Concept of Supply Chain Management
Originating and developing in the manufacturing industry, Supply Chain Management (SCM) synthesizes to some extent the core concepts of Just-In-Time delivery (JIT), Logistics Management, Total Quality Management (TQM), Business Process Redesign (BPR), etc. According to Christopher (1992), the supply chain is “the network of organizations that are involved, through upstream and downstream linkages, in the different processes and activities that produce value in the form of products and services in the hands of the ultimate customer”. Since a supply chain consists of every direct or indirect party involved in maximizing the overall value, SCM attempts to improve customer service by finding out and eliminating waste from the chain or system in all of its processes including wasted time and materials. Concerning the entire supply chain, SCM requires a view of flow, including flow of materials, physical goods, money, information, communication, etc. SCM optimizes the total flow and increases the transparency and alignment of all the actors by assessing, redesigning, controlling and improving the supply chain, so that the waste can be minimized and the benefit can be maximized through the whole chain.
Roles of Supply Chain Management in Construction
Actors of the construction industry mainly include the owner, the architect and engineer, the contractor, and the material supplier, covering the processes of biding, tendering, designing, procuring, constructing and delivering. Based on a project-oriented situation, each construction job will be a unique job. Since the relationship among the above actors will usually be terminated after the project is completed, actors lack the incentive to assess and redesign the supply chain. Relatively independent on one another, they generally would care about only their own profits. Thus, general contractors, more reliant on other actors in the construction supply chain, have more...
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