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Summary of week 6

Summary of week 6 regarding construction supply chains.
ARJEN ADRIAANSE: This week we dealt with the supply chain and supply chain innovations in a specific sector, namely the construction sector. We gave an overview of the challenges of the construction sector, but also of innovations that the sector is trying to implement in order to solve some fundamental problems. We have dealt with the construction sector in three activities. It is clear from the first activity there are some special characteristics regarding the construction sector. We discussed the realisation on the location of use, the uniqueness of the construction projects, and the fragmented character of the construction process.
We dealt in more detail with the fragmented character of the construction process, as this has fundamental consequences for how the supply chain works in construction. We have seen that the construction sector is strongly divided up in at least three ways. In construction process phases, in parties, and in projects. We also saw that a construction gains experience with new ways of cooperation to realise a more integrated construction process. The three characteristics as we addressed make construction unique compared to other sectors, such as industry. These characteristics, however, also ensure that the construction sector deals with all kinds of specific problems, such as high failure costs, low productivity, and low innovation scores.
We stated in the second activity that there is a worldwide trend towards urbanisation. We see more and more densely inhabited areas. This also has considerable consequences for the construction sector. It’s become necessary more and more often to build in inner city areas. In the second activity, we therefore went into the specific challenges posed by inner city construction. In inner city areas, most construction work must take place within the same space as, for example, work, shopping, and recreation. There’s also limited spaces in city for construction. And the inner city is busy from early in the morning until late at night, or even 24/7. We went into two most important players dealing with inner city challenges, the municipality and the construction company.
Both the municipality and the construction company will, in the coming years, be faced more and more with these challenges of inner city construction. In the third and last activity, we went in search of innovative ways of improving supply chains in logistics and the construction sector. We touched briefly on three innovative concepts. The first was smart building logistics whereby distribution centres are set up on the outskirts of the city for supplying inner city construction projects and for processing transport from the construction sites. The second concept was modular construction systems. This concept is based on the idea of construction works consisting of standard modules created within a factory.
These standard modules are used and reused in various projects, leading to all kinds of learning experiences, and reducing hindrance on the construction site. We finally dealt with the use of building Information models. With this concept, information from a building is systematically inserted and reused over a building’s entire life cycle. This information can be used to supply information to the supply chain, but also for carrying out all kinds of analysis. We’ve provided examples of each of these innovations. The innovations that we have discussed are all based on further integration of parts of the construction process that have traditionally been operating as separate entities.
The innovation that we have dealt with also provide a picture of where the construction sector will be heading in the coming years, a more integrated future in which ICT and industrialisation will play an important role, a future in which parties are able to organise themselves in a most integrated manner, and the fragmented construction context, they’ll send out. We are convinced that this will lead to a more efficient functioning construction sector with lower failure costs, higher productivity, and higher innovation scores. We are working closely and with a great deal of enthusiasm with many partners from the construction sector on shaping these innovations. We hope that we have aroused your interests as well.
In this week we have shown that there are three ways in which the construction sector is divided up: in construction process phases, in parties, and in projects.
We see more and more densely inhabited areas. This also has considerable consequences for the construction sector. It’s become necessary more and more often to build in inner city areas. This has some specific challenges that we have shown by means of an example.
Finally we presented three major supply chain innovations for the construction sector: modular building, building information models, smart building logistics.
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