of decision makers in AEC supply chains.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Engineering (CICE)


PALA, M. ... et al, 2012. Achieving effective project delivery through improved supplier relationship management. IN: Javernick-Will. A. and Mahalingam, Ashwin (eds.). Working Paper Proceedings. Engineering Project Organisations Conference, Rheden, Netherlands, 10th-12th July 2012, 12pp.


The Engineering Project Organization Society (EPOS) / © the authors


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