Research Aims And Objectives

The overall aim of the undertaken study is to effectively and efficiently understand the domain of good Supply Chain Management practices pertaining to the construction industry in general and the papers that are relevant to the study on the application of SCM in the construction industry of the United Arab Emirates which has helped in shaping the country into one of the most prominent of nations in the world with significant construction achievements in the recent years to compete with the best structures in the world.

The objectives pertaining to the research have a close association with the problem statement and need to be summarised which can be achieved by means of the study undertaken. The objectives of the undertaken study are specific in nature which will effectively break down the parts in general and analyze the different research problem aspects. The objectives are also instrumental in clearly specifying the intention of each stage that would be followed in the following study.

The objectives of the study include the following:

  • To review the significance of SCM in modern times.
  • To identify the significance of SCM in the construction industry with special emphasis on the United Arab Emirates
  • To review evidence that would be beneficial to provide direction to the construction industry pertaining to waste management and green construction practices.
  • To make appropriate recommendations for practice and research in order to understand the effectiveness of SCM in the construction sector of the United Arab Emirates so that in the future more economic, environmentally sustainable, and faster construction procedures are followed.
  • To inform regarding policies and practices that are pertinent for SCM in The UAE and thereby understand the current gaps or lacking which may be improved by definite legislative measures by the government

1.4 Research Rationale

The undertaken study will make a systematic review of relevant literature that relates to the application of SCM in the construction industry of the United Arab Emirates. In general terms, SCM refers to the management related to the goods flow. This includes storage and movement of raw materials, the inventory that is included in work in progress, and the final products right from the origin point to the consumption point (Vrijhoef and Koskela, 2000). There exist a number of networks, business nodes, and channels that are inter-connected and are involved in providing services and products that are required by the ultimate consumers in the process of the Supply Chain.

SCM refers to the designing, planning, executing, controlling, and also monitoring of the activities related to supply chain having the objective which involves net value creation, the building of an infrastructure that is competitive, leverage of global logistics, and synchronization of demand and supply with performance measurement on a world wide scale (Cooper and Lambert, 1997).

SCM draws immensely from areas involving operations management, procurement, logistics, and infResearch Aims And Objectivesormation technology, and so on with the inclusion of an approach that is integrated. Supply Chain is applied in the description of the interconnected hierarchy existent in supply-related contracts that are required for sourcing the components that are included in the process of construction (Wandahl and Bejder, 2003). SCM involves proper understanding of the segmentation and tracing of the services and products, people, organizations, activities, logistics, resources, and information that are effective in transforming raw materials into products that are complete and fit to serve the purpose.

Also the various systems of procurement place the different elements related to SCM with diversified organizations and disciplines. Performance and responsibility get cascaded down the chain of supply to the different suppliers who are otherwise not known to the management belonging to the higher strata of the chain.

1.5 Problem statement

A significant problem of the industry pertaining to construction states that the first two tiers of the chain of supply include agreements that are fairly onerous as there is development in the chain which results in the decrease of the contractual liabilities till the suppliers at the other end of the chain do not lock in (Wong, 1999). Unlike the industry of automotive, there exists a peculiar difficulty in the construction industry which states that each building is unique. The industry effectively contracts and expands which acts as a significant regulator of the economy widely (Wang et al., 2007). The key pertaining to the chain is the provision of a strategy that is aligned with the program of the project. This is initiated in the stage of the design and scopes the work in packages. Evaluation is done early reliant on feedback from the chain result in huge benefits in terms of value and cost (Xue et al., 2007). Capacity and capacity related to production in the market that has control by demand and supply has significance in order to avoid the bottlenecks of the program. For example, a shortage of materials like steel ideally should encourage the designers to take into consideration a frame made of concrete. There are many new age construction materials and techniques that are being used by the architecture and engineers to bend away across a wall of difficulties and limitations to improve upon the construction practices and challenge the forces of nature like gravity, earthquake, wind, and erosion.

2.1 SCM – An Overview

The competitive scenario in the global market has given way to an increasing significance to SCM (SCM). It is considered to be a crucial medium through which firms can attain competitive advantage in a business environment (Jacobs, et al. 2009). The evolvement of the SCM took place in late 1980 in a manufacturing company, which gained momentum with widespread usage in the ’90s. The traditional term used was logistic. While logistics is restricted within the boundaries of an individual firm, supply chain refers to the combined networking of various companies that work together towards the delivery of a product in the market. SCM can be defined as, “A process facilitating the functions of procurement of raw materials, a transformation of the raw materials into products and further distribution of the finished products to consumers”, by Waters, C. (2010). SCM comprises of the stages and planning involved in the accomplishment of the request of a consumer. According to Lopez and Brands (2010), the perfect mix of logistics, production, location, transportation, and information the five primary participants in the management of the supply chain, helps in the attainment of an effective response in the target market of the suppliers. Companies involved in the supply chain must take individual and collective decisions based on the five areas crucial for successful management:

Production – The how what and when of production are the crucial questions for SCM. What is the product which the market wants? How much is the quantity in demand? By when are the products required? All the above three questions are the basis of production for any organization. The activity requires the designing of master production schedules involving the production capacity of the manufacturing plant, quality control, and maintenance of the equipment utilized in production (Xue et al. 2007).

Inventory – The required level and the type of stock maintenance at each level is the importance of inventory control in SCM. Whether the requirement is for raw materials, semi-finished or finished goods, the principal functionality is to act as a buffer at the time of need and improbability (Wang et al. 2007).

Location – The cost-efficient place of production and storage of inventory is another crucial factor to be taken into account for the smooth flowing of products to the ultimate customer through the most probable paths available.

Transportation – The how products supply from one place to another is the transport decision involved in the supply chain. While air and road delivery is expensive, ship and rail account for less expense involved with delayed delivery time. The uncertainty of deliverance on time leads to the higher stocking of inventory levels (Lambert et al 1998).

Information – Well-timed and correct information help in effective decision making involving what and how much to produce, where to store and locate inventory, and the best possible way to transport the same.

Figure: SCM Components


Source: (Thomas and Griffin, 1996)

Fernie and Sparks, (2009) highlight that the effectiveness of a company’s supply chain is the core factor behind its success. Who an organization is and what it can do is shaped by its supply chain and the market it serves.

Maddox Smith

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