Re-engineering the project procurement process through concurrent engineering
thesisposted on 22.10.2010, 14:29 by John Bowron
The construction industry in the United Kingdom is a multi-billion pound business that contributes, on average 10% of the UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, it is seen by many to be underachieving in terms of service delivery and investment opportunities. Projects are frequently late and over budget much to the disappointment of those involved in the industry and especially clients. Many investigations have been commissioned and resulting reports have suggested improvements in the way the industry is organised. Procurement of construction projects in the main are undertaken using methods that support fragmentation and adversarial relationships. However, with the introduction of partnering and prime contracting some improvements have been made. Procurement of a construction project begins with the strategies developed during briefing and is only complete when the facility is handed over to the client, some contract strategies allow for the facility to be completed once it is in operation, has been maintained and eventually is demolished. Costings and programmes are then related to life-cycle issues and aspects such as maintenance have to be taken into account during the facility development stages. The adoption of Concurrent Engineering (CE) is seen to offer the construction industry a way forward. Having been adopted extensively by manufacturing in its product development stages a similar adoption by the construction industry would go some way to achieving the 30% improvement in real terms suggested by Latham  and Egan . The research described in the thesis aims to develop a new procurement method for the delivery of construction projects. The approach adopted was to identify current methods of procurement and the problems associated with each method. Then using Concurrent Engineering as a basis, a new procurement model was developed that offered potential improvements in the construction process between the stages of Clients Briefing and Detailed Design. The resulting model was evaluated through the application of CE principles into the process and by the presentation and discussion of the method with a number of industry participants, followed by the completion and assessment of a questionnaire. The model was shown to fulfil the principles of CE and could be adopted into construction. It offers a new approach to procurement which in turn would save costs and time and potentially improve the quality of the final construction product.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering