Improving approaches to material inventory management in construction industry in the UK

Nwankwo, Damian Chima (2023) Improving approaches to material inventory management in construction industry in the UK. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Nwankwo, Damian (2022) DBA Improving approaches to material inventory management.PDF - Accepted Version
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Materials used in construction constitute a major proportion of the total cost of construction projects. An important factor of great concern that adversely affects construction projects is the location and tracking of materials, which normally come in bulk with minimal identification. There is inadequate integration of modern wireless technologies (such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or Just-in-Time (JIT)) into project management systems for easier and faster materials management and tracking and to overcome human error. This research focuses on improving approaches to material inventory management in the UK construction industry through the formulation of an RFID-based materials management tracking process system with projects. The existing literature review identified many challenges/problems in material inventory management on construction projects, such as supply delays, shortages, price fluctuations, wastage and damage, and insufficient storage space. Six construction projects were selected as exploratory case studies and cross-case analysis was used to investigate approaches to material inventory management practices: problems, implementation of ICT, and the potential for using emerging wireless technologies and systems (such as RFID and PDA) for materials tracking. Findings showed that there were similar problems of storage constraints and logistics with most of the construction projects. The synthesis of good practices required the implementation of RFID-facilitated construction management of materials tracking system to make material handling easier, quicker, more efficient and less paperwork. There was also a recommendation to implement Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to integrate plant, labour and materials into one system. The findings from the case studies and the literature review were used to formulate a process for real-time material tracking using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) that can improve material inventory management in the UK construction industry. Testing and validation undertaken assisted in formulating a process that can be useful, functional and acceptable for a possible process system’s development. Finally, research achievements/contributions to knowledge, and limitations were discussed and some suggestions for further research were outlined.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Construction Management, Civil Engineering, IT, Business Administration
Subjects: A General Works > AS Academies and learned societies (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
T Technology > TE Highway engineering. Roads and pavements
T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2023 11:17
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2023 11:08

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