Benchmarking the Use of IT to Support Su... [paper 1999/1]

Benchmarking the Use of IT to Support Supplier Management in Construction

SUBMITTED: November 1998
PUBLISHED: November 1999
EDITOR: D.J. Vanier

Andrew M. Clark, Consultant
Construction Solutions Division, Unisys Limited, UK

Brian L. Atkin, Professor
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Director, Atkin Research and Development Limited, UK

Martin P. Betts, Head
School of Construction and Property Management, University of Salford, UK

David A. Smith,
Unisys Limited, UK

SUMMARY:This paper follows an element of the research programme of the Construct-IT Centre of Excellence, a UK-based organisation responsible for promoting the strategic awareness of IT within construction enterprises. Funding has been granted from the Department of the Environment to benchmark the use of IT within ten mission-critical business processes. Supplier Management is the first benchmark with ten construction contractors interviewed between July and November 1995. The results show that the internal exploitation of IT within the contractor is more advanced than between the separate legal entities of contractor and supplier. Hard copy transfer dominates information transmission with few companies experimenting with technologies such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Of the two measures used, use of IT to support a process and importance to the process, the importance of using of IT is recognised, but does not translate into use. Summaries of the comments made at interviews are provided to give the reader background to the companies' attitudes towards IT in this process area. Reference is made to comparisons with a shipbuilder and automotive parts supplier as out-of-industry examples of companies performing a similar process to assess how other industries use IT within a similar process.

KEYWORDS: IT, Strategy, Supplier, Management, Relationship, Benchmark

FULL TEXT: paper in PDF format (482951 bytes)


Andrew M Clark Brian L Atkin Martin P Betts David A Smith (1999) Benchmarking the Use of IT to Support Supplier Management in Construction , ITcon Vol. 4, pg. 1-16,


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